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making diet choc. ice cream palatable

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My cholesterol is kind of high, so my wife purchases lowfat chocolate ice cream for me to have in the house. As a fan of serious chocolate, I find the taste of these products (e.g., Edy's "double-churned" chocolate) seriously deficient. It occured to me recently that an easy way to improve the flavor of these products is to mix good cocoa powder into them. I have had success at about a 1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder per scoop, and I stir it in with a spoon until it is mostly uniformly incorporated into the ice cream. This may be an obvious solution, as homemade chocolate ice cream recipes sometimes call for cocoa powder. The plus side is that this method of making dessert tastier makes it healthier, too, as cocoa powder seems to be good for one's cholesterol.

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  1. The darker chocolate, is also low fat. (72%) If you can, try a really good quality chocolate, melt it & stir it in, then refreeze. I make my own ice cream, many times all I've had was low fat milk and I used it anyway. Fresh fruit pureed, is also a wonderful addition. So stirring the powdered chocolate directly into the ice cream doesn't make for grainey ice cream?
    I too get Ice cream cravings, sure wish it had the caloric value of a stalk of celery...

    9 Replies
    1. re: chef chicklet

      dark chocolate is absolutely NOT low fat. I think you are confusing the fact that the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it has. Chocolate (as opposed to cocoa which has the fat removed) is VERY high fat, almost 100%. No cholesterol of course, but fat nonetheless.

      OP - I'm not sure they still make it, but Hagen Daaz used to make a chocolate sorbet that was very chocolate-y.

      1. re: danna

        Dark chocolate is certainly not low fat, but neither is it close to 100%. Checking the bar of Lindt on my desk (ahem) ... looks to be 45% fat, by mass.

        I second the chocolate sorbet recommendation. When done well, chocolate sorbet is super good.

        And to north2south: the study that I saw linking chocolate consumption to increased cardio-vascular health involved eating a single square of 85% chocolate every day. I very much doubt that generally gorging on chocolate or ice cream (low fat or not) will have any half-way positive effects.

        1. re: tmso

          I calculate % fat as % of total calories, not mass. I think it's a lot more meaningful that way. I'm getting around 92% on unsweetened bar chocolate. (assuming I'm doing the math right)

        2. re: danna

          less milk, is that what I meant danna? maybe not less sugar, but in looking at the chocolate powders I have, they show zero fat. OP was enhancing, not gorging on their ice cream, they just were wanting to make low fat ice cream more palatable. I am not a dietician, but looking at my Scharfen B choclate bar at 82% a single delicious diamond, one little diamond grated over the low fat ice cream, is nothing to get all worked up about If you're counting fat, save in other areas for that treat). And the dark chocolate has other fine benefits.

          1. re: chef chicklet

            maybe. Your chocoloate bar shouldn't have any (significant) milk in it, unless it's labled "milk chocolate." Your "dark" chocolate bar can vary in % chocolate, depending on how much sugar it has. I think "regular" dark choc is in the 50% range, and obviously unsweetened is 100%. I think 70% is optimal for my taste.

            You mentioned melting so I assumed you were talking about bar chocolate, but you're right, cocoa POWDER has almost no fat in it, and is probably my most beloved product in the world. I recommend Valhrona cocoa powder. i buy it from Chocoshpere.com , where they repackage the industrial size V. cocoa into 1 lb. bags, thereby making it alot more fiscally palatable than the regular consumer packaging straight from V. ($24/lb)

            Don't get me wrong...i eat some chocolate almost every day...but I fully recognize that in bar form, it's an extremely high-fat food. Fortunately, a little goes a long way, if you excercise a bit of restraint.

            1. re: danna

              thanks for the link Danna, I will check out the Valhrona powder, that's a decent price actually.
              Yes, I like the dark dark dark bitter stuff (no milk and little sugar). Nothing sweet. weired I know, and you're right about excercising restraint!

              1. re: chef chicklet

                "I recommend Valhrona cocoa powder."

                It may be worth it alone for the cost (Valrhona is more expensive)
                to smell for the first time what gushes out at you the first time you open the bag of Valrhona cocoa. Couldn't agree more with this rec.

                PS: Please differentiate, n2s, between the terms low-fat, and low-cholesterol or low saturated fat foods. You could also use melted high-quality bittersweet chocolate, whose health properties have been widely established. Have you ever considered making your own chocolate ice cream?

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  Or even, as Danna mentioned and I seconded, chocolate sorbet! (Sorry to repeat myself, but I really like its pure-chocolate taste).

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    Yes, I've made chocolate ice cream of my own. But if I'm going to the trouble of making chocolate ice cream, I'm going to go all out for flavor and texture, which means it is not a low-fat product. In any event, I don't have time to make my own ice cream very often. Usually, I want something quick, and the strategy of mixing cocoa powder in works pretty well--it's easy, quick, effective, and not bad for me. Usually I do this with Edy's "slow churn" or Breyer's "double churn" flavors.

                    One downside to this method, by the way, is that mixing cocoa powder into these high-override ice creams causes them to lose air and become denser. At the end of the mixing-in you will have a smaller volume of ice cream. To keep the benefits of eating low-fat, you have to resist the temptation to add in more ice cream!

                    And Jacey (below), thanks for the cinnamon tip. I love a touch of cinnamon with chocolate, yet it never occurred to me to throw some in with the cocoa.

        3. As I've struggled with my weight for years (finally joined WW in May - 32 lbs. lost so far!), I've found few light/diet ice creams that satisfy. My fav is coffee ice cream!!! My substitute for this is cool whip free mixed with a bit of International Coffee sugar-free mocha granules. It's actually pretty good. So if you like mocha/coffee flavor, try sprinkling a bit of that on the ice cream. It dissolves quickly and isn't grainy a bit.

          1. I admire your character and fortitude.

            I don't keep ice cream at home, but when I do eat it, believe me it's the good stuff :)

            1. try stirring some cinnamon in your ice cream along with the cocoa powder. it will add depth.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jacey

                I'll second that. I love adding cinnamon to chocolate ice cream, the flavors play so well off of one another.