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Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Looking for dark chocolate ice cream.

The darker the better.

Something close to 65% cacao, 75% or 85% even better.

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  1. If sorbet would do, Pizzeria Mozza has an awesome very dark choclate frozen confection that is really great. Awesome in combo with tangerine and coconut sorbets, if they happen to be on the menu.

    Pizzeria Mozza
    641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    1. Grom in Malibu has a very good Choccolato fondente with Venezuelan "Ocumare" chocolate.

      3886 Cross Creek Road, Malibu, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        Well, I suppose gelato is closer to ice cream than sorbet.

        Thanks, though, that place does look interesting.

        1. re: wienermobile

          Mmmm, I love El Rey Chocolate.

          El Reys
          9131 Mission Blvd, Riverside, CA 92509

        2. For commercially available ice cream, I think Choctal is the darkest tasting chocolate I've tried. They have quite a few varieties of chocolate - some darker than others. They do not indicate the % of cocoa liqueur in the various flavors but if I recall, the Kalimantan was one of the darker varieties.

          8 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka

            Choctal is okay, just wish they didn't put so many fillers in it (locust bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, lecithin).

            1. re: Peripatetic

              The best commercial packaged dark chocolate ice cream I've ever had is Green and Black's.


              1. re: ipsedixit

                Hmm, maybe there's just no way around using stabilizers in commercial ice cream with high chocolate content. I always thought they were used simply to reduce production costs, much as lecithin is used in chocolate to replace more costly cocoa butter.

                1. re: Peripatetic

                  it's because ice cream crystallize if you don't use stabilizers. If you make a small batch at home and eat it immediately, crystallization isn't an issue, but for a shelf life that's longer than 24 hours, you need them.

                  Aside from that, I had a great dark chocolate ice cream fro Straus but it was a long while ago and I'm not sure they still make it. I had found it at WF, but only the one time.

                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    lecithin is not used to replace cocoa butter, it is used as an emulsifier.

                    1. re: tastycakes

                      As I understand it, lecithin serves both purposes. My favorite chocolate makers (Amadei, Domori, Cluizel) don't add it at all. But I believe you're right, some makers like Valrhona don't remove cocoa butter but do add some lecithin. But many makers remove cocoa butter (which can be sold more profitably separately) and compensate by adding comparatively more lecithin.

                      1. re: Peripatetic

                        don't they usually add palm oil or coconut oil in place of the cocoa butter. Lecithin is usually used as an emulsifier and stabilizer because it can hold extra fat in suspension.

                        1. re: AAQjr

                          @AAQjr: producers of lesser quality chocolate use all sorts of cocoa butter equivalents, including palm oil and other vegetable oils. I don't know of any top-quality chocolate made with anything other than cocoa butter, though. There might be, but it would probably be used to impart some desired characteristic rather than to save $$$.

                          @tastycakes: I looked into this some more. Lecithin isn't a replacement for cocoa butter (as I erroneously remarked), but it permits manufacturers to use somewhat less cocoa butter than they would otherwise have to to achieve a desired consistency. Not all manufacturers use it this way; some (like Valrhona) use it primarily to obtain a more consistent result during manufacture.

                          Anyway, this pretty well off-topic now. My main point is that it seems the use of stabilizers like locust bean gum and guar gum is unavoidable in commercial ice cream with a high dark chocolate content.

            2. Dr. Bob's used to make a Scharfenberger that was soooooooooooooo dark.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Burger Boy

                They still make it, Dr. Bob's Really Dark Chocolate. I love dark chocolate ice cream, but that one is almost too intense for me, usually have to have it with some raspberry sorbet or something. It's way darker than any other I've had.

                1. re: Robert Thornton

                  A friend and i were eating it and we could only do 3 spoons each. Very intense!

                  1. re: Robert Thornton

                    Agree. This is super dark and very rich . . .

                  2. re: Burger Boy

                    Good stuff. I like to cut it with pistachio ice cream or gelato.

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      OMG... i used to love that flavor. It was some serious crack. It's funny because I've never been a fan of Dr. Bob's other ice creams.

                    2. I'm a former Godiva Belgian Chocolate ice cream fan, but since they don't make it anymore, have switched to Ciao Bella Belgian Chocolate. Nice.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mnosyne

                        Ciao Bella Belgian Chocolate Gelato was going to be my suggestion too - it's not as dark & rich as the Valrhona, but that's not available in pints :(

                        1. re: mnosyne

                          The Ciao Bella Chocolate sorbet is also quite good.

                          Ciao Bella
                          1630 Spruce St, Riverside, CA 92507

                        2. I absolutely love the dark chocolate ice cream at Fosselman's in Alhambra. I'm generally not a big ice cream fan, but this one really does it for me...

                          38 Replies
                          1. re: wenster

                            Interesting. I find the dark chocolate ice cream at Fosselman's too much like coffee ice cream. It's not bad so much as not what I expect from a dark chocolate ice cream.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              ipse, i think at this point perhaps you should just break out the ice cream machine ;)

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Well, that's what prompted this inquiry.

                                I've been trying at home but for some reason I can't seem to get a good dark chocolate flavor. It's just sort of flat, with no depth of cocao flavor, and I've been using 85% chocolate. I wonder if it's the milk/custard that's muting the chocolate flavor.

                                This is why I wanted to get a sample of what the pros do when they make a really good dark chocolate ice cream.

                                Maybe I need to adjust my ratio of cocoa powder vis-a-vis dark chocolate.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Maybe I need to adjust my ratio of cocoa powder vis-a-vis dark chocolate.
                                  bingo. more cocoa will give you a deeper chocolate flavor.

                                  you might want to try this one:

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    what brand(s) of cocoa powder are you using?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      you know, I've found that for the deepest dark cocoa flavor, chocolate sorbet is what works best, precisely because there's no milk/cream. it doesn't have that "round" taste you get with the dairy.

                                      If you are really keen on making dark chocolate ice cream, maybe you should experiment with a sprinkle of sea salt or some chili pepper to give it a kick and get the cocoa flavor to come out stronger?

                                      1. re: bad nono

                                        agree that sorbet would have a purer chocolate flavor.

                                        for enhancing the cocoa, i'd use espresso.

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          Ciao Bella also makes a chocolate sorbet that is "very" chocolatty, almost unpleasantly so. It lacks the wonderful mouth feel that chocolate gelato gives; has a strange aftertaste. Not pleasant to eat like coffee granita, for example.

                                      2. re: ipsedixit

                                        You do need to add some coffee to it. If you don't use too much, it just adds depth to the flavor. So this doesn't get removed I will stay on topic and add, what about Bulgarini?

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          this is not an answer to your question, but info that maybe you could use or someone else on this board could use to help you.

                                          the Barry/Callebaut chocolate company makes a cocoa powder specifically for ice cream manufacturers that is LOWER in fat than their normal stuff.

                                          here's the quote from their website:

                                          "Low fat cocoa powders
                                          Especially for the dairy and ice cream industry, Barry Callebaut developed a range of cocoa products that are ideal in applications requiring specific fineness, attractive color and taste. These low fat cocoa products are available in a wide palette of colors. They are produced according to the best traditions in cocoa, guaranteed to meet even the most challenging demands."

                                          hope this clue will lead you to a solution

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              it may be hard to get your hands on the lower-fat Callebaut since it's an industrial product. Surfas carries their Plein Arome & Extra Brute varieties, but both are 22-24% fat. you might want to try combining one of those with some Black Onyx, which is much lower in fat.

                                              BTW, caught a few minutes of Unwrapped on FN, and they were featuring an ice cream that made me think of you & this thread - Gifford's Chocolate Lovers Chocolate..."The Deepest Richest Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Truffles, Chocolate Cake Crunch, and Fudge Ripple."

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                Is that Gifford's of Maine? Their stuff tastes like Dreyers/ Edys. Ugh

                                                1. re: jackattack

                                                  yep. never had the stuff, only saw it on a FN show. apparently their ice cream has won several first-place awards at the World Dairy Expo...if that means anything :)

                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  i tried their black onyx in my morning iced-blendeds, it was truly TERRIBLE.

                                                  the combo that works best for my palate is 1/2 valrhona, and 1/2 barry extra brute.

                                                  caveat, this is my combo for iced-blendeds, i don't make ice cream, so ymmv.

                                                  also, i don't understand why, but the WF price for the valrhona is lower than the valrhona price at surfas and lower than the surfas price for the barry extra brute.

                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                    How about compared with Chocosphere?


                                                    EDIT: Apologies, this URL appears to be context-sensitive (i.e., doesn't get you to the page directly). I hate that. You have to select the brand and then jump to the product.

                                                    1. re: Peripatetic

                                                      just looked at chocosphere prices compared to those of Whole Foods.
                                                      BEFORE shipping their valrhona prices are:
                                                      SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER for amounts less than 1kg (almost twice the price).
                                                      about the same as whole foods for 1kg order
                                                      a little less than whole food for a 3kg order.

                                                      add any shipping costs and you are better off price-wise going to whole foods.
                                                      also, since i buy my valrhona in the 1kg SEALED bags, the manager of the whole foods specialty foods dept. will order a box for me so that i get the absolute freshest product. the box contains 3 1kg bags, and the manager breaks bulk with the remaining two bags and sells them to other customers.

                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                        Thanks, just curious. I already order other things from them that I can't find locally (Amadei and Domori bars) and was curious if whether they were competitive with WF's prices.

                                                    2. re: westsidegal

                                                      yeah, the Black Onyx is definitely too bitter AND too low in fat & moisture for a blended! but it has the ideal properties for ice cream when combined with the right proportion of another cocoa.

                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                        Surfas does not do the volume that WF does and remember Surfas is not as much for the trade anymore as it is for the foodie/gourmet. I am just saying.

                                                3. re: ipsedixit

                                                  I've been on the same quest, to make and/or find a super dark chocolate ice cream. I think there's just something about dairy, though, that messes up the flavor notes in chocolate that I like best. So far my favorite packaged is Lalloo Deep Chocolate. Has anyone here tried it? It's made with goat's milk and I think maybe the enzymes in goat's milk are more cacao friendly. My aim is to attempt this recipe in the near future: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mckaig/2...>. It uses chocolate rather than cocoa powder (haven't had much luck with cocoa-based ice cream) and it especially calls for 62% or higher chocolate.

                                                  1. re: ninrn

                                                    the correct spelling is Laloo's. love their products, but i must confess it's been ages since i had the chocolate so i don't recall how rich it was.


                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      Laloos makes great vanilla ice cream, called Vanilla Snowflake. The chocolate, not so much.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        agreed on the vanilla - i couldn't remember if the chocolate was as good...though the fact that i couldn't remember should have tipped me off! the Black Mission Fig rocks.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          I've found that most people do not make a good chocolate ice cream. I think it's because they get lazy and know they can get away with a subpar chocolate ice cream because people are generally just happy to have that shot of chocolate flavor delivered in a cold and creamy texture.

                                                          With vanilla (or really any other flavor) it's not that simple. You can tell the difference between good vanilla and bad vanilla -- the latter being akin to licking a Slurpee with all of its artificial flavorings leeched out of it.

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                            ipse, i remembered this discussion when i saw the following thread:

                                                            perhaps you need to try the BA recipe?

                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                i'm just going by the comments about how it tastes, including the OP's "SUPER intense chocolate flavor."

                                            2. re: wenster

                                              I like Fossellman's"Dark Chocolate" too. I haven't had it scooped but I've had it in the half gallons and it has a strange, dry taste...almost like dry cocoa in the can. Fairly unique.

                                              I like SnoQualmie from Seattle, "Mulketeo Mudd" is the name of their chocolate and I've seen it at Gelson's and at Ralph's. But you won't find ice cream that's 65% cacao....ice cream is mostly cream, milk and sugar.

                                              1. re: jackattack

                                                But you won't find ice cream that's 65% cacao....ice cream is mostly cream, milk and sugar.


                                                Well, yes, that's right. The ice cream itself won't be 65% cocao, but there's got to be ice cream makers out there who make ice cream with >65% cocao chocolate, right?

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Dark chocolate ice cream would be made with 100% cocoa, plus maybe some added melted chocolate( which could be semi-sweet, bittersweet, 85%, whatever) I guess. The cooking.com recipe for Dark Chocolate ice cream uses both.

                                                  1. re: jackattack

                                                    Yeah, to get the darkest chocolate ice cream, you would have to use cocoa instead of chocolate. I use both, but mostly cocoa. I use the little pints of Valhrona cocoa I get at Whole Foods for $5 (yeah might as well buy ice cream at this point) with good results.

                                                    1. re: choctastic

                                                      I used both as well (cocoa powder and Lindt Dark 85%). I think the espresso is what I was missing.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        I think the espresso is what I was missing.
                                                        further proof that you should always listen to me ;)

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          When something is already established -- e.g. Earth is round -- no further proof is necessary.

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              in case you're still experimenting, i just saw this on the Scharffen Berger website:

                                                              i'd add a little espresso to it.

                                                        2. re: choctastic

                                                          here's a little tip about the valrhona cocoa from whole foods.

                                                          whole foods buys the stuff in boxes, with each box containing a sealed mylar-type bag of cocoa powder. each bag contains a kilo of powder. normally, WF, breaks bulk and sells the stuff in the little plastic tubs that you mention for a little under $12/ lb. (which is still less than what surfas charges for the same stuff)

                                                          i've been successful at my local WF in getting the store manager to OK giving me a "case discount " of 10% off when i buy and entire, unopened, 1 kilo bag. this is not the official store policy for anything that comes from the specialty food dept, including the valrhona, but the manager has been kind to me.

                                                2. Was at Bulgarini today and I think they said theirs was 85%. Saw a goat's milk dark chocolate at Delicieuse last Sunday.

                                                  2503 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: SLC

                                                    ooh, i might have to scoot down to Redondo one of these days to check out that goat's milk ice cream.

                                                  2. I heartily agree that Dr. Bobs flavoer, known as "The Works", is the absolute purest & intensely chocolate ice cream, & most are unacceptable to me as they aren't a true chocolate taste. I like to pour Grand Marnier over it when it softens slightly. The taste is thrilling to me! I have not tried the Gianduja made by Ciao Bella, but I imagine it is also good. Gelsons Calabasas often has smaller boutique brands which are a more premium & rich product. Unfortunately the turnover there is quick. It seems they are consumed with "out with the old, in with the new". Has anyone ordered the ice cream made by Vosges? If it's as amazing as their Barcelona Bar", it has to be pure bliss! -JET

                                                    Ciao Bella
                                                    1630 Spruce St, Riverside, CA 92507

                                                    1. LA Creamery in the Topanga Westfield Mall (Topanga Canyon Blvd N of the 101) is next to Nordstrom's. So new, it's not even on the mall directory.They had a bittersweet chocolate (70%) that was very rich. Don't know if that's what you're looking for, but this was as much a shout out for a good ice cream place in the West Valley. Greatly enjoyed their saffron as well. They rotate their flavors, so can't guarantee that the bittersweet will be there next time.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Ogawak

                                                        BTW, LA Creamery is opening at the The Americana at Brand soon. Current ETA is next month.

                                                      2. on sale now at gelson's

                                                        PALAZZOLO'S triple dark chocolate gelato

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                          Saw the Palazzolo's at Ralph's but I passed, I prefer more natural ingredients. Some of the ingredients in the Palazzolo's were just STRANGE. "Phosphoric acid" in ice cream? No, thank you. And since when is there an ingredient called "coconut cream"? I've heard of coconut MILK, but not coconut cream!

                                                          Current fave-rave is Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch Gelato. Yum. Almost more a frozen-custard consistency than gelato.

                                                          1. re: jackattack

                                                            you just saved me from gaining 5 lbs.

                                                            1. re: jackattack

                                                              coconut cream is pretty common?! it's the stuff that floats to the top in your coconut milk. You can buy it in stores.. Not as common as Coconut milk maybe but not that weird

                                                              1. re: jackattack

                                                                And since when is there an ingredient called "coconut cream"?
                                                                the next time you're at Ralph's go to the ethnic food aisle. you'll see cans of coconut cream/cream of coconut.

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  We use raw organic coconut cream to make our sorbet...its a great substitute for dairy....coconut cream is the meat of the coconut...its yummy for smoothies and great for your health

                                                                  1. re: klmiller

                                                                    I make a vegan ice cream with just rich coconut milk (high fat content) and mexican chocolate like Abuelita (contains no milk, but does contain sugar, cinnamon and almonds). It is really well liked by all my friends.

                                                                  1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                    Their product is, "cream of coconut" - it's coconut cream and sugar. Coconut cream is the thicker stuff that rises to the top when coconuts are processed for their "milk." It can be found in the same section as coconut milk.

                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                      i don't know why i thought Coco Lopez also had a straight-up coconut cream. gotta love once again learning something new here on CH :)