My Chocolate Frozen Custard Recipe is an old fashioned, silky, decadent homemade chocolate ice cream. Because the unofficial start to summer just screams for a celebratory ice cream cone, don’t you think?
Chocolate frozen custard ice cream is one of those recipes where I shouldn’t need to rely on heavy sales tactics…
There’s a temperature spike in Los Angeles this weekend and I’m pulling out my trusty ice cream maker for the first time this year. You might have frozen custard memories from Coney Island or Atlantic City, but the frozen custard capital of the world is the Midwest. If you’re a fan of Kopp’s, Leon’s, Gilles, Oscar’s, Culver’s, Carvel, or Shake Shack, etc, you’ll love this homemade summer treat.
Homemade ice cream brings pure joy into the kitchen…
How many machines can claim that? (I’m looking at you Spiralizer.) If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you need to get one. My base model Cuisinart has lasted me years, probably because there aren’t any electronic parts to malfunction. (It’s got a simple motor that rotates the chilled bucket.) If you break it down to cost per use it’s the deal of a lifetime. And if you’ve got kids or grandkids around this summer, it’s a complete must have. In fact whenever I go to a baby shower, this is what I bring because I can’t think of anything else that will bring such magic and joy to a young family. If it sounds like I’m waxing poetic about a kitchen tool, I am. I heart my ice cream machine.
Frozen custard starts with an egg yolk enriched custard
Don’t be afraid of the custard, it’s easy to make, and you can prep it the day before if you like. It should be nice and cold before you add it to your ice cream machine.
My favorite part? The mid-churn taste test!
As your frozen custard (or any ice cream, for that matter) churns away in the machine, it might look slightly grainy…that’s the tiny ice crystals forming. It’s my favorite time to sneak a taste or two.
By the time it’s done, in about 20 minutes, the texture is light and unbelievably silky, almost like frozen mousse.
You can eat your custard straightaway, or you can freeze it for a few hours to firm up a bit. Frozen custard is best when you don’t allow it to get super hard in the freezer, so plan to enjoy it within a few hours, if possible.
The difference between ice cream and frozen custard
- Both ice cream and frozen custard are made with milk and cream, but frozen custard contains more egg yolks.
- To geek out on it: according to FDA standards, ice cream must contain less than 1.4% egg yolk, while frozen custard must contain more than 1.4%.
- Frozen custard has a silkier texture, and is typically served softer than ice cream.
- For the best frozen custard experience, eat it within 4 hours of churning. This is when it’s at its silkiest. After that it will harden, like all ice creams, in your home freezer, which is set at a colder temperature than ideal for ice cream.
- If your custard hardens too much, let it sit out for a few minutes before serving.
Tips and tricks for making homemade ice cream and frozen custard
- If your machine has a freezer bowl, store it in the freezer during ice cream season so you can make ice cream on a whim.
- I like to invest in an extra bowl so I can make multiple batches for parties, etc.
- Your ice cream mixture should always be fully chilled before adding it to your machine. I love to make it the day before.
- Put your storage container in the freezer while your ice cream churns so you can transfer it with minimal melting.
- When your ice cream is ready, transfer it from the freezer bowl to your storage container immediately. The ice cream will start to freeze to the sides of the bowl soon after the machine stops turning.
- Homemade ice cream is generally at its best texture 2-5 hours after you make it. Home freezers are set colder than ideal for storing ice cream, and so it tends to get very hard over time.
- Cover your ice cream with plastic wrap so it doesn’t pick up freezer odors.
How to make a no churn chocolate frozen custard
- Make your custard up through step 3 in the recipe.
- Put your thoroughly chilled mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment (you can do this by hand with electric beaters, but the mixer is best) and whip until the custard becomes lighter and fluffy.
- Scrape into a freezer container and freeze for several hours until firm enough to scoop.
Chocolate Frozen Custard
- ice cream machine
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 Tbsp corn syrup (I have made this ice cream successfully without the corn syrup if you want to omit)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a heavy bottom medium sized saucepan, add the yolks, sugar, corn syrup, salt, and cocoa powder. Whisk together to combine. Note: I like to sift the cocoa powder, but you don't have to.
- Set over medium heat and slowly whisk in the cream and milk, whisking constantly to combine everything. Cook, whisking or stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. You do not want it to come to a boil, so watch carefully. I like to switch between my whisk and a silicone 'spoonula' to be able to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan so nothing scorches. You may need to lower your temperature to medium-low, depending on your stove.
- When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon it's done.(For me this whole process took about 12 minutes.) Immediately pour through a mesh seive into a bowl and stir in the vanilla. Cover and chill until cold.
- Churn your chilled mixture according to your machine's instructions. Mine takes 20 minutes. You can enjoy the custard right away, or transfer to a container and freeze for up to 4 hours. Frozen custard has a wonderful silky texture that is best enjoyed within 4 hours of making.
notes and variations
If you love homemade ice cream, I’ve got more!
- Fresh Lemon Ice Cream
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
- Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream
- Maple Walnut Ice Cream
- Gingerbread Ice Cream