You won't believe how easy it is to make this homemade chocolate ice cream without a machine with just 5 real food ingredients. And not just any ice cream, but one of the smoothest richest ice creams you've had.
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Have you heard of "magic" ice cream without a machine? I was a little late on the bandwagon of these magic ice creams, but I'm so in love with the ease and results of this method, I want to make sure you know about it, too! You simply won't believe the rich, smooth ice cream that results from a handful of real food ingredients, a few minutes in the kitchen, and a few hours in the freezer.
In fact, I still can't believe it. To think we spent $50 on a Kitchen Aid Ice Cream maker attachment a few years ago. I've never been happy with the results, by the way, and it's a bit of a pain...unlike this recipe. #liveandlearn (update: we sold the KA ice cream maker on Craigslist for $40!)
Also I really hated making an egg custard base. Really did not like it. All the stirring and cooking and cooling. I'm not some purist who believes eggs have to be included for it to be "real" ice cream, so I'm very happy to find an alternative.
I first saw a version of this recipe in a trial issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine where they ran a 2009 recipe for Magic Chocolate Ice Cream. While I've gotten a lot of good recipes from Cook's Illustrated, I find I often have to adjust for "real life" as they tend to add steps or odd things in their quest for the "perfect" way to make something.
And you know it's never about perfection here at An Oregon Cottage!
The original ice cream recipe in CI was no exception, calling for 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk. One half cup...what was I supposed to do with the rest of the can? So I adapted it to used the whole can, which also increases the yield to about 2 quarts of ice cream.
I'm sharing the easy steps I took to create this smooth, incredibly rich chocolate ice cream with you below, as well as my adapted printable recipe, and I'm also listing lots of variations you can make once you have the technique down. Because I know you will want to.
Incredible Ice Cream Without a Machine
I love including a picture if the ingredients to show how few are usually needed to make a much better product than the store-bought versions with their looooong lists of ingredients. AND that they're all real foods (in case you're wondering, condensed milk is just milk and sugar cooked to a concentrate and you can make your own if you want).
Even though there is espresso powder included, this isn't mocha flavored, this simply helps to enhance the chocolate flavor so it's optional if you don't have any. And while bittersweet chocolate is amazing, semisweet also works.
- bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate
- sweetened condensed milk (or try sweetened condensed coconut milk!)
- instant espresso powder
- heavy whipping cream (or whip canned coconut cream with the condensed coconut milk above for a non-dairy ice cream option)
If using the espresso powder, the first step is to dissolve it in a tablespoon of water. Then combine the condensed milk, dissolved coffee mixture, vanilla, and chocolate in a microwaveable bowl.
Heat the contents just until the chunks are mostly melted (45 seconds in the microwave- they won't be melted, but as you stir for the next minute, they will melt completely). Alternately, melt over a low flame or double boiler. Remove from heat, stir until smooth, and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Take about 1/3 of the whipped cream and mix it into the cooling chocolate mixture.
Then add all of the chocolate-milk mixture into the rest of the whipped cream. Gently fold together until there are just a few streaks left.
Pour the mixture into a freezable container, cover, and freeze for at least 6 hours. I've found it's better overnight unless your container is shallow.
Scoop and enjoy!
The biggest complaint I've heard with this "magic" ice cream (not in my family - everyone loves it - but online) is that it's more like a frozen mousse or gelato- which we're all totally OK with, obviously. But this means that it's RICH, so a small scoop goes a long way.
Oh, and when you serve it to guests? Be prepared for ooh's and aah's.
Update: our whole family loves this so much I also created Chocolate Chip No-Machine Ice Cream version - regular or mint, too!
Incredible Chocolate Ice Cream Without A Machine (No Churn Ice Cream)
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee optional
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate pieces
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- 2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- If using the coffee powder, add it to a small cup with the tablespoon of hot water and stir until dissolved.
- Combine the condensed milk, chocolate, vanilla, dissolved coffee, and salt in a glass bowl or 4-cup measure. Microwave for 45 seconds and stir for up to a minute to completely melt the chocolate (alternately, cook over a double boiler or low flame, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted). Set aside to cool.
- Whip the cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. Add a portion of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and fold in. Then pour all the chocolate into the remaining whipped cream, folding with a spatula until mixed with very few white streaks left.
- Pour into a freezable container, cover, and freeze for at least 8 hours- better is overnight.
Ice Cream Without a Machine Variations:
- Vanilla Bean: Omit coffee, water, and chocolate- add another teaspoon of vanilla, plus a vanilla bean that's been chopped fine in a processor.
- Chocolate Chip: Omit coffee, water, and chocolate; increase vanilla to 2 tsp. and add 1/2 cup (or more...) chocolate chips after folding milk mixture into whipped cream. Update: see Incredible Chocolate Chip Ice Cream post for specific instructions - this is Brian's favorite!
- Mint Chocolate Chip: same as chocolate chip, but replace vanilla with 1 tsp. of pure peppermint extract.
- Peanut Butter-Chocolate: Mix about a 1/2 cup of peanut butter with a tablespoon of honey and swirl it in when folding or after partially freezing to prevent it from falling to the bottom. If you don't want swirls of peanut butter, but just the flavor, mix the peanut butter into the condensed milk with the chocolate.
- Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip: Omit coffee, water, and chocolate (melted in); mix in 1/2 cup peanut butter to the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips after mixing into whipped cream.
- Mocha Almond: Increase coffee powder to 2-3 tsp. (depending on strength desired) and water to 2 Tb. and fold in swirls of chocolate syrup and chopped almonds after mixing milk mixture and whipped cream (or after partially freezing).
- I also found a Lemon Ice Cream version on this website where the author uses lemon juice and powdered sugar instead of condensed milk.
What flavors have you tried or want to try?
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WOW oh wow, This ice cream is better than anything that i have EVER made with our expensive electric ice cream maker!
I made it with the coffee crystals and would not consider doing it without it the flavor was so good and it was so delicious and creamy and perfect that this is the only chocolate ice cream my husband wants now! Thanks so much for sharing.
I'm so glad you guys liked this so much, Sharon! I will have to try it with coffee for sure.
Beth Negrey says
mmmmm.....this sounds positively lovely! And I do just happen to have a "twin" of your jar of espresso powder hanging out in the baking "pantry." I've recently added a Kitchen Aid stand mixer to this OR cottage kitchen and I'm guessing this might be the first time I use the whisk attachment? We're still getting acquainted so this should be a fun challenge -- I LOVE gelato! Thanks, Jami!
P.S. Praying God will soon lead you all to just the perfect earthly homestead!
Thank you, Beth! And this would be the PERFECT way to initiate your whip attachment. 😉
Beth Negrey says
oh, good -- sounds like I'll be on the right track, then!
Thanks for all these great ice cream recipes. They sound delicious. I just made a mango sorbet in my small ice cream machine (haven't used it for years) so I don't know if it's going to turn out or not! Like that your recipes don't need a machine.
Thanks. Will do.