End All, Be All

“Just a few more tweaks” should be my mantra; Rarely able to stick to a recipe as written, either from a trusted resource or even my own pen, it’s near impossible for me to cook the same dish twice without throwing in something new.  It must be that perfectionist streak that pops up from time to time, compelling me to create an even better recipe, no matter how well loved the original is.  There are many worse compulsions to have, indeed, and I’m not complaining about this quirk of mine, especially when it often leads in such delicious directions.  However, when I finally stumble upon something so good that I feel entirely content with the ingredients, directions, and results, I stop and take notice; This has got to be one serious home run-sort a dish.

And in this case, it certainly is. Basic though it may appear on the surface, this humble chocolate ice cream will forever be my answer to a frozen cacao confection. Ultra rich, but not cloyingly so, this is no demure cocoa powder incarnation, but a full-bodied, decadent iced custard. Tiny shards of chocolate stracciatella flow through the smooth mahogany brown base, adding a quiet crunch to each creamy bite. In other words, it’s perfect. Or as close to perfect as I may ever come, and this recipe is one of the few that I have listed as “untouchable.” As in, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.”

My only dismay is how long I’ve kept this gem under wraps, as I sat on this lovely recipe for nearly a whole year before realizing that I never felt the need to change it once, no matter how many repeat performances it made in the kitchen. Dubious about making such big proclamations about plain old chocolate ice cream, I curbed my enthusiasm, but really, it’s so much more when it’s done right. Originally formulated to serve at a catered affair through Health in a Hurry, it does make one huge batch. Fear not; it can very easily and painlessly be reduced to 1/3, which will make it small enough to churn in most ice cream machines.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Adapted from The Vegan Scoop

3/4 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
6 Tablespoons Arrowroot
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
9 Cups Coconut Milk
1 1/2 Cups Light Agave Nectar
1 1/2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Stracciatella:

1 1/2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

In a large sauce pan, combine the cocoa powder, arrowroot, coffee powder, salt, and cinnamon, distributing the dry ingredients evenly throughout. Pour in just about 1 cup of the coconut milk, and whisk vigorously to form a thick paste, making sure to moisten all of the dry goods and get out any lumps. Once smooth and homogeneous, go ahead and add in the remaining coconut milk, along with the agave. Turn on the stove to medium head, and whisk occasionally as it comes up to temperature. When bubbles begin forming around the edges of the liquid, add in the chocolate chips, and just let the mixture sit for 2 minutes, to allow the chocolate to begin melting.

Switch over to a wide spatula, and stir gently, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, to make sure that nothing sticks and that the chocolate fully melts. Once the mixture comes up to a full boil, cook for just a minute or two longer, and as long as there are no more whole chocolate chips remaining, turn off the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract, and let cool completely before moving it into the refrigerator to chill. Be patient; a vat of ice cream base this size can take a long time to sufficiently come down in temperature.

Once fully chilled, churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have a smaller ice cream maker like me, you will need to churn it in batches.

When the ice cream is about 5 minutes away from finishing in the machine, melt down the chocolate chips, and slowly drizzle the liquid chocolate in a thin stream directly into the ice cream machine. It will freeze instantly on the surface of the ice cream, and the turning paddle will break it up into nice little chips.

Transfer the ice cream into an air-tight container, and store in the freezer. Let solidify in the freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.

Makes About 3 Quarts

Printable Recipe

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65 thoughts on “End All, Be All

  1. Oh man, I must try this! I see pouring the melted chocolate in at the last minute is the secret to getting those perfectly thin pieces of crackly chocolate.

  2. Hannah, I take your opinion quite seriously in matters such as these! We have guests for dinner tomorrow night, so I have no excuse not to churn up some rich, chocolate ice cream. Thank you for another dose of eye candy, as well!

  3. OH. MY. GOD!!! Coffee, chocolate, and homemade vegan ice cream!?!?!? Hannah, you are amazing.

    I have a question for you. I recently went vegan again (or shall we say strict vegetarian) but I don’t want to give up knitting with wool. Do you ever use wool?

  4. Awesome, how ice cream recipes pop out everywhere now that it’s spring. Chocolate is my all time favourite and I yet have to find the best vegan recipe. I’m sure, yours is the one. Thank you for that stracciatella tip!

  5. It looks fantastic. I am too guilty of never sticking to a recipe and never making the same thing twice exactly the same way. I think it is a rebel in me, though. :)

  6. That looks soooo good!! I have been making ice cream from coconut milk and cream and I love the consistency of it.I am not sure I can find arrowroot here, so do you think tapioca could be used instead?

  7. Oh, yum! Coconut milk and cinnamon? No wonder it’s so good! And I really need to gwt an icecream machine when I get home…

  8. Whoa! Chocolate-y chocolate chip chocolate ice cream with coconut milk- sounds like a die-hearted chocoholic’s (aka ME) dream.

  9. This sounds awesome! So cool that it doesn’t require an ice cream maker. And if you haven’t tweaked it in a year, well then that must mean that it has reached perfection. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  10. This sounds like the most delicious ice cream ever! Why don’t I have an ice cream maker? I’m kicking myself right now!

  11. Oh yummy heaven! I also never follow the same recipe twice, my boyfriend often complains when he wanted the same exact dish I made the previous time! But seriously this ice cream looks so good!

  12. I love the ingredient list here and what perfect timing. I was just saying to Marty today how it’s almost time to put the ice cream maker in the freezer!

  13. This looks wonderful! I have actually been trying to replace the sugar in my usual chocolate ice cream recipe with agave and having some weird results, so I’m going to try your recipe this weekend. I bet the coconut milk adds wonderful flavor in addition to richness. I’m so excited to give it a shot!

  14. This looks incredible! Coconut milk-based, no refined sugar, Hannah you are killing me! I wish I didn’t have to run off to work so I could start making a batch RIGHT NOW!

  15. Stracciatella! I learned a new word! This looks absolutely delicious. I haven’t made ice cream in a while, and I think I want to try this!

  16. Oh, my dear, that looks delicious. Chocolate? Rich taste? And chocolate chips? I am sad that I do not have an ice cream maker. I wonder if I’m missing out by getting store-bought ice creams and Baskin Robbins stuffs. I’m afraid of the answer ;p

  17. I’m exactly like you ! Can’t make the same dish twice even though this was delicious. My mind is too much working for that. Many ideas at the same time. I’m sure that gorgeous ice-cream is wonderful ! Love chocolate ! :)

  18. OH, I love your stracciatella for ice cream! Such a great idea. I will have to give this one a try (sans coffee of course!).

    When you get the chance, I have some wordpress questions and was curious on your feedback :)

  19. I recall watching David Lebovitz make stracciatella ice cream on Gourmet: Diary of a Foodie. I have yet to get his Perfect Scoop cookbook, but seeing yours has propelled me to get something and make it once and for all! It looks marvelous, Hannah!

  20. This looks and sounds so delicious. I was lucky enough to try some vegan ice cream pre-prepared from that book at a food festival. Fantastic stuff for sure, and it makes me want an ice cream machine BAD.

  21. just seeing and reading about this is making me crave big time. love it more so for the use of the coconut milk here.

  22. Wow Hannah — you ARE an ice cream connoisseur and all your recipes look delish! I’ve never made ice cream but want to try… do you have a favorite machine that you would recommend?

  23. Hi, this looks amazing…I’m dairy and soy intolerant so find it realy hard to find ice-cream recipes! I’m not a huge fan of coconut though…would it work with other milks such as rice milk? Also I don’t have an ice cream machine – is it ok just to put the mixture straight in the freezer? Thanks!

    1. You could try putting it in the freezer, but be sure to stir every 20-30 minutes to prevent ice crystallization as the ice cream freezes. If it crystallizes, the ice cream will not turn out good because the water molecules will separate from the thicker ingredients.

  24. How does this taste? Is the coconut flavor overpowering? I don’t particularly like the flavor of coconut but I’m looking for a vegan ice cream not made with soy!

    1. No it won’t taste like coconut at all. I have made mango, strawberry and even pistachio ice cream using coconut milk and my hubby (who is not vegetarian) and his brother could not taste the coconut, and nor could they tell it was vegan. Vegan ice cream is really good – but it has to be made just right. I can’t wait to try Hannah’s recipe.

  25. I’m new to vegan ice cream making…is this made with canned coconut milk or the coconut milk in a carton? As you know, there IS a big difference!

    Thanks for the clarification.

    1. Unless a recipe specifies “Coconut beverage“, always assume that it should be full-fat canned coconut milk. I typically will not specify this is my recipes personally, as that would fall under the umbrella term of “non-dairy milk” to me.

  26. It says to add the remaining coconut milk….. am I missing the coconut milk in the ingredients list??

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