Monday, January 5, 2015

Low Carb Chocolate French Custard Ice Cream Base

UPDATE 2015-08-18: Please use my new Low Carb Chocolate Philadelphia-style Ice Cream Base for now. It's easier to make and work with. The recipe below will be reformulated slightly in the future.

My formula for low carb chocolate ice cream was inspired in part by Jerry (of Ben & Jerry) and David Lebovitz (“The Perfect Scoop”). Jerry’s proportions of cocoa, chocolate, cream, and milk work really well when converted to low carb. However, David’s preparation steps for a custard base result in a smooth mix that churns into an equally smooth ice cream quite nicely. I’m including LC Foods Milk Powder in an attempt to make the ice cream less crumbly. I will probably continue to do some minor tweaking to the formula to improve the scoopability, but I feel it’s ready enough for me to post it to the world.

This is a rich chocolate ice cream that any chocoholic will love. It’s tough to scoop straight out of the freezer, so a little thawing time in the microwave will be required. I use Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate and Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa. I haven’t had any issues with the acidic regular cocoa curdling the cream. You can use Dutch cocoa instead if you prefer the darker color.

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.


2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1½ cup (357 g) heavy cream⅓ cup (33 g) unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons Truvia
28 drops EZ-Sweetz
½ teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1½ cup (363 g) Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
5 tablespoons LC Foods Milk Powder
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or ½ teaspoon Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener
2 tablespoons (38 g) vegetable glycerin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Chop up the unsweetened chocolate and put aside.

    Chopped chocolate.

  2. Warm on medium-high heat the heavy cream, cocoa powder, Truvia, EZ-Sweetz, and salt in a small pot, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa.

    Cocoa in cold cream.

    Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.

    Cocoa mized into heavy cream.

    Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth.

    Add chopped chocolate to cream/cocoa mixture.

  3. Pour the mixture into a 4 cup Pyrex cup, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible.

    Cocoa, heavy cream, and chocolate transferred to mixing cup.

    Set a mesh strainer on top of the mixing cup.
  4. Warm the almond milk and milk powder in the same saucepan to approximately 170 °F.

    Almond milk in pot.

    In a 2 cup Pyrex mixing cup, whisk together the egg yolks.

    Yolks scrambled.

    Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly with the mixer on medium speed, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.

    Custard is done.

    Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate mixture (4 cup Pyrex cup).

    Strained custard.

    Milk and egg yolk custard strained into chocolate.

    Whisk in the stabilizer, glycerin, and vanilla extract on medium-low and then stir until smooth.

    Finished chocolate ice cream mix.

  6. Stir until cool over an ice bath and then cover with plastic wrap.

    Ice bath.

    Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.)


  1. Can I substitute Swerve for Truvia? If so what would be the correct amount?

    Thanks for your terrific blog

    1. I don't know. I think Swerve is pure erythritol, so you'd need more of it or would need to add Stevia.