Bitter Chocolate and Buttermilk Ice Cream

I remember going to Sally Clarke’s shop in the early ’90s when I worked in Oddbins in Kensington, London. Sally’s recipe for chocolate ice cream uses buttermilk, which is actually low in fat (it was originally what was left over after churning cream into butter), but has a certain amount of acidity. It works very well here with the dark chocolate to create an ice cream that’s perfect for those, like me, don’t like their “sweets” too sweet. Sally suggests serving with plain cookies such as freshly baked langues de chat or vanilla shortbread.–Micah Carr-Hill

LC Um, Did Someone Say Chocolate? Twice? Note

Yup. Two types of dark chocolates lend this ice cream its lavishness and lusciousness, though it’s still not too bitter. And not too sweet. Just bittersweet–perfectly so.

Bitter Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 1 pint


  • 3 large or extra large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (you can make your own simply by blitzing granulated sugar in a blender)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces 70% dark chocolate, grated
  • 3 1/2 ounces 85% dark chocolate, grated
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


  • 1. To make the bitter chocolate ice cream, place a bowl in the freezer to chill it. Place the egg yolks and half the sugar in another bowl and whisk until light, fluffy, and pale in color.
  • 2. Heat the milk, cream, and the remaining sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until just below the boiling point. Slowly pour a little of the cream mixture into the yolks and whisk until blended. Slowly, slowly pour in the rest of the cream mixture, whisking constantly, until combined. Immediately return the mixture to the pan and place over medium heat, whisking fairly frequently, until it begins to thicken. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  • 3. Add both the chocolates to the pan and stir until they’re melted and smooth. Stir in the buttermilk until blended. Strain the mixture into the chilled bowl from the freezer and let it cool, then cover the bowl and refrigerate the ice cream mixture anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
  • 4. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep in the freezer until you can’t stand the wait anymore. (Bitter chocolate ice cream is best served within 12 hours of churning, but will keep well for at least 1 week in the freezer.)
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