After adding this to the list of Nora’s Top 15 foods, I realized I may be over compensating a bit. Does anyone else get a homemade chocolate chip ice cream pop almost every day?
But her devotion to this snack is an indication of just how good it is. I tasted the un-frozen vanilla ice cream mixture when I was making it last time, and it is even better than commercial vanilla ice cream in my opinion; more creamy and less sweet. Add in the Green & Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate, and it’s decadent.
You might wonder how Nora gets to eat something like fancy chocolate. The answer lies in the nature of a good chocolate bar: it’s cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter (fat) plus a bit of other ingredients for texture. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa and less sugar is added into the chocolate bar. The darker and fancier the better! And the cocoa powder in the bar actually has a bit of fiber! Nora’s 4 g of 85% dark chocolate has 1.1 g of net carbs. To compare, 4 g of Green & Black’s Milk Chocolate has 2.3 g carbs, twice as much. Granted, one square of chocolate is about 4 g, and 1 of those per day delivers just over 10% of Nora’s carbs for the day. But what a nice way to have your carbs, no? If it were me, I’d pick the square of chocolate too.
The fancy chocolate also comes in a vanilla ice cream package, enough to boost the ratio to almost 4:1 per ice cream pop.
Making this kind of rich custard-style ice cream is a time intensive process, so I will walk through the steps. I simultaneously make 1 quart of Nora’s ice cream and 1 quart of the regular sweetened ice cream for the rest of us (be prepared by buying an extra 2 pints of heavy cream and an extra dozen eggs). But Nora’s quart lasts a whole lot longer. I can get 18 pops out of Nora’s recipe. That’s almost 3 weeks worth of ice cream if she eats it almost every day. I can usually space it out over about 1 month, although there is complaining on non-ice-cream-days.
This is the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe, adapted from David Lebovitz. When I add 4 g of Green & Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate, the nutritional information becomes 1.89 g carbs, 1.68 g. protein, 14.01 g fat, 0.4 g fiber. You can adjust the final numbers by choosing a more or less chocolate or a different addition for flavor.
Vanilla Bean Keto Ice Cream
250 ml (1 cup) whole milk
500 ml (2 cups) Organic Valley heavy cream
102 g (6 large) egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
No-carb sweetener as desired (I use a bit of Nora’s Cytra-K)
Gently warm the milk, 250 ml (1 cup) of the cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Measure the egg yolks. One benefit of doing 2 batches at the same time is that any extra yolk from the keto batch can be added to the conventional batch. You will be left with a lot of whites, so have a plan (see picture).
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour a bit of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture reaches 170 degrees and thickens to coat the spatula. I use an instant-read thermometer to be sure that it reaches a safe temperature, because this is the only time you will cook the egg yolks before they will be consumed. This step takes at least 5-10 minutes, so be sure that your children are occupied. It would be a pity to burn this glorious mixture. When I make 2 separate batches, I do not cook them simultaneously. One at a time. Ice cream is too important to rush.
Meanwhile, put the remaining 250 ml (1 cup) cream into a large bowl with a fine mesh strainer on top. After reaching 170 degrees, pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream in the bowl (see picture). Add the vanilla extract and any desired sweetener, and stir until cool over an ice bath or put into the refrigerator immediately to cool and stir periodically while cooling. Chill thoroughly.
At this point, I just put the keto version of the ice cream into the freezer and stir throughout the day. Because it doesn’t have any sugar, it still has a higher freezing point so it will immediately ice and collect on the sides of the ice cream machine. It just doesn’t work. Even if you were to stir constantly, it would freeze solid and never get that scoopable ice cream texture, so why bother? I just try to break up the ice crystals periodically as they are forming by stirring periodically and keeping the vanilla beans suspended throughout the mixture for flavor.
When the ice cream is semi-frozen you can weigh it out then create the chocolate chips in each serving. This can be a few hours after you’ve initially frozen it, or you can take it out of the freezer anytime and let it soften until you can get some out of the container. I do 4 pops at a time, so it gets frozen and softened several times before the final pops of the batch are eaten. It does not seem to effect the quality of the ice cream.
First, weigh out 44 g of the ice cream (according to my calculations–you could re-calculate for your purposes).
Next, weigh out 4 g of Green & Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate (or other according to your calculations) in a small silicone pinch bowl. The bowl must be completely dry, or else the chocolate will seize when heated. Microwave for 20-30 seconds and it will be completely melted. Be careful, because the bowl may be hot when you remove it from the microwave.
Drizzle the chocolate over the bowl of cold ice cream. It will solidify again when it hits the cold ice cream. Then you can mix it up, breaking the chocolate apart more and making chips!
You could certainly serve it just like this. Nora likes to see the chocolate on the top. But to make several servings at a time it’s nice to make them into ice cream pops. The pops also avoid the too-solid vs. too-liquid states of keto ice cream. It just doesn’t get that nice in-between-liquid-and-solid state of conventional ice cream with sugar (I discussed this issue in a previous post, so we find ways to work with the properties that we’ve got (which is frozen solid) instead of working against it.
After you have drizzled the melted chocolate on the cold ice cream, mix to incorporate, breaking the chocolate further into the “chips” familiar from commercial ice cream. Finally, you have a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream. Re-freeze for a bit and serve with a spoon (if you freeze it solid again you will have to let it soften before serving). Or scrape it into ice cream pop molds to serve later. These are Tovolo molds, made to look like an ice cream cone! They hold up to about 52 g of ice cream, in my experience, and work well with the 48 g of ice cream here. I make up 4 at a time, weighing and mixing them one after the other, so that they are ready to take out of the freezer on demand. And they are in demand!