a hand sprinkling chopped chocolate over a scoop of ice cream in a bowl with a cone sticking off of it

rosemary double chocolate chip ice cream

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A rosemary and chocolate ice cream with lots and lots of chocolate chunks — what’s not to love? Try serving this rosemary double chocolate chip ice cream with a slice of rosemary chocolate chip loaf cake for maximum rosemary-plus-chocolate potential!

rosemary double chocolate chip ice cream in a bowl with two cones sticking off the top. a rosemary plant is in the background.

If you’ve never tried the winning combo of rosemary and chocolate it is so, so, SO good in ice cream where the rosemary counters the richness of the chocolate with a really nice, subtle herbal touch — like mint’s slightly more quiet cousin.

I love this combo so much because rosemary double chocolate chip ice cream is just not something you see every day and it’s so good. I love the freshness of the rosemary and the intensity of the chocolate — it’s the kind of ice cream you just can’t get enough of, but also not the kind of ice cream you’ll find in most ice cream shops or grocery stores. The first time I ever tried rosemary and chocolate together was in these shortbread cookies by Smitten Kitchen and it totally rocked my world. I’ve since made rosemary chocolate chip cake and hamantaschen.

close up of chocolate rosemary ice cream in a bowl with a cone on top

ingredient notes

  • Rosemary: You’ll want a pretty strong rosemary flavor in the chocolate rosemary ice cream base because the chocolate is very intense and can easily take center stage if you’re not bold with the herbs. Three very big springs of fresh rosemary is the way to go — you could even do more if you wanted. The rosemary will steep in the mixture of heavy cream and milk for at least 10 minutes before you mix it with the eggs and sugar. You can also let it steep for longer for a stronger flavor.
  • Chocolate flavor, two ways: Even though this is a double chocolate ice cream (chocolate ice cream base + chocolate chunks) this recipe actually uses chocolate three different ways. We’re going to use two types of chocolate to give the creme anglaise base its rich, deeply chocolatey flavor — a combo of unsweetened cocoa powder AND melted chocolate.
  • Chocolate chunks: As a finishing touch, chopped chocolate chunks are stirred right into the finished ice cream for A+ crunchy texture. I love a chunky ice cream — the more chunks the better! (This recipe uses one whole 3.5 oz (100 gram) 60% cacao intense dark Ghirardelli chocolate bar. Half an ounce gets melted into the ice cream base, the remaining 3 oz gets chopped to mix in at the end.)
  • Heavy cream: It’s the same as heavy whipping cream.
  • Whole milk: You need the high fat content of this milk for ice cream. If you don’t have whole milk, it’s better to use more heavy cream than to use a lower fat milk.
  • Sugar: Plain granulated sugar.
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk: The extra fat from the second egg yolk helps make this super silky and creamy. If you want to be EXTRA you can use 3 large egg yolks (and no egg whites). Save any excess egg whites for fried rice or scrambled eggs.
rosemary double chocolate chip ice cream in a bowl with a spoon sticking out

how to make a rosemary chocolate creme anglaise ice cream base

There are 6 basic steps to creme anglaise: SCALD, RIBBON, TEMPER, COOK, STRAIN, CHILL.

  1. Scalding just means heating the milk and cream up to just below boiling. You’ll know when your milk is properly scalded when you tilt the pot and see lots of active bubbles on the bottom of the pot. Keep stirring the milk and tilting until you see the bubbles, then turn the heat off or all the way down to low and let it steep with the rosemary and cocoa powder in it, stirring occasionally. DO NOT BOIL CREME ANGLAISE.
  2. Ribboning means vigorously whisking your eggs and sugar together until they’re very well combined and a little pale in color (I really like my GIR whisk for this step because it’s super efficient). If you pick the whisk up from the bowl you should be able to draw a little zig zag with the “ribbon” trailing from the whisk.
  3. Tempering means slowly pouring the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly — this prevents the heat from the milk from cooking the eggs. Put a folded dish cloth under your bowl while you do this to keep it in place.
  4. Cooking the mixture happens once you’ve combined the milk and cream with the eggs and sugar. This is when you’re going to bring the temperature of the eggs up very slowly so that the ice cream base thickens so you get super smooth, creamy ice cream. Do this over a low-medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon (not a whisk) so that you aren’t incorporating air into the mixture AND so that you can scrape the bottom of the pot so there aren’t any eggy bits cooked to the bottom. Again: DO NOT BOIL CREME ANGLAISE.
  5. Straining is a really important step for this ice cream base — it’s how you make sure there aren’t any sneaky lumps of cocoa powder or rosemary leaves hiding in your ice cream. You’ll strain the hot mixture into a bowl over chopped chocolate to melt the chocolate, then stir it in for maximum chocolate flavor.
  6. Chilling is the crucial last step in making any creme anglaise, but especially for an ice cream base. You can’t churn a warm ice cream base. You’ll want to chill it in the fridge for at least 3 hours if not overnight before churning to give it time to mature and for the flavors to intensify.
a hand sprinkling chopped chocolate over a scoop of ice cream in a bowl with a cone sticking off of it

a few quick recipe notes

  • Cocoa powder is notoriously lumpy, so you’ll want to sift it before you add it to the milk and cream. If you forget this step, that’s okay, I forget all the time too; it won’t affect the finished ice cream. But you’ll have to whisk pretty well to break up the lumps which can be annoying with the rosemary springs.
  • I used Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate both as the melted chocolate in the ice cream base and as the chocolate chunks I stirred in at the end. If you can’t find that, any solid chocolate bar from 40% to 66% should work fine. If you go too much darker the lack of cocoa butter in the darker chocolates will make your ice cream really firm and kind of chalky.
  • Because of the chocolate in the creme anglaise base, this is a very firm ice cream once it freezes. You’ll want to let it sit out for about 5 minutes before scooping.
  • I made this using a Breville SmartScoop Ice Cream Maker which I love because it’s super fast and easy to use. It has a relatively small churning space though, so if you’ve got a bigger ice cream maker you can easily double this recipe. The current recipe makes slightly more than a pint of ice cream.
  • To prevent freezer burn, press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream in the freezer, then put the lid on the ice cream container.
  • You have to freeze the chocolate chunks before stirring them into the ice cream base, otherwise they’ll sink to the bottom as the ice cream sets up in the freezer.

recipe FAQ

Can I use chocolate chips instead of a chocolate bar?

You can mix chocolate chips in at the end as chocolate chunks, but I don’t recommend using them as the melted chocolate in the ice cream base. Chocolate chips have stabilizers in them to help them hold their shape in the oven and they can mess with the texture of your finished ice cream.

Does it matter what kind of cocoa powder I use?

I used good old fashioned Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder. You can use dutch process cocoa powder, but it has a less intensely chocolatey flavor than natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

Can I use dried rosemary?

You can! You’ll probably want to use like a whole jar of it though and it will be a bit trickier to strain out of the ice cream base, so I’d recommend just getting fresh rosemary instead — it’ll be cheaper and easier to use.

Why did a thin film appear on the top of my heavy cream while it was steeping?

This is totally normal. I don’t know why it happens, but it does. Just stir it back into the pot it’ll be fine.

I don’t have a kitchen scale. How much chocolate should I be using?

I’ve provided volume measures for the cream, milk, and sugar, but the chocolate is best weighed, especially the chocolate that gets melted into the ice cream base. I can’t measure a chocolate bar by volume — it doesn’t fit nicely into a measuring cup. You’re going to want to use a kitchen scale for that. I did provide ounce measurements for the chocolate, so if consider using a Baker’s chocolate bar, those come with markings on each square to show how much it weighs.

rosemary double chocolate chip ice cream in a bowl with two cones sticking off the top. a rosemary plant is in the background.

double chocolate chip rosemary ice cream

Rebecca
Rosemary and chocolate are a winning combo in this ice cream, where the rosemary balances the richness of the chocolate with a subtle herbal touch — like mint's slightly more quiet cousin.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Churn Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1.25 pints

Ingredients
  

ICE CREAM BASE

  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 240 grams heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 120 grams whole milk (½ cup)
  • 14 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (2 TBSP)
  • 75 grams sugar (6 TBSP)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 14 grams dark chocolate bar (0.5 oz, 40-66% cacao, chopped finely)

Mix ins

  • 86 grams dark chocolate bar (3 oz, 40-66% cacao, chopped finely)

Instructions

  • Chop 86 grams (3 oz) chocolate into fairly small pieces. Place in airtight container in the freezer. You'll stir these in at the end.
  • Chop 14 grams (0.5 oz) chocolate into small pieces. Place in a medium mixing bowl with a wire mesh strainer over it and set aside.
  • Scald. Combine milk, heavy cream, sifted cocoa powder, and rosemary in a small pot over low-medium heat. Stir frequently. When bubbles form around the edges of the cream, tilt the pot forward. If there are lots of active bubbles on the bottom of the pot, reduce heat to low or turn heat off and let steep for 10 minutes. DO NOT BOIL. A skin might form on the surface of the cream, that's okay. Just give it a stir every now and then.
    (If you don't see lots of bubble activity when you tilt the pot, return to heat and keep stirring and tilting until you see the bubbles.)
  • Ribbon. While the rosemary and cocoa steep in the cream, whisk eggs and sugar together in a large heat-safe bowl until pale and slightly frothy, about 1-2 minutes. If you pick the whisk up out of the bowl a ribbon of the egg mixture should trail from the end.
  • Temper. Place a folded towel under the egg bowl to stabilize it. Remove the rosemary from the cream and discard. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Once all of the cream has been whisked into the eggs, transfer the mixture back to the pot and return to low heat.
  • Cook. Cook the mixture over low-medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of the spoon (if you draw a line through the mixture on the spoon, the line should stay visible with clean edges; you may also notice the bubbles on the surface disappear).
  • Strain. Strain the hot ice cream base into the bowl you set aside earlier; pour it through the wire mesh strainer over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate, then stir until combined and no streaks of chocolate remain.
  • Chill. Transfer the ice cream base to an airtight container in the fridge and let chill for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Churn. Churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Stir in frozen chocolate chunks while the ice cream is still soft (or add them to the ice cream maker when it's almost done), then transfer the ice cream to an airtight container in the freezer and chill for at least 2 hours before scooping.

Video

Notes

  • For even creamier ice cream you can use 1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks.
  • You can use up to 28 grams (1 oz) melted chocolate in the ice cream base. More chocolate in the base = firmer ice cream and more intense chocolate flavor. 
  • To prevent freezer burn, press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream in the freezer, then put the lid on the ice cream container.
Love this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know!
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Patricia

Rosemary in ice cream? Are you reading my mind of all my favorite things! I gotta try this!

Andrea

Chocolate and rosemary – wow, I would never have thought of that. Thank you for this discovery! Andrea/ Baker’s Signature