I love an ice cream! It’s the ultimate summer time sweet treat that I always ‘demand’ when we go to the seaside. I have a fond memories of eating ice cream, pretty much every day during the summer holidays when I was growing up.
We didn’t have much money, but the ice cream was a fairly inexpensive treat, so me and my little brother we were always allowed to buy one ice cream each when we went shopping. My favourites were apricot sorbet from the shops and lemon soft churn cone ice cream from our local sweet shop. In those days, they had only machine-made ice creams (no scooped ice cream or Italian gelato) and since all the sweet shops had just one ice cream machine, they would have just one flavour on sale at any given time.
We didn’t quite understand how all this worked when we were little, but I remember that the ice cream flavours changed every 3-5 days depending on how quickly they sold out that batch of ice cream. On top of that the few flavours they had (lemon, vanilla, strawberry) kept repeating all the time and there were no wild or unusual flavours in those days!
I’m only saying this, because it gives you an idea how excited I was when I found out that you can make your own ice cream at home – even without a proper ice cream machine!
My first batch of ice cream was Green Apple & Calvados Sorbet and it was so delicious, that I though I’d to make a dairy based ice cream too.
Since I’m a bit of an old fashioned person, who doesn’t like to spend money on unnecessary kitchen equipment, I don’t have ice churn or ice machine. If you have one that’s great and this recipe will work perfectly in your shinny ice machine, but for those of us, who don’t have ice cream churn, I’ve included step by step guide on how to make this recipe with just a whisk and a freezer.
Tips on how to make this chocolate & peanut butter ice cream
You are welcome to use any kind of cream or milk for this recipe, but it’s a good idea to understand first how it will effect the final texture and flavour of your ice cream. Broadly speaking the ‘thinner’ your milk is going to be the iciest you ice cream is going to be. I’m not explaining this very well, am I?
Let’s try again…
If you use a low fat milk, your ice cream will be very close to a sorbet in terms of structure. This means you’ll need to churn it more to get rid of ice flakes forming inside the ice cream and break them down to achieve smooth finish. The ice cream will also taste lighter as it will have less (or no) fat inside.
If you use a cream, double cream, whipping cream etc, your ice cream will be smoother in a quicker time and it will also taste heavier, creamier and it will be more filling.
You can use plant based (or dairy free) milks with this recipe, but they will change flavour a bit. The chocolate and peanut butter goes well with rice, soya, oats or coconut milk as the flavour is strong enough to over power them.
Use the best chocolate bar you have and preferably dark – plain chocolate with a minimum 70% cocoa solids. You can use other types of chocolates (milk or less than &70%), but the stronger the chocolate is the better your chocolate flavour is going to be.
I like to use smooth peanut butter, but you can easily use chunky peanut butter.
This is the traditional way of making ice cream, so yolks are included in this recipe. You’ll end up with quite a lot of egg whites but you can always turn them into an tasty egg white omelette or freeze them.
Yolks make the ice cream smooth and creamy and their direct amount depends on what kind of cream or milk you are using.
My recipe can be made with 7 egg yolks and 600 ml milk. The egg yolks replace the cream and they add the extra fat and protein that’s needed to make this ice cream really rich.
I’ve used white caster or granulated sugar for this recipe as I didn’t want too much extra flavour. You could substitute it for other sweeteners, but sometimes it’s just easier to keep things simple.
This is super important ingredient and I can’t stress enough that you absolutely have to include it in your ice cream recipe. Salt brings all the flavours together. You only need a tiny pinch, but it makes a big difference.
Extra bonus is that if you want to turn this ice cream into a Salted Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ice cream, you can add about teaspoon of sea salt at the end of the churning process and the salt blends in beautifully.
I prefer to use a large stainless steel bowl that allows me to whisk everything, place it back to the freezer and re-whisk the ice cream every 30 minutes or so. I find it much easier than keep scraping the ice cream from the freezer container to the bowl every time I need to whisk it. I use a large plate to cover the bowl when it’s sitting in the freezer and transfer it to a freeze container once I finish making the ice cream.
Electric Handheld whisk
I don’t have a standing mixer anyway, but I think using hand held electric whisk is much easier for this recipe. When I’m ‘churning’ the ice cream, I leave out the whisk and simply whisk the icecream every 30 minutes or so until it’s ready.
This is used instead of the ‘churning ice cream machine’. I use the deep freeze draw at the bottom of my freezer and usually turn down the temperature a bit from -18C to -20C. This is so that the freezer can efficiently carry on working even when I’m opening the door every 30 minutes.
Saucepan + Hob
Yes, we’ll need one of those too! The first part of the recipe is done on the hob.
Preparing the ingredients & mixing
It’s best to take your time and do this slowly. You’ll first need to melt the chocolate with a bit of milk on a low heat, so that you don’t burn it.
The sugar will need to be dissolved completely before adding the egg yolks, otherwise you’ll end up with a gritty ice cream.
The next thing you’ll need to be careful about is the egg yolk. You’ll need to constantly whisk the ice cream mixture as you are adding the egg yolks, but you’ll need to be very careful so that you don’t over heat it and turn them into a scrambled eggs. It’s a fine balance, but if you do this slowly, you’ll be fine.
You have an option to blend in the peanut butter before you start to churn your ice cream or afterwards. If you are using crunchy peanut butter I’d suggest you swirl it to the ice cream after you make it. It’s a lovely combination of chocolate ice cream with chunks of peanut butter and crunchy peanuts.
Before you start to churn your ice cream, don’t forget to taste it. Does it need more sugar, peanut butter or salt? Is it exactly how you want it to taste like? If you find the chocolate flavour too week, add a teaspoon of coffee granules dissolved in a tiny amount of hot water. This will bring out the chocolate flavour.
The churning process
Once all the ingredients are mixed and incorporated in, it’s time to start the churning. If you have an ice cream churner or machine, it’s best to follow your manufacturers guide and carry on making your ice cream in your ice cream machine.
I whisk my ice cream in the bowl and then put it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so and then re-whisk it again. The 30 minutes is just a guide, you need to check when your ice cream starts to set around the sides of the bowl and re-whisk it at that time.
I usually need to repeat it about 4 times. Every time the ice cream gets a little lighter and creamier until it’s very thick and smooth and that’s when it’s ready. When you taste it it shouldn’t have any frozen ice in it.
If you want to speed up things a little, you can transfer the ice cream into a flat round bowl (or similar type of container). The shallower the container is, the quicker the ice cream will set.
Hope you enjoy making this one and if you do, let me know in the comments bellow or tag me on social media.
More sweet treats recipes
Chocolate & Peanut Butter ice cream recipe
- 300 ml cream single or double
- 300 ml milk semi-skimmed or full-fat milk
- 100 grams plain chocolate 70% cocoa solids
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 100 grams caster sugar
- large pinch of salt
- 4 egg yolks
- Chop up the chocolate bar into small pieces and melt into the milk. You can do this in a small bowl in a microwave or in a saucepan on the hob.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar and a large pinch of salt, until it's thick and creamy.
- Pour the milk mixture gradually into the eggs mixture and carry on gently whisking.
- Add the cream and incorporate it into the mixture.
- Transfer everything into a large saucepan and bring to a simmering point over medium heat, whilst constantly steering or whisking.
- Carry on cooking for a few extra minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Pour it into your ice cream churn or pour it into a suitable container (for the freezer and to allow you to whisk the ice cream at the same time).
- At this point, you also have the choice of blending in the peanut butter now or leave it until the ice cream is completely churned and then marble in the peanut butter.
The ice cream churning process
- Place in the freezer initially for 30 minutes or until you see that the sides are starting to set.
- Take the container out of the freezer and whisk the ice cream mixture for few minutes.
- Place back into the freezer and leave for another 30 minutes or so.
- Repeat this process about 4 more times or until the mixture is nice and light and looking exactly like ice cream.
- Leave to freeze until you are ready to serve your ice cream.
- Use within 3 months.