Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Quinn and her family have been homesteading in Ohio for over 15 years, many of which she spent sharing their experiences and encouraging other homesteaders at Reformation Acres until 2018. She is the co-founder of the SmartSteader homestead management app and Executive Assistant for Homesteaders of America.


Besides raising their main crop of 8 children, Quill Haven Farm revolves around the Queen of the Homestead, the family milk cow. In addition to cheesemaking and other home dairy, the cow also provides skim milk to fatten a few hogs every year, raise up a beef calf, supplement the feed for their flock of laying hens & broilers, and beautiful compost for their 14,000 square feet of organic gardens.

Last year, I was a homestead mama on a mission! I decided that if I have all this gloriously thick, rich cream it deserved the best ice cream recipes to honor its true value. Vanilla ice cream was pretty easy to master, though there are some tricks to getting it perfect… but a really good chocolate ice cream recipe proved to be much more elusive. When I’m in recipe development mode, it is with an obsession to make it the best recipe possible. Passible isn’t good enough. If one person complains, I keep going till everyone is happy. It turns out we’re pretty picky about our chocolate ice cream and, suffice it to say, we ate a LOT of ice cream last summer! 
One of my goals for a chocolate ice cream recipe (besides flavor and a creamy texture) was that I wouldn’t have to cook the custard. After all, I’ve got clean raw milk & super fresh eggs so if I can keep my ice cream as natural and pure as possible, dessert just turned into a guilt-free powerhouse of protein.
What Type of Chocolate Is Best? 
I tried countless variations of homemade chocolate ice cream using cocoa powder and chocolate, singly or in combination. The texture with ice cream using only cocoa powder was too gritty and left a dry-ish feeling on the tongue. Chocolate alone was exceedingly rich… and riddled with tiny flecks of chocolate after it cooled when the milk & cream were mixed in. In combination, the cocoa powder and chocolate balanced each other out beautifully but it took even longer to find a method that allowed me to bypass the laborious process of tempering eggs and cooking the custard to fully melt the chocolate. Warming the chocolate and cream together works perfectly and the eggs can simply be whisked in when the mixture is cool enough not to cook them. 
I used regular cocoa powder and my favorite 70% dark chocolate chips.  If you were to adjust the recipe for cacao or a lighter or darker chocolate you may find you need to increase or decrease the amount of sugar in the recipe. My Cuisinart ice cream maker prepares two quarts and this recipe comes up a little short on that so you can get away with a little more sugar for a two-quart load. 
Avoid Ice in Your Ice Cream
It turns out that the process of making your ice cream has a lot to do with how quickly it turns icy. Usually, this isn’t a big problem for us. With 9 of us in the family, we tend to polish off a quart or two in as many sittings. But I was still surprised at how quickly it got icy. Ice in the ice cream not only changes the texture but (literally) waters down the flavor. Chilling the custard before churning the ice cream means it spends less time freezing in the machine all the while incorporating air where ice will form. Also, don’t focus so much on the time the ice cream is in the machine. The final temperature is more important so be sure to only churn the ice cream until it reaches 21F to minimize the amount of time it takes to finish freezing in the freezer. 
Raw Eggs in Ice Cream? 
Now, before I share the recipe I do want to leave you with the caveat that store eggs are not created equal to farm-fresh ones. My eggs were harvested in the last couple of days and never washed, certainly never doused in a chemical bath to wash off the protective bloom and open the pores to let bacteria in. So I feel confident in serving uncooked eggs to my family but would never try this method with purchased eggs. 
If washed eggs are your only source, I would suggest simply whisking in the eggs at the same point in the recipe then reheat the mixture over the double boiler until it reaches 160F. (According to eggsafety.org Starting from a cooler temperature and warming the eggs up with the mixture should help you avoid tempering and potentially cooking bits of egg you have to strain out later. I haven’t tested it with this recipe but it works perfectly for my temper-free homemade chocolate pudding.
Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe
Yield: 2 quarts
Time: 1 day
8 ounces dark chocolate
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 cups cream
2 cups milk
1 ¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon vanilla
In a double boiler melt the chocolate with cocoa powder, cream, and milk. Whisk it constantly until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth. If you add the cold liquid to the melted chocolate it will seize the chocolate so it must be warmed together. Keep an eye on it though because if you heat it up too much the milk will no longer be raw. Remove the pan from the burner and cool it down to about room temperature. You want it to be cool enough that it won’t cook the egg yolks. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar, salt, & vanilla. Slowly whisk it into the chocolate mixture. Chill the custard overnight or until it is to 40F. Prepare in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions until it reaches 21F. Transfer to a container, removing as many air pockets as possible for several hours. 


Please join us by sharing, continuing the conversation below, and connecting with Quinn at the following:






MORE Stories

Homestead Ingenuity

I began my homesteading journey from the perspective of a Nutritional Therapist, closet herbalist, and beekeeper. This mentally gave me a few barriers to diving into the conventionally accepted tools for animal health such as antibiotics, injectable vitamins, generic minerals and mass produced bagged feeds…

Read More
yellow spring butter


Anyone else obsessed and basically keeping a cow or three for just the butter? I make a lot of butter. In the spring when the cattle are eating lush, fast growing forage it’s the most rich- nutrient dense- gold there is. But winter butter is nothing to sneeze at either. In fact, it’s actually preferable for pastry.

Read More

Join In The Conversation

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A Patchwork of Homestead Mamas

An inspiring & encouraging community of Homestead Mamas. For growers, hunters, foragers, & explorers; with little hands & little hearts alongside.

Join Our Community