Bittersweet Chocolate and Blackstrap Molasses Ice Cream

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This recipe happened in a rather unplanned way as I was wanting to experiment with some ice cream on a weeknight. When I opened the pantry cupboards, a large bar of baking chocolate, cocoa, and a bottle of blackstrap molasses caught my eye. I started with adding just a spoonful of the bitter molasses, then another, and a bit more until the chocolate custard heating on the stovetop had just the slightest hint of it. The result was a bittersweet chocolate ice cream with the slightest flavors of molasses, almost undetectable but just enough to add a bit of a unique twist.

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If you don’t know that there’s blackstrap molasses hidden away in this bittersweet chocolate ice cream, you might only taste chocolate with a bit of something different about it. Blackstrap molasses, unlike regular molasses, is bitter with smokey undertones and not as sweet. It can quickly overpower a recipe if too much is added, and so just a few spoonfuls are used here to create the slightest interesting flavor. If you use regular molasses, it will likely taste a bit sweeter without as much of a flavor kick as blackstrap.

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If molasses is a flavor you dislike, you may leave it out and make a rich bittersweet chocolate ice cream instead. If you decide to keep it in the recipe, feel free to taste along and add the spoonfuls to your preference.

Sincerely, Adelle

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Bittersweet Chocolate and Blackstrap Molasses Ice Cream

Makes just over 1 1/2 quart

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cup milk 

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 150 grams of dark chocolate (preferably 70 percent cocoa solids or greater)

  • 3 tablespoons molasses

  • 6 egg yolks

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, salt, vanilla and sugar. Add the cocoa powder, chocolate, and molasses and stir until the chocolate is fully melted. While the chocolate cream is mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. When the chocolate cream is steaming and has reached a temperature of 175 degrees, scoop 1/3 cup of the hot custard and whisk it into the egg yolks (do not skip this step, as pouring all the milk in at once will cause the eggs to curdle with the rapid temperature change). Continuing to whisk, add another 1/3 cup of the hot custard, then a final 1/3 cup. Finally, pour the remainder of the hot chocolate custard mixture into the bowl and whisk until completely combined. Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator.

Chill the custard in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours until very cold. It will become very thick and almost pudding-like.

After chilling, churn the custard according to your ice cream machine's directions. For a soft serve consistency, serve immediately. To firm the ice cream, place in a freezer-safe container and allow to freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight, then serve.


Adelle EsborgComment