As a kid, I hated dark chocolate. It was nothing like milk chocolate. But at some point into my adulthood, my palate grew up and accepted dark chocolate. To the point of liking it as much as, if not more than, milk chocolate.
So as soon as I stumbled across this recipe, I craved it. I knew it was one I would make SOON. Like within two days I got around to mixing it up. And I love it!
I know I posted a Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe a few weeks ago, but this one differs not only in that it uses dark cocoa powder, but it also uses straight peanut butter. Although the peanut butter gets mixed into the ice cream base and spreads throughout, some of it doesn’t dissolve and you get bits of peanut butter chunks–yummy!!
The fact that you can mix the peanut butter into the ice cream base actually makes this easier than the other recipe I used, which requires spreading a peanut butter mix between layers of the ice cream.
Unlike many other ice cream recipes I’ve tried, this one doesn’t turn rock hard in the freezer, so it’s easy to scoop. Good thing since several times a night I delve into the container for a couple of spoonfuls. And boy did I need that sugar/chocolate fix this week after starting back to teaching (also the reason I haven’t posted in a week–still getting into the groove of working again and balancing life).
This recipe also differs from the others I’ve made in that the eggs aren’t cooked in the double boiler method. If this freaks you out, consider using pasteurized eggs.
Now for that dark chocolate part of the recipe. The original recipe from the Ben & Jerry’s book calls for cocoa powder, but Bridget at Bake at 350, where I found this recipe, used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa. Brilliant! It gives the ice cream so much more richness and sophistication.
Months ago I came across a recipe calling for the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, and for weeks I searched high and low for it here in Southern California to no avail. I tried all our local markets and even the specialty one: Vons, Ralphs, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s–no one carried it. Argh.
Finally, I made one more stop at Albertson’s and found it, to my great delight.
This summer we traveled to Ohio to visit hubby’s family, where Judy lives, who shared with me the hands-down-best-ever Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Icing. I knew something was different about the cupcakes she served us this time, and sure enough, she had used Hershey’s Special Dark in the cake mix, something I had considered trying the next time I made the cupcakes. So, the point here is that you can use the dark cocoa in place of recipes in which you use the regular cocoa. It will add a touch of richness to the dessert.
After I made this ice cream, I went back to compare the ingredients to the other Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream I made. That other one calls for far more chocolate than this one, but honestly, they both tasted equally rich in chocolate. However, one of these days I’ll try the other recipe and use the dark cocoa in it and see how it compares.
Now, go and make this ice cream because it is magically delicious. And check out the link to the source because Bridget’s pictures showcase the ice cream far better than my photography does. If I haven’t sold you, maybe her post and photos will.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (Ghiradelli brand is high quality)
- 1/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (try Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water. Place unsweetened chocolate in bowl and stir occasionally until melted.
- Gradually whisk in the cocoa. The mixture may clump in the whisk…that’s okay.
- Slowly pour in the milk, whisking with the chocolate mixture until combined and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool several minutes.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar, a bit at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk 1 minute more.
- Add the cream and vanilla; whisk to combine.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and stir. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
- Before transferring to an ice cream maker, remove 1 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. Add this back into the main mixture and stir.
- Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for a few hours to firm up.