The Darkest Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

An ice cream for the most hardcore chocolate lover: The person who likes their chocolate dark, bittersweet, and fruity.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using high quality chocolate and cocoa powder—and lots of both—makes for an intensely dark ice cream with the fruity complexity of a chocolate bar.
  • Steeping cocoa nibs into the dairy noticeably amps up bittersweet and tart chocolate flavors.
  • Combining loads of chocolate with an all-milk dairy base makes for a balanced ice cream that's rich and fudgy but not overwhelmingly thick.

Recipe Facts



Active: 60 mins
Total: 8 hrs
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 ounces (about 6 tablespoons) cocoa nibs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) best quality cocoa powder, such as Valrhona or Pernigotti
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 8 ounces best quality dark chocolate, about 70% cocoa solids, such as Valrhona, Madecasse, Cacao Barry, or Callebaut
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste


  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in cocoa nibs, cover, and let steep for 2 hours.

  2. In a clean heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together sugar and cocoa powder until no large lumps of cocoa remain. Then whisk in egg yolks until thoroughly combined. (Whisking in a different order will lead to a clumpy mess.)

  3. Strain milk into yolk mixture, pressing on cocoa nibs to squeeze out all possible dairy, then whisk dairy to combine. Set pan over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until custard reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer. Custard should coat the back of a spoon and a finger swiped across it should leave a clean line.

  4. Add chocolate and stir until thoroughly melted. Strain into a container or bowl, add salt, and chill in refrigerator or ice bath until base cools to 40°F. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, then serve right away as soft serve or transfer to an airtight container to harden in freezer for 3 to 4 hours before scooping.

Special equipment

ice cream maker

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