Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Low Carb Aztec “Hot” Chocolate Ice Cream

This is my second low carb conversion of a recipe from “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz and my first true Philadelphia-style ice cream since there are no eggs. I was drawn to this flavor due to the combination of chili powder, chocolate, and cinnamon. The ingredients and directions below are very close to what David provided in his book. He uses the darker Dutch-processed cocoa in all of his chocolate recipes, but if you don’t have it, go ahead and use regular cocoa. I had to make some minor adjustments to ensure the milkfat ratios and sweetness are similar using almond/coconut milk and unsweetened chocolate.

I don’t own a blender, but using an electric hand mixer works just as well. Heating the cream did not result in a “rolling boil of foam.” He uses that same description in other recipes but when using half-and-half, so I think it’s misplaced here thus I rewrote that part accordingly. The high milkfat percentage of the undiluted heavy cream prevents a true rolling boil without burning, IMHO. I followed the recipe based on the weight of the ingredients provided in the book, not the volume. I don’t believe 50 grams of cocoa is only 6 tablespoons. It’s more like 8-10 tablespoons. That’s why I listed it as ½ cup. The texture of this ice cream is crumbly. Crumbly ice cream can be due to a variety of factors, but in this case, it’s probably the lack of emulsifiers. Using egg yolks would have probably yielded better scoopability. Like all my chocolate ice creams so far, they all freeze very hard. I’d need to triple the glycerin to get the same freezing point depression as with sugar. However, this ice cream recipe took almost the full 60 minutes to freeze adequately in the ice cream maker. Part of the reason was due to me not cooling it before I began churning and the other factor was the brandy.

I tried adding Blue Diamond Habañero BBQ Almonds to the ice cream, but they get completely lost in the mix. The flavors of the chocolate, chili, cinnamon, and brandy overwhelm the spicy almonds, so I don’t recommend adding solids to the mix. Unless you’re using freshly ground cinnamon, I suggest adding more than what’s specified. I know, I know; I should be tracking down a source of some exotic cinnamon instead of using the stuff that’s cheapest in the supermarket. The brandy will be very strong, so don’t go beyond the two tablespoons specified. However, feel free to try adding more chili and cinnamon based on your preference. I didn’t find ancho chili powder very spicy. Chipotle is supposed to be hotter.

UPDATE 2015-09-25: I redid this recipe using my Low Carb Chocolate Philadelphia-style Ice Cream Base instead and it came out really good. I substituted Valrhona 100% Pure Cocoa Powder to give it a darker appearance. Add the cinnamon and chili powder to the mix before heating. Add the alcohol at the end right before putting it in the refrigerator to age. Only used 2 tablespoons (38 g) of glycerine due to the alcohol content. Might want to bump up the cinnamon and chili powder since the whey absorbs so much flavor.

Scoops of ice cream.

CAUTION: Not every form of glycerin is fit for human consumption. For example, diethylene glycol is toxic and should not be consumed. Always verify the product is safe to use.



2½ cups (595 g) heavy cream
½ cup (50 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Truvia
3 ounces (85 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup (242 g) Blue Diamond Original Unsweetened Breeze Almond/Coconut Milk Blend
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 to 3 teaspoons ancho or chipotle chile powder
2 tablespoons (1 fl oz) brandy
28 drops EZ-Sweetz
1 tablespoon (18 g) vegetable glycerin
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or ½ teaspoon Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener


  1. Put the container for the ice cream including its cover upright in the freezer now. This serves two purposes: it keeps the container cold and it forces you to make sure that there’s space in the freezer.
  2. Chop up chocolate to allow it to melt easier.

    Chopped chocolate

  3. In a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup, stir in the Blue Diamond Original Unsweetened Breeze Almond/Coconut Milk Blend, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, chile powder, EZ-Sweetz, glycerine, stabilizer, and brandy. Use a hand mixer to blend ingredients.

    Chilli, milk, brandy, etc.

  4. In a small pot, whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, and Truvia.

    Cream, Truvia, and cocoa

    Heat the mixture on medium high, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full boil.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, then whisk until it is completely melted. This should take at least 5 minutes.

    Cream, Truvia, cocoa, and chocolate

  6. Pour the contents of the pot into the Pyrex mixing cup, scraping the pot as thoroughly as possible. Mix on high for 30 seconds until very smooth.

    Finished mix

  7. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until ready.
  8. Follow your ice cream maker’s directions for making ice cream. Use a silicone spatula to remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker and freeze until solid.
Scoop of ice cream

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