The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have

Last week, I began a new food series all about how to make killer versions of classic dishes. Well, get psyched, because Cenk from Cafe Fernando reveals how to make the best chocolate ice cream ever (without an ice-cream maker!)…

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have
By Cenk from Cafe Fernando

Ice cream is to me what water is to others. It is the source of my life. My body needs at least two scoops of ice cream everyday to function properly. At times, ice cream covers more than 70% of my tongue’s surface, and at this rate, I’m afraid 60% of my body will be ice cream very soon.

My answer to the childhood question, “If you were stranded on an island, name three things…” had always been: Unlimited supply of chocolate ice cream, a giant freezer and a spoon. I still had my manners. But if you asked me now, I would ditch the spoon and be torn between almond toffee and hand-rolled cones with chocolate-filled tips. Unlimited supply of each, of course.

I want to you to know how serious I am about chocolate ice cream, because “The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have” is quite a statement. I don’t take this challenge lightly.

For me, the most important qualities of “the best chocolate ice cream” are creaminess and a deep, intense chocolate flavor. Most recipes will suggest a whole lot of egg yolks to achieve creaminess, but in this case a combination of cornstarch and sweetened condensed milk does a better job. By using sweetened condensed milk, you not only introduce a slight caramel undertone, but also limit the amount of water in the mix. Cornstarch absorbs and holds water. Less ice crystals and a binding agent to hold them together translates into a more creamy consistency. Cocoa powder, vanilla extract and coffee add depth, and a pinch of salt brings out new dimensions of flavor in chocolate.

And here comes the best part: You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe. In fact, you should not use it, as the mixture is too thick for the machine to handle. You don’t need any hard-to-find ingredients like liquid nitrogen, either. You simply pour it into a container, press plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and place it in the freezer. It never gets icy. In fact, this will also be “The Creamiest Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have.”

Recipe: The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have
Inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

Makes almost a quart

You’ll need:
1 can (14-ounce/400 grams) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup (180 grams) whole milk
3/4 cup (175 grams) heavy cream
6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
1/4 cup (25 grams) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or two tablespoons freshly-brewed espresso)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of fine sea salt
5 teaspoons (12 grams) cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

In a heavy-bottomed large pan, whisk sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and heavy cream until combined. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Take off heat and add the finely-chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until the chocolate melts and the cocoa powder is completely dissolved.

Mix cornstarch and cold water in a bowl with a fork until completely dissolved, and add to the ice cream base. Whisk until combined.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, scraping the sides and the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, until thickened, for 8-10 minutes.

Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside, uncovered, to cool for half an hour. Don’t worry if a skin forms on top. When the bowl is cool enough to handle, cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly–preferably overnight–in the refrigerator.

Before transferring the chilled ice cream to the freezer, stir or whisk to dissolve the skin on top and scrape into a container. Cover with plastic, this time pressing the wrap against the ice cream to create an airtight seal; put the lid on (or cover with an additional layer of plastic wrap) and freeze until firm enough to scoop.

Doesn’t this look mouthwateringly delicious? Would be a slam dunk for a dinner party. Thank you so much, Cenk!

P.S. Last week: How to make the best egg sandwich.

(Photos by Cenk from Cafe Fernando. Thanks to Shoko for her help with this series)

  1. Every week-end I used to pay a fast visit this site, because I’d like enjoyment, because this web site conations certainly fussy material.
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  2. I love ice cream too! I have some friends that want to go in with me on an ice cream machine. They love it just like I do.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Hi,

    Nice picture of Ice cream, Used Ice Machine for your comfort. Now a days without it any party and function can not end so it is most important, thanks a lot.

  6. Here’s another experience making fudge-y pudding! Added whipped cream on top. Tasted very chocoolatey and rich, but by no means ice cream.

  7. I thinks its a fentastic job!Reaaaaaaally its a good idea.Its looks like amazing.

  8. I was on a diet but then I saw your page. My friends and I are going to go get an ice cream machine later and make up some delicious home made vanilla.

  9. This looks like the richest, chocolatiest ice cream ever!

  10. wow. it’s really a good contribution to us guys not good at icecream, you know i did some cakes before but the taste it’s not good, then i quit, so if you have interesting, you can load to catier love

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  11. Hello!

    I tried your recipe yesterday and it turned out amazing! I substituted some 3/4 can of Dulce de Leche diluted in several spoons of hot milk and also the heavy cream with milk and butter. Thank you so much for sharing this :)


  12. OMG! This is porn to me. Sweet sweet porn ;) Once I found this, I had to make it but I didn’t have any cream so I just used milk and some old lindt dark chocolate, and it came out so well (and this was my first ever time making ice cream). Between my sister and I, we finished it in two days. Thank YOU!
    p.s i’m making another batch today with some old godiva ;)

  13. This was amazing. Seriously the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had. Thanks for the post!

  14. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post.I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

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  15. mmmmm…loooks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Yeah just made this and its more like a fudge. 8-10 minutes of cooking the base is WAY too long. I think like two minutes would have been better. Super bummed because I have a bunch of guests arriving soon :( But I will try again!!!

  17. It is so chocolate! SO much heaven! I love it! :)

  18. Wow, this looks so good, almost like chocolate frosting! YUM!

  19. I made this last night and it turned out like fudge, not ice-cream at all. A super tasty fudge, but no ice-cream for sure. I am sure it’s because of cooking the base too long, and I didn’t even cook it for the 8-10 minutes that the recipe calls for, I only cooked it for 5!!! All out of sweetened condensed milk now, so when I get more I will attempt this again and only cook the base for 2-3 minutes.

  20. Yummy! Thanks for sharing your recipe…now I’ve got something new this weekend! :)
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  21. Anonymous says...

    nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

  22. This is great. Definitely gonna try this out myself.

  23. Some may not have enjoyed this, but I thought it was heavenly! This coming from an ice-cream consumer much like yourself! So rich and creamy…I found your post when I followed a link from one you inspired at Sugar Rush. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Anonymous says...

    I hope this tastes as good as it looks because it appears to be amazingly awesome!
    Can’t wait to make…thank you!

  25. I just put it in the fridge, it tastes so good, i kept trying it throughout the process of making it although i did whisk it on the stove for too long, This was also very simple to make and i had everything already at home.

  26. made this for a dinner party and, like everyone else who tried it, i was disappointed at how un-ice-cream-like the finished product is. it’s tacky and gummy, like very cold frosting. interesting but still a major bummer!

  27. mmmm….mine is cooling right now. Should I even freeze this? it’s the richest chocolate pudding I’ve ever had and it’s DELICIOUS!

    Like TangerineGirl thought, it didn’t take near 8 mins to thicken. Maybe 3 mins? And it even started to burn on the edge! luckily most of the burny clumps are not in the pudding.

    Thanks for this recipe!!

  28. This picture is mesmerizing I was going to make it right now but no heavy cream so I’m on my way to the store one thing cornstarch shouldn’t take 8 minutes to do its thing especially the amount used and I’m going to use semi sweet chocolate bittersweet is to much I can’t wait to make it!

  29. Anonymous says...

    Made this today…..definitely not ice cream, more like the consistency of truffles. Very rich, but it does not melt like ice cream should!

  30. Anonymous says...

    Oh MAN. That looks delicious. Looking at the recipe, though, it looks like a frozen rich chocolate pudding. Accurate? (Not that there would be anything wrong with that… that sounds insanely delicious… but it might account for it not fully melting for the previous poster, just softening. The sweetened condensed mixture may also have cooked too long.)

  31. Anonymous says...

    I made this last night, I must have done something wrong, it tasted amazing but it turned out more like fudge, I let some sit in a bowl when done and it never melted just got soft.

  32. Elga B says...

    I was dreaaming of this since last week and just cooked it today.. Unfortunately I will have to wait until it’s freezing to tell you how did it work for me. So anxious! In Brazil we don’t have “heavy milk” so I used milk with extra butter, hope it doesn’t change much. This recipe is closely related to our simplest dessert recipe, by the way, “brigadeiro”… maybe you should try it someday…

  33. After reading this I have to ask someone to try this for me.I just love chocolate.Its chocolatey

  34. Made a batch this weekend, and it did not turn out as ice-creamy as i wanted. more like super thick, super rich chocolate pudding.
    don’t know if cooking the mixture for less time would help?
    still delish, though– we added some mashed raspberries to offset the intensity of the chocolate.

  35. I’ll have to try it soon, I don’t care how it tastes, my son will eat it anyway, but it LOOKS so delicious

  36. Agree with the fudgy comments. It was not ice cream. Mine tasted like truffles – a little goes a long way. I would not make this again.

  37. Oh man, this looks like perfection. I’m totally making that egg sandwich for lunch today by the way. Can’t wait to see more food!

  38. This looks wonderful, so incredibly rich! Almost looks like chocolate frosting, wow! :)

  39. Anonymous says...

    i made this yesterday as well and had the same problem as everybody else….it tastes delicious! but it’s more like a fudgy consistency. how do you make it more like ice cream??

  40. I also made this last night (too good looking to pass up!) and it came out fudge-like and does not melt or give. I followed the recipe precisely, and can only guess that maybe cooking the base for 8 minutes was a bit too long? The good news is it tastes wonderful…

  41. Anonymous says...

    I made this yesterday and had the same problem as fiendbyname. As far as a frozen fudge or ganache-type thing goes, it’s okay, but there was nothing “ice cream” at all about it. I made precise measurements (by weight) and followed the instructions to the letter. Not sure what I should have done differently …

  42. I have a batch of this in the freezer now…So excited to see how it turns out. Will be photographing it (and tasting!) tomorrow so I will let you know.

  43. Don’t get me wrong the IC photos look awesome and it’s an interesting idea not to use an IC machine….I’d be willing to try it to see how it turns out! Cenk’s are great, so I’m sure this will turn out as well!

  44. I made this last night and today it is finally ready to eat. Problem is, it’s more of a chilled fudge than it is ice cream. I can pick up chunks of it with my fingers without ice cream melting onto them. What should I do differently?

  45. Oh wow! That looks like a cross between a ganache and an ice cream. I MUST try this. Hope I pull it off. Thanks!

  46. This one is truly delicious! I have found great and extreme chocolate ice cream from this source. It’s really looking one of great experienced source about massive taste.

  47. love the fact that it doesn’t require an ice cream maker. must have this…now!

  48. This looks so tasty….yummmmm

  49. Alina says...

    This looks delicious. I’ll have to try it in March (when I take a break from going vegan).

  50. Looks amazing. I’ve challenged myself to baking bread this week but next week I might try this ice cream!

  51. I love Chocolate Ice Cream and that certainly looks delicious!

  52. This looks ridiculously delicious. It’s going immediately on my weekend to-do list.

  53. Yes, ok, this is a must. Thank you for sharing.

  54. wow, this might just be my favorite series of yours to date! but really i just love your whole blog :)

  55. LOVE Jeni’s Ice Cream! I just moved from Columbus to Chicago and I’m going through some serious withdrawl

  56. I’m so hungry right now! :-)

  57. Cenk is such an inspiration! He found his great blog, became a full time blogger and now he’s writing his own cook book! Way to go, Cenk!!

  58. Anonymous says...

    So glad to see Jeni inspired this recipe! Her ice cream is life changing :) Thankfully, I live in Columbus and can have it whenever I want!

  59. Oh my gosh! This looks divine! I love chocolate….it’s my ultimate weakness. I had chocolate lava cakes last night. I hope I don’t get too big in my last stretch of pregnancy otherwise both me and baby will both be big together! Haha.


  60. This might just me worth breaking my diet for… yiiiikkeesss…. *drool*

  61. This looks and sounds amazing…any chance there is a lactose-free version? [Sigh] I guess I’ll just have to drool at the pictures…

  62. I’ve gone 30 years without an ice cream maker and don’t see myself buying one any time soon with this recipe! Can’t wait to try it this weekend. Thanks!

  63. My mouth is watering as I comment! I’m looking forward to trying out this fantastic recipe soon! Thanks!

  64. Yikes that looks so good Jo!

    mmm….ice cream….me want!xxx

  65. oh noooooo!!!!! i gave up sweets for Lent! :(

  66. Delicious AND simple. Perfect.


  67. OH DEAR LORD! The amount of excitement that just erupted inside of me is just too much to handle! I…am a chocolate FIEND! Thank you for all of your GLORIOUS ideas and creations!

    xx -b.

  68. This looks simply delectable!! Yum!

  69. It looks so creamy that it appears to be frosting. Yum! I love that you don’t need an ice cream maker and that the ingredients cut down on ice crystals. Ice crystal ruin everything!

  70. That looks so yummy. I am about to raid my pantry for some chocolate.

  71. H* says...

    oh! this looks delicious! But let me tell you… there’s is an small Gelatteria near Vatican City, and there is the best ice cream in the whole world.

    I’ve lived in London, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Seville, NY, Mexico D.F.,Madrid and Barcelona and nothing I’ve tasted in this cities compares to that ice-cream… I lived for 3 months in Rome and I gained a few pounds thanks to it!!!!

    The Nutella Gelatto in there is… DELICIOUS!

    Kisses from Spain!

  72. My mouth is watering and it’s only 10am. This can’t be good…. ;)

  73. Ok this looks chocolatey-er than regular chocolate!! Amazing!

    I also wanted to comment on your post about weaning-related depression. Wow. Thank you Miss Joanna for such a lovely post. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and seasonal depression at times, for much of my adult life, it always always so helpful to know others have had similar experiences.

    I feel like I came late to the Cup of Jo party (just this past year) but I am so glad to have found you! xo

  74. I want to swim in that!

  75. VERY mouthwatering!!! That looks too decadent and rich for words. The fact that you don’t even need an ice cream maker is pretty cool!



  76. diet just went out the window. stove is broken, so no homemade goodness, but DQ’s got my back. headed there now…at 10am.

  77. this look so good…i can’t wait to try! my mouth is literally watering!

  78. yumm! i love chocolate Ice Cream! Cant wait to make this.

  79. I am so over food blogs and pictures of food everywhere, but am really loving this series – you’re fantastic at finding the awesome on an internet full of meh.

    Loved last week’s, will try this as soon as I’m home next week.

    Thanks, Joanna!

  80. Anonymous says...

    I absolutely HAD to leave a comment to thank you for putting this recipe up-it sounds SO simple to make and I am good chocolate ice-deprived. :) I intend to try it asap.

    I also tried out the cheese omelette recipe from a few days ago and that was awesome too!! Best of all, these meet my cravings within my student budget!!:D


  81. I wish my husband liked chocolate ice cream or just chocolate in general… Just looking at the photograph is making me weak in knees and giddy like a school girl. Yum.

  82. Hahha, I love this post and your proclamation of love for ice cream. Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it!

  83. looks so amazing! love the pictures and i might need to go find myself some chocolate ice cream at 7:30am now.

  84. emily says...

    OH MY GOODNESS! That looks like heaven!

  85. Looks so yummy!
    Suddenly gave me a craving for icecreame!


  86. Amazing! Will definitely try :) By the way, The Cafe Fernando links didn’t work for me, not sure if it’s just me or a bad link. Just wanted to let you know. I’m loving this series!

  87. You’ve done it again Jo! This has moved to the top of the ‘recipes to try out immediately, once the chocolate cake in the fridge is gone’ list.

    My only question–if I make it, will that beautiful spoon appear in my kitchen?

  88. I love that Cenk is inspired by Jeni’s! Some of the best ice cream evah.

  89. mmm, wonder if you can omit the chocolate for some good old vanilla icecream? yum.

  90. Wow! Definitely going to try this one!

  91. Holy. Moly. I love chocolate. I love it. Chocolate anything. Chocolate everything! And chocolate ice cream? I will devour a pint like it’s nobody’s business in one sitting. Making the stuff though? I am a bit dubious of my own skill, but this sounds like an activity worth trying if only to taste the best chocolate ice cream ever, once!
    I am also a huge fan of dark chocolate and from that picture it looks seeeeeriously dark :) mmmm…love it!

  92. oh. my. word. Is that a wee bowl of heaven I see?! Why, yes it is :) Too bad my kid can’t have dairy, you can only substitute so much for dairy and it’s NEVER the same! :) May have to make this when he’s asleep…

  93. this could not look any more delicious joanne… I am just melting! thanks for the share

  94. OK, yum.

  95. Wait, what? Ice cream without an ice cream maker? I am SO in!

  96. This really sounds like the best.

  97. Yeah, I’d eat that.

  98. you had me at “you don’t need an ice cream maker.” this looks amazing!

  99. My god, this looks amazing! So happy you found Cenk also, he’s a friend of the family and I’m so happy to see him churning out the good stuff like this!

  100. Oh my goodness, I want some right now…hahah…How fantastic that you don’t need an ice cream maker to make them. Fantastic!!! Thanks and wish you both a lovely day. xo

  101. locks mouthwatering! must try this soon :)

  102. Why fight it. (I’m off to the grocery store.)