Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

As promised, here is the recipe for homemade chocolate ice cream I used last Sunday.  A while back, I ordered the Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones cookbook from the Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco.  I’ve never been to San Fran, but I hope to make my way through this cookbook until I make it to the real deal one day.  Here’s an Instagram picture I took excitedly when it arrived on our door step.


A word of warning: notice I didn’t include the words “easy,” or “simple” in the title today?  These recipes actually require some preparation ahead of time.  If you want ice cream you can mix up and churn in the same afternoon, refer back to my Easy Vanilla Ice Cream or Strawberry Ice Cream posts.  However, I have to say that this ice cream was the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever had.  It was thick and smooth and creamy and brought back a lot of memories for my Mama and me of Borden’s chocolate ice cream.  We used to buy it at the Lake Mystic Grocery (since shuttered) when I was little.  Borden’s chocolate ice cream warranted nothing more than two spoons and the tub itself.  Does Borden even make ice cream anymore???  I haven’t seen any in grocery stores in years.

Anyway, if all the recipes in this cookbook are this good, I better up my exercise regimen.

Homemade Bi-Rite Creamery Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Bi-Rite Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream


– 5 large egg yolks
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup Dutch-processed or natural cocoa powder, measured, then sifted (I whisk instead of sifting)
– 1 cup 1% or 2% milk (I used 2%)
– 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
– 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Note from the cookbook: If you make this ice cream with Dutch cocoa, the result will be “dark, intense, and trufflelike” in flavor, while the natural cocoa will yield a result more like milk chocolate ice cream.  We used natural cocoa powder, but I’d love to try the Dutch cocoa version next!


In a medium heat proof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of the sugar (6 tablespoons).  Set aside.

In a heavy nonreactive saucepan (who uses aluminum pots still? Quit that.), combine the cocoa powder with the remaining sugar (6 tablespoons).  Whisk in about 1/4 cup of the milk to make a paste, adding a little more of the milk as needed to make it smooth and uniform.  (If you add the milk all at once, the cocoa will be lumpy.)  Whisk in the remaining milk, the cream, and the salt, and put the pan over medium-high heat.  When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture, and whisking constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks.  I used a small (1 cup) glass measuring cup.  Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.  Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.

Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, or 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.  Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool.  Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least two hours or overnight.

freezing the ice cream

Add the vanilla to the base just prior to freezing and stir it until blended.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.  While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer.  Enjoy right away, or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

This is where things got interesting on our patio.  Harold and Wallace have yet to figure out what the heck an ice cream churn is, or how it moves on its own.  It resulted in some confused critters and kept us entertained for a while.

Harold and the Ice Cream Churn | Oysters & Pearls

Wallace and the Ice Cream Churn | Oysters & Pearls

Anyway, we definitely went the “enjoy right away” route, and the ice cream went straight from churn to bowl to belly.  It was unreal!  So thick and creamy and ridiculously good.

Bi-Rite Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

FYI: the cookbook authors suggest folding in chopped toasted hazelnuts, a swirl of Fudge Ripple (also in the book), or serving it with Blackberry Ice Cream or Orange-Cardamom Ice Cream (both also in the book)… But we just enjoyed ours plain!

All that churn chasing wore these critters out.

Harold & Wallace | Oysters & Pearls


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