Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Chocolate Decadence is an overworked recipe name; it seems every restaurant dessert featuring even a hint of chocolate has been given the over-the-top "decadence" label. But this ultra-smooth, dense ice cream truly is decadent, meeting at least one of the word's definitions: "downfall." If you're dieting — this ice cream will surely be your downfall!

12 mins
8 hrs 32 mins
3 3/4 cups, a scant 1 quart
Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, ClearJel or cornstarch, and salt.

  2. Slowly whisk in the water, then the flavor of your choice and the milk.

  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently as the mixture warms, then almost constantly as it becomes hot; you don't want the mixture to stick to the bottom of the pan.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, whisking until chocolate melts.

  5. Pour into a bowl, and stir occasionally as it cools, to prevent a skin from forming.

  6. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the chocolate, again to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until it's well chilled; overnight is good. Make sure the canister for your ice cream maker is in the freezer, too; it needs to be as cold as it can be.

  7. Next day, pour the chocolate into the ice cream maker, and freeze for 20 to 25 minutes, until it's quite stiff.

  8. Scoop the ice cream into a bowl. For best texture, stir in 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (e.g., Kahlua), or the liqueur of your choice. This will keep the ice cream soft and scoopable indefinitely in the freezer.

  9. Serve the ice cream immediately, if desired; it will be very soft. For harder ice cream, store in the freezer. Ice cream without liqueur will become nicely hard in 3 hours. With the addition of liqueur, it will take 6 hours or more to become quite solid. Ice cream without liqueur will become unpleasantly hard within 5 hours or so; to soften, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Liqueur not only enhances the flavor of this ice cream, it helps its texture. Most homemade ice cream becomes rock-hard when stored in the freezer longer than 6 hours or so; this one, with the addition of liqueur, remains nicely scoopable indefinitely. Why? The alcohol in the liqueur acts as anti-freeze.
  • Bake it better! Watch King Arthur baker/blogger Kye Ameden demonstrate one of the techniques from this recipe: How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine