So I used one of those ice cream recipes where you heat the cream/milk/sugar/cocoa powder and then whisk in 8oz. of chopped chocolate. But it turned out really icy, and gritty. I'm wondering if its better to temper the chocolate instead of mixing it at once? Any tips would be great.
When you make ganache you generally add heated cream to chopped chocolate and that's sufficient to melt the chocolate to make smooth ganache.
Maybe you're cream mixture was not hot enough or your chocolate bits were too large. You can certainly add melted chocolate to it, tempering isn't necessary.
I'm guessing that they tell you to add chopped chocolate to reduce steps, as you need to let the mixture cool before adding to ice cream machine anyway ;)