Bittersweet Chocolate and Buttermilk Ice Cream

This bitter chocolate and buttermilk ice cream is smooth and creamy with a pronounced yet not too bitter chocolate intensity.

Two bitter chocolate and buttermilk ice cream cones in glasses.

Two types of dark chocolates lend this bittersweet chocolate and buttermilk ice cream its smooth, creamy, chocolatey lavishness. Not too bitter. Not too sweet. Just perfectly in between. Whoever said moderation is boring was wrong in this instance.–Renee Schettler

Bitter Chocolate Ice Cream

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 4 (1/2-cup) servings
5/5 - 5 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Green & Black's Organic Ultimate Chocolate Recipes cookbook

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Special Equipment: Ice cream maker



Place a bowl in the freezer. Place the egg yolks and half the sugar in another bowl and whisk until light, fluffy, and pale in color.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, cream, and the remaining sugar 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 let the mixture boil.

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 to room temperature.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate the ice cream mixture anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer the mixture to a container and stash it in the freezer to firm the consistency slightly or until you can’t stand the wait anymore. (This is best served within a day of churning but will keep well for at least 1 week in the freezer.) Originally published July 7, 2011.

Print RecipeBuy the Green & Black's Organic Ultimate Chocolate Recipes cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Chocolate lovers will flip over this ice cream. It’s very rich with a deep, dark chocolate flavor. Clearly it was designed for the Green & Black’s chocolate cookbook, because it’s the only manufacturer I can find in the grocery store that makes 85 percent cocoa solids chocolate!

Some tips: After turning the mixture into the chilled bowl, put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least two hours. It took about 30 minutes in the ice cream maker to reach the correct texture, but you could eat it sooner if you like it soft.

My tasters loved this ice cream. It’s about as perfect as chocolate ice cream can be with a rich, chocolate flavor and a moderate level of sweetness. It’s as easy to prepare as any custard-based ice cream. The mixture took about two hours to cool in the refrigerator. A bit longer or overnight would’ve been better, but we just couldn’t wait to taste it.

The next time I make this, I’ll put the mixture in the freezer to cool so we won’t have to wait quite so long!


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  1. Wonder if you could replace the buttermilk with plain whole milk yogurt? The fat content of the yogurt is higher, so perhaps reduce the heavy cream at the same time?

    Purely a situational request — I always have yogurt on-hand, but rarely have buttermilk (I use thinned yogurt in almost all recipes calling for it).

    1. Not sure about the yogurt, but a common way to substitute for buttermilk if you don’t have any store-bought on hand is to put about a Tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup and add milk (to bring total liquid to 1 cup). Mix and let stand about 5 mins or so.

      I think I’d try this before adjusting the fat content via yogurt or the reduction of cream. But I’m also curious to know whether you try the yogurt, if it works. I usually have yogurt (and lemons and milk) on hand, but not as often buttermilk.

      Of course, I also like cornbread and when I make that I have leftover buttermilk. Now, with this ice cream, I know what to do with the leftovers!

    2. I’m going to ask some of our more experienced ice cream makers to weigh in, Katy. Without trying it, I can’t say for certain. You’ll lose a little of the tang, and I wonder if perhaps the texture may be not quite as smooth, depending on that fat content. I wouldn’t tinker with the amount of heavy cream…but stand by, we’ll get some more opinions for you…

      1. Low fat plain yoghurt should work just fine as an alternative to buttermilk. Similar pH, similar fat, and slightly higher protein and natural sugars, but nothing to worry about. BTW, thanks for all the kind comments about the recipe. Glad to hear it’s being made and enjoyed.

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