Make Ahead

Dark Chocolate-Cardamom Ice Cream

January 29, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

My sister and I created this one afternoon, out of our mutual mania for cardamom and chocolate. It's deeply rich with a hint of spice. One unique detail is the technique of roasting and caramelizing some of the sugar and crushed cardamom pods together in the pan, prior to steeping in the ice cream mixture. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

(original post here: —claibornem

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cardamom pods
  • 1/3 cup sugar (preferably natural evaporated cane juice)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (preferably natural evaporated cane juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 60%
  1. Crush cardamom pods, either with a mortar and pestle, a rolling pin, or by pulsing very briefly in a food processor. The idea is not to pulverize them, but to break up the pods and release the seeds. In a heavy-bottomed pot that will be just large enough to hold the milk and cream, place the cardamom and 2 Tablespoons sugar, and heat over medium-high while stirring occasionally. Watch carefully until sugar begins to melt. Turn down the heat if caramel seems to be bubbling rapidly. As soon as sugar begins to darken a little bit, pour in milk and cream–the sugar will seize and harden, but that's OK. Heat the milk mixture slowly, stirring to loosen caramel, until liquid begins to simmer. Throw in your pinch of salt.
  2. # Meanwhile, have the chocolate ready in a large bowl with a fine mesh strainer set over it (line with cheesecloth if need be). Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup sugar into the egg yolks. Once milk has begun to simmer, lower heat and begin whisking milk, one spoonful at a time, into yolks. Do this until about half of the milk mixture is incorporated. Next, transfer yolk mixture into the pot with the milk, and whisk to combine. Over low heat cook this mixture, not even simmering, whisking the whole time–for about 5 minutes. You want the mixture to thicken slightly and the cardamom to steep for a bit longer.
  3. # When mixture has thickened enough to coat a spoon, carefully pour it into the strainer, over chocolate, and let that sit for a few minutes (discard solids in strainer). Then, with a clean whisk, stir until smooth. Chill the ice cream mixture in the fridge several hours, until quite cold. You can place the bowl over a larger bowl with ice in the bottom, to speed up chilling and get to your ice cream sooner. Whisk it occasionally so a skin doesn't form on top. Follow the instructions specified by the manufacturer of your ice cream maker; it generally takes about 20-25 minutes of spinning for my ice cream to thicken, plus a bit longer in the freezer to firm it up.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    kamila Zmrzla Otcasek
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4 Reviews

Elizabeth H. July 12, 2020
Wow! This is a great recipe. I used Guittard Cocoa Rouge unsweetened cocoa powder. Amazing flavor, good texture.
Irene I. October 17, 2018
Seriously the BEST ice cream ever. It has a gelato texture. Perfect balance of cardamom too.
kamila Z. February 1, 2011
this is the best ice cream ever...not to be shared with anyone!!!
madeley January 29, 2011
This recipe is very well document for novices like me! Love the idea of cardamon in ice-cream...can't wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing.