French-Style Double Chocolate Ice Cream
Luscious French-style double chocolate ice cream relies on a custard base to get the creamiest result. And it’s easier to make at home than you might think!
So let’s dispense with an uncomfortable truth right up front – in general, I don’t really love chocolate ice cream. I love chocolate. I love ice cream. Yet somehow, when they’re combined, the whole is less than the sum of the parts for me.
In fact, chocolate ice cream and cheesecake are pretty much the only two desserts I typically pass up. Bizarre, no? My only defense is that I never claimed to be normal. 🙂
I mean, what kind of a monster stares at this scoop and says, “no thank you”???
The all-too-predictable counterpoint is that my husband ABSOLUTELY ADORES chocolate ice cream. For him, chocolate is king, ice cream is queen, and the combination truly does reign over all other desserts. Even better if it’s double chocolate ice cream. So, when an occasion arises to specifically celebrate my hubby, you know this is the first thing I think of.
In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit that these photos are of a batch of double chocolate ice cream I made for Father’s Day this year – nearly two months ago. Moving this summer really kicked my butt. I am so comically behind in terms of what I wanted to have made and shared on the blog by this point in the summer. Le sigh.
But, at least this ridiculously good ice cream is going up in time for you to make and enjoy it before our kitchens give way to all pumpkin, all the time. Late August .. the dog days of summer, as my Mom would say. The perfect time for some luscious homemade ice cream!
What is “French-Style” Ice Cream?
So, you might ask, what makes ice cream “French-style”? Essentially, French ice cream uses eggs to produce a custard base, in contrast to its slightly lighter relative, American or Philadelphia-style ice cream. The base of a Philadephia-style ice cream has no eggs – only milk, cream, and sugar.
The egg custard takes a few additional steps to prepare, but the result typically is more rich, creamy, and smooth than its American counterpart.
Curious? This article from The Kitchn briefly outlines the differences between French- and American-style ice creams and links to a few more starter recipes. And just for fun, Serious Eats’ illustrated tour of ice creams around the world is a good way to while away a few minutes!
So, while not the recipe to necessarily try when you’re in a big hurry (though is homemade ice cream ever what you make in a hurry?) … this is hard to surpass for a knock-their-socks-off, “I-can’t-believe-you-made-this-from-scratch!!” treat.
French-Style Double Chocolate Ice Cream – Tips + Tricks
A few tips for making this yourself at home:
- You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe. This is the one I use, and this is, to my knowledge, the most highly-rated stand-alone version! If you’d prefer a no-churn recipe, might I suggest no-churn s’mores ice cream? You can hardly go wrong with that!
- For the richest flavor, use the highest-quality chocolate you can find and afford. I typically buy Dutch cocoa powder here. I was able to easily find Cote d’Or chocolate bars when we lived in Belgium, but now I’m on the prowl for a sub – Valrhona and Callebaut are both very reputable brands, and I often use Ghirardelli chips in other baked goods, so I suspect they would also be reliable!
- Feel free to add any mix-ins you like! Chocolate chips, sprinkles, cookies, marshmallows, the sky’s the limit! I don’t only because my husband actually prefers it plain! Just creamy rich chocolate for that man!
- Don’t be afraid of tempering the eggs! If you don’t rush and follow the instructions step-by-step, it will be easy and you will feel so accomplished when you get that beautiful, thick custard!
- Once you do get that beautiful custard, don’t skip the step of straining it! No matter how carefully you cooked it, there will undoubtedly be little bits of cooked egg, which you definitely do not want in your finished ice cream! Also do yourself a favor and use a large strainer – I’ve tried it with small ones and you wind up needing to do it in several batches. Not ideal.
- You can store your ice cream in literally any freezer-safe container! I do own a couple of these special ice cream containers, which are great, but as you can see I also sometimes store ice cream in loaf pans and even springform pans. Just tightly wrap the container in plastic wrap, and use a rubber band to secure the top! Simple and easy!
- If you are an ice cream aficionado, I do highly recommend investing in a quality ice cream scoop. We bought this one about five years ago and LOVE it. It actually conducts heat from your hand to the scoop to help soften the ice cream as you serve! The *only* drawback is that it’s not dishwasher-safe.
If you try this double chocolate ice cream or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
French Style Double Chocolate Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream divided
- 3 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve the cocoa. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth, then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Transfer this mixture to a medium-large mixing bowl, and set a large fine mesh strainer over the top.
- In the same saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. When the milk mixture is warm, slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. (This is tempering the eggs.) Then, pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you go, until it thickens into a custard and coats the spatula. If you have an instant-read thermometer, it should read 170-175° F at this point.
- Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate-cream mixture that you previously set aside. Add vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (see recipe note 1). When cold, freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
- I usually allow the chocolate-cream mixture to chill in the refrigerator overnight before churning it into ice cream. If you want to chill it faster, an alternative is to place the bowl over an ice bath and stir frequently.
- If, after chilling, the chocolate-cream mixture is too thick to pour easily into your ice cream maker, whisk vigorously to thin it out.
- This recipe yields about 1 quart of ice cream; exact amounts will vary based on your ice cream maker and length of time churning. Nutrition data is only an estimate and is based on servings of approximately 1/2 cup by volume.
- Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop (which was newly revised in 2018!)
34 Comments on “French-Style Double Chocolate Ice Cream”
I made this today and it is absolutely the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had. I can’t believe I made this at home!
So glad I tried this recipe. I did add an extra egg yolk, which gave me a thicker consistency. I love it!
Is it okay to make this without an ice cream maker machine?
Thank you 😊
This is the best chocolate ice cream I have ever made. I ended up losing the recipe for a few years, and refused to make other chocolate ice cream recipes because they are not as good as this one. I finally found this recipe, and will for sure make it again and again.
I have made this recipe multiple times and it always get rave reviews. Such a rich smooth chocolate flavor…definitely a favorite!
The best ice cream i’ve ever tasted.
This is probably one of the easiest gourmet ice creams I’ve ever made. I love that it is the base for Chocolate Mousse because so many think Chocolate Mousse is hard. So simple!!! My husband and I were sampling while the mixture was starting to freeze in the ice cream maker.
Oh, the only thing I changed was the cocoa powder. I used Valrhona cocoa powder instead of Dutch Process – which is exquisite of itself, let alone in this recipe. It can be purchased through Amazon, if not available locally.
OMG!!!! Nuff said.
Made this recipe today- followed the recipe to a tee and it is delicious!!! This will be my go too chocolate ice cream recipe. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!!
So happy to hear it was a hit, Jenn!
This is a GREAT recipe. It is just like Baskin Robins Double fudge chocolate – my favorite. This will be my “go to” chocolate ice cream recipe.
Yay! So happy to hear it, Susan – thank you for sharing this!
Made this ice cream in my newly bought KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. This has become the new household favorite ice cream!! It is decadent and is better than all store bought chocolate ice creams I’ve bought over the years. Followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfectly. Thanks so much for the recipe this is my go-to now!
The best chocolate ice cream I’ve made. So creamy, smooth, and delicious!
This was my first custard base ice cream and it put all others to shame. Seriously, so good!
That’s how we feel about it, too! So glad you enjoyed it, and so grateful for you taking the time to leave a review. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe and good information. It’s really good and I would like to make this.
I made this 10 🌟 ice cream using this recipe it’s absolutely delicious!!! Thank You very much!
So happy to hear that you like it, Ray! And thank you for taking the time to leave this nice review!
Happy 4th of July, 2019. I have a question – can I double your recipe for my larger ice cream maker?
Thank you, Kathi
Hi Kathi, happy Fourth to you! As long as your ice cream maker is large enough it should be no problem at all to double the recipe! Enjoy!!
Just a thanks for the article. I finally got around to doing it and I think it is going to come out primo. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Thanks, John, glad you enjoyed it!
this looks so good!! I love chocolate ice cream, and homemade is even better. I prefer the custard base as well, I just find its so much creamier.
I’m the same way with cupackes…while I’m a hard core chocoholic, I MUCH prefer vanilla cupcakes/cake for some reason. I can’t explain it, it’s strange. But I do like chocolate ice cream more than vanilla, so I’m only somewhat weird haha
I need to try this recipe, bet it’d be great with peanut butter cups in it, too (PB & choc is my favourite ice cream)! Delish!
Hi Dana! Haha, that is funny – to each his/her own! I actually think we’d make great friends here – all the vanilla cupcakes for you, all the vanilla ice cream for me!! 🙂 You’re right, the custard base just can’t be beat. And OMG I think even I could get behind chocolate ice cream with PB cups – sounds SO good!
Reading through this, I was going to suggest “The Perfect Scoop” and then saw you were ahead of me, and was super excited to see it’s been re-released, I will have to get a copy.
I find custard ice cream to be a bit challenging to get right, to get the eggs cooked to the right temp but no lumps. But it’s so worth it – it tastes so much better, and I find that I am satisfied with a much smaller portion.
Hi friend! Right? It’s such a great ice cream reference. And don’t you just want to live vicariously through David Lebovitz!?
That’s a great point about being satisfied with a smaller portion! Do you normally strain the custard? I rarely manage to get it without lumps, no matter how careful I am, but a little straining makes that all disappear, haha! 🙂
I recently made chocolate ice cream, and I’ve realized that I’m not a huge fan either. I never even thought that if given a choice, I rarerly opt for it. On the other hand, when combined with other flavors (like coffee, caramel, or nuts), chocolate ice cream has more chances to be choosen. Anyway, this ice cream looks utterly luscious snd delicious, and I’d certainly grab a scoop or five 🙂
I can understand the chocolate ice-cream argument, there is something rather different about it. However, this does look perfectly delectable. Perfectly creamy and moreish, a real treat.
Girl I’m so with you… I am not a huge ice cream fan in general. Actually, I could live without ice cream… but not cheese! But when I DO have the rare craving. THIS is exactly the ice cream I DO want! Because you’re right – I you CAN’T say no to that scoop!!
Ohhhh my goodness. Monica! This ice cream is perfection. It’s so smooth, creamy, and I love how easy it is to throw together. I need this on the reg.
That looks like the perfect chocolate ice cream. Best wIt’s a waffle cone.
I agree with your husband, chocolate ice cream is the best! I confess I’ve never made any ice cream that started with a custard base, probably why mine isn’t so creamy! I’m definitely going to give this a try!