Creamy, homemade ice cream is an easy and gratifying treat. If you are craving chocolate but don't have baking chocolate or semi-sweet melting chocolate on hand, don't fret; there are many recipes that call for unsweetened cocoa powder instead. Baking cocoa, Dutch process cocoa or natural cocoa powder are all good types of cocoa to use and can easily be interchanged in any ice cream recipe.
Cocoa Ice Cream
Many old-fashioned recipes call for cocoa instead of chocolate pieces. During the depression, real chocolate was a scarce commodity and recipes from that time period reflect this. Think hot cocoa in ice cream form -- you can't go wrong. These recipes are almost all custard style, meaning you mix the ingredients with eggs and cook it to form a custard. This custard cools overnight in the fridge before being frozen in an ice cream maker the next day, so plan accordingly.
Substituting Cocoa For Chocolate
Cocoa powder can be used as a substitute for any ice cream that calls for unsweetened chocolate. As a general rule, use 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of butter for every ounce of unsweetened chocolate called for in a recipe. Semi-sweet chocolate is the same ounce for ounce as unsweetened chocolate, but add 1 tablespoon sugar for every ounce that you are substituting.
Cocoa may give a different texture to the ice cream if you are using it as a straight substitution. Cooked recipes will help to incorporate the cocoa better. When it comes to type of cocoa, either Dutch process or natural cocoa will work fine. Dutch cocoa will give a deeper color and richer taste to the ice cream than natural cocoa.
Be sure that the recipe is completely chilled before beginning to churn. Churn ice cream for about a half an hour for soft serve or longer for a thicker spread. For hard ice cream, store in the freezer for a couple of hours after churning to freeze all the way through. Store ice cream in an air tight container in the very back of the freezer for up to two weeks.
Kimberly Blough is a food junkie residing in San Diego who began writing professionally in 2013. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in geography from San Diego State University in 2003 and has taught culinary classes in various capacities since 2005. She teaches cheesemaking workshops and lives on a small hobby farm where she turns the food they grow into delectable dishes.