Naked Chocolate Ice Cream for Lovers

By drbabs
July 24, 2010

Author Notes: I originally submitted this to the "in the raw" contest and then decided to take the "in the raw" theme in a slightly different direction. This ice cream is naked chocolate-- for the chocoholic, for the person who dreams of chocolate, only orders chocolate desserts, celebrates every occasion with chocolate. It is decadent, rich, dark, thick and sexy. The technique of using cornstarch as a thickener is adapted from David Lebovitz, and results in an ice cream that is all about the ingredients. So it goes without saying that you need your best chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla. The base of this is a really delicious chocolate pudding. I bought an ice cream maker a couple of summers ago, and found David Lebovitz's recipe for Fleur de Lait ice cream in The Perfect Scoop. He used cornstarch, so I tried it with this chocolate ice cream and everyone loved it. You can really taste the chocolate, cocoa and even the vanilla as if there are exclamation points around them. I've also used this technique to make a salted caramel ice cream, and it's quite wonderful.
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Naked chocolate ice cream. Share it with someone you love.

Food52 Review: WHO: drbabs is a longtime Food52-er from Long Island.
WHAT: The silkiest, most luscious chocolate ice cream you'll ever make.
HOW: Make a custard base using cornstarch as a thickener, then freeze.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you're a chocolate-lover, then you've found your soul mate. And we love the technique that comes along with the recipe -- using cornstarch as a thickener for an ice cream base yields a product, as drbabs says, that is all about the ingredients.
The Editors

Serves: 2 chocolate loving lovers

  • 3 cups Half and Half, divided (or you can use 1.5 cups of heavy cream and 1.5 cups of whole milk)
  • 3/4 cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered espresso
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons creme de cacao or liqueur of your choice
  1. In a large saucepan heat 2 cups of half and half, cocoa, sugar, salt, and espresso, stirring so that all ingredients are completely blended.
  2. Whisk cornstarch into remaining half and half until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Stir this into chocolate mixture. Cook on medium-medium high heat, stirring constantly until the base begins to boil and becomes noticeably thicker.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, chopped chocolate and liqueur, stirring until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is very smooth. Cover with wax paper, pressing down so skin doesn't form, and chill till cold.
  4. Pour (scoop out with small spatula--it's thick) custard into ice cream freezer and process according to manufacturer's directions. Store in freezer if not using right away.
  5. Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving if you can wait that long.

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Reviews (42) Questions (1)


Jasser A. August 22, 2016
My cocoa didn't mix in well. What brand do you suggest? I ended up with chunks of cocoa powder.
Author Comment
drbabs August 22, 2016
Oh, I'm so sorry. Was it kind of chunky when you put it in? Sometimes cocoa powder has to be sifted or it all clumps together. I usually use Penzey high fat or Hershey dark chocolate cocoa powders.<br />
Donna R. July 26, 2014
Hi Barbara, what could you use instead of the creme de cacao or liqueur that non alcoholic?
Author Comment
drbabs July 26, 2014
Hi Donna. You can just leave it out. I use alcohol to try and make it freeze less hard, but you can just take it out of the freezer for a few mutes before serving it. (In a pinch, I've run the container in the microwave for about 10 seconds if it's too hard to serve also.)
Joan July 12, 2014
I'm getting the ingredients together to try this today!
PRST June 3, 2013
Note to self: Fleur de lait ice cream needs cream!! What was I thinking???? I think Barbara's recipe above worked with whole milk due to the cocoa and chocolate.
Author Comment
drbabs June 3, 2013
Yes, the cocoa and chocolate probably add the fat that's missing from the milk alone. Don't fret-- I've done that, too, when we were craving ice cream and we only had milk in the house. Stir some mix-ins (nuts, chocolate chips, m&ms, pretzels?), and it will be ok.
PRST June 3, 2013
Barbara, I LOVE the recipe! I am about to put David's Fleur de Lait ice cream in my ice cream maker- made entirely with whole milk. I'll let you know how that turns out. I did add some Tuaca liquor for fear that it might turn out icy.... Not my usual style to delete cream/half and half from a recipe but thought it was worth a try.