Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

Homemade chocolate swirl ice cream.



Ice Cream & Sorbet

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December 2006

Updated July 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Ice Cream & Sorbet

Extra-Bitter Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

An Extra-Special Chocolate Ice Cream From Michael Recchiuti


If you love chocolate swirl ice cream (and we do), this is as good as it gets. This special ice cream starts with a base of real vanilla ice cream, flavored by the seeds of floral Tahitian beans. The seeds are small enough to pass through the sieve and are dispersed throughout the ice cream, heralding its authenticity. Although it means starting to make the ice cream 2 days ahead of serving, steeping the vanilla in the milk overnight intensifies the final flavor.

That’s the only tough part. You use Recchiuti’s Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce to make the chocolate swirl. Of course, you need to restrain yourself from nibbling away at the jar of sauce, but that can be resolved by purchasing two jars!

Yields: 1 Quart                               


  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided into halves
  • 1/2 Tahitian vanilla bean, split horizontally¹
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Recchiuti Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce²

Notes On The Chocolate Sauce:

Recchiuti’s classic Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce has intense, roasted cacao and Tahitian vanilla flavors with a deep smoky finish that provide an extra special touch to this ice cream. It can be served as an ice cream topping, as a dip for fresh fruit, or stirred into steamed milk to make hot chocolate. A 9-ounce jar is $8.00 at Also see the recipe footnote at the bottom of the page.


Recchiuti Extra Bitter Chocolate Sauce
  1. Stir the milk and 1/3 cup of the sugar together in a small saucepan. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean into the pan and then add the bean. Bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap, and let steep at least 1 hour at room temperature, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve and return to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. While the milk is reheating, combine the egg yolks and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and thick and forms a ribbon when the whip is lifted from the bowl, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Switch the mixer to low speed. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl and beat just until combined. Do not beat to froth.
  5. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats a spoon and registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Pour through the fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in cream. Cover bowl and refrigerate the custard overnight.
  6. The next day, churn the custard in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold the Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce into the ice cream by hand.


¹ Tahitian vanilla beans are extremely fragrant and have stronger fruit and floral notes than Mexican or Bourbon varieties.

² You can increase or decrease the amount of chocolate sauce in this recipe depending on your preferences. You can also substitute the chocolate sauce for Recchiuti’s Burnt Caramel Sauce or add a handful of Burnt Caramel Almonds. Just about any of your favorite inclusions will go well with this versatile vanilla bean base. If you cannot obtain Recchiuti sauces, substitute another top-quality dessert sauce.