cayenne chocolate ice cream

Cayenne Chocolate Ice Cream

making ice cream at our house is a production
— a happy one
but a production nonetheless
i’ll ask dw to put our ice cream canister thing in the freezer
which means we play frozen food tetris
to make room for it.
we’ll return to whatever we were doing:
washing the dishes
playing crossword puzzles
5 minutes will pass,
sometimes hours.
then the question will come up:
what flavor are we making??
likely i don’t have a flavor in mind,
not exactly.
dw is always game for whatever i concoct,
as long as it’s not chocolate + fruit
i know, i know, I KNOW.
during a recent very quick skim of pantry items
we kept it simple.

Cayenne Chocolate Ice Cream

cayenne chocolate ice cream
makes about 3 1/2 cups

*note: the spicy kick creeps up on you. you’re busy savoring the creaminess and cold and chocolate and then there’s heat. it’s not unpleasant.

4 egg yolks, from large eggs
scant 1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 cups lactose free half/half (this was on hand, i’d make this with canned coconut milk, or any plant/nut based milk)
1/2 TBL cornstarch or potato starch
3-4 TBL good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

in a saucepan gently heat the half/half with the sugar and cocoa powder, medium heat. whisk until warmed though and the sugar has incorporated. in a bowl have your egg yolks ready. ladle in a bit of the warmed milk, whisking the yolks all the while. add in another 2 ladle-fuls and whisk. the temp of the yolks should be warmed through. add the yolk mixture to the saucepan, but leave about a ladle-ful in the bowl, and continue whisking all the while. the mixture will thicken slightly.

for the remaining mixture in the bowl, add the cornstarch or potato starch and mix until incorporated. add to the saucepan. mix some more.

sprinkle a dash or two of cayenne pepper, i would say it was about 1 tsp, but use at your discretion to your liking.

pour into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. allow to cool completely, ideally overnight.

when ready, pour into ice cream maker and churn according to machine’s instructions.


Cayenne Chocolate Ice Cream {outtakes}


1 year ago: diy sperm cornhole
2 years ago: vegan strawberry sweet biscuit

other ice cream concoctions:
coffee chocolate chip ice cream – lactose free
peppermint chocolate chip ice cream – lactose free
spiced coconut pecan ice cream – dairy free
strawberry ice cream + almond waffle cones – dairy free
tangerine ice cream – lactose free
not interested in ice cream, try the spicy pudding version

38 thoughts on “cayenne chocolate ice cream

  1. The photos are so beautiful Lan! I can literally hear the clink of metal on metal as if I were scooping the last spoonful of chocolatey goodness out of that bowl! Is there a big difference using half/half vs. coconut milk vs. regular nut milk? Which is creamiest and are any of the variations icy tasting?

    1. Half and half is certainly the creamiest, but a custard base made with coconut or nut milk and egg yolks will come out creamy enough. It is quite a task to make a vegan ice cream creamy without some added thickeners.

      1. Wow, thanks for the tips DW! I’ve never made vegan ice cream before so these are great tips to inspire…will be trying this in the “creamy enough” variation soon! 🙂

    2. bonnie – in regards to icy taste – admittedly the versions without cream can be rather icy. when i do a full on vegan recipe i double up on the amount of corn or potato starch to hopefully give it some thickening.
      if you’re concerned about using half/half, you can use milk, i would recommend full fat milk, because it’d be much creamier than using skim or fat free, which in my opinion is just milk flavored water…

      1. I definitely agree with the ‘milk flavored water” bit. So the closest version to “full fat milk” would be coconut milk? You know all the vegan equivalents & brands so just want to cross check with you first before I run off to the store. 😉 Thanks Lan!!

      2. Bonnie –
        actually, the creamiest vegan version i’ve ever had was cashew cream based. something i have not yet to attempt. (cashews are soooo PRICEY!)
        if i had to choose the closest vegan milk option, i would say use SO DELICIOUS COCONUT CREAMER. if you really want to gild the lily, put full fat canned coconut milk in the fridge overnight and skim off the top fat layer.
        another brand that i like is Califia almond milk, around my area the only varieties are the milk options (which i find to be so expensive and would be hard for me to churn into ice cream) BUT i have seen creamers online which i bet would be great for ice cream…

  2. That’s some flavor you got there! I am not much of an ice cream fan but there are few flavors I could go for and chocolate is definitely one of them. Guess what, the husband would any ice cream any flavor but chocolate. story of my life LOL

  3. Cayenne is powerful stuff, and that 1 tsp sounds a little scary but I’ve had chilli chocolate icecream before and loved it so I’m sure I’d like this. And reading on, “1 year on – diy sperm cornhole”? That was a surprise!!!

    1. i think the cream in the ice cream curbs a lot of the spiciness. the best thing about making homemade though, you can totally adjust according to your preference.

      and ha! it was for a baby shower and was quite the hit with everyone!

  4. Such perfect pictures, as always! I recently got an ice cream maker and I’ve been obsessed with it. Our freezer is currently stocked with roasted blackberry, cookies and cream, cereal milk and peanut butter ice creams. It’s kind of crazy, but I keep my ice cream bowl in the freezer permanently so I can make ice cream whenever the mood strikes! Definitely trying this one next. I love this flavor combo.

    1. when we merged households we realized that we have TWO ice cream makers. all other doubled stuff was picked over and donated but not the ice cream makers! one day we’ll have a huge freezer where both can be in at the same time…
      i’m so envious of your ice cream selection. we can only have one flavor at a time…

  5. This looks amazing! I’ve never tried cayenne (at all), let alone in ice cream, but I think it’s high time that I do so!!! Love your pictures -they’re gorgeous! And your writing is breathtaking!

  6. I love the addition of cayenne to this! There’s nothing like a perfect mix of spicy and sweet!

    1. hello kennedy, thank so much for visiting, welcome!

      spicy + sweet is kinda something you find in main dishes maybe (like a stirfry), but in desserts, it’s something special, i think.

  7. That looks so good! And cayenne! Never thought about that in an ice cream before! Have you tried pepper in your ice cream yet? Would love to know how you like it!

  8. freezer tetris is exactly right! That’s the main reason I rarely make icecream – I can;t find room in my packed freezer for the cannister thingy. Bet this tastes all kinds of amazing.

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