Mexican Chocolate & Almond Ice Cream

Prep Time
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"Mexican chocolate ice cream, with a pinch of cayenne as a nod to the traditional Mayan roots of chocolate when it was mixed with chiles in a spicy, frothy drink. With crunchy bits of toasted almonds for a heavenly frozen treat! NOTE: Time does not include refrigeration time of the ice cream base or the churning time. Serving size is a guess - this makes a quart. For me, that would be at least 8 servings. For DH, it would barely make 4!!!"

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (197.6 g)
  • Calories 399
  • Total Fat - 25.3 g
  • Saturated Fat - 12.3 g
  • Cholesterol - 213.9 mg
  • Sodium - 384.8 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 35.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2.7 g
  • Sugars - 26.4 g
  • Protein - 11.9 g
  • Calcium - 163.9 mg
  • Iron - 2.1 mg
  • Vitamin C - 1.1 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Prepare an ice bath inside a large mixing bowl, setting another large mixing bowl inside the ice bath and a fine-mesh strainer over top.

Step 2

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half with the cocoa powder. Simmer over medium-low heat for about a minute, stirring with a whisk until all the cocoa lumps have broken up. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Step 3

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and salt until pale yellow.

Step 4

In another medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once hot, remove from the heat and temper the egg mixture by slowly pouring about 1 cup of the half-and-half into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs.

Step 5

Pour the milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 170°F on a thermometer and a finger drawn across the back of the custard-covered wooden spoon leaves a trail.

Step 6

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through the fine-meshed strainer into the bowl over the ice bath. Then pour in the chocolate mixture, scraping with a spatula to get every last bit from the pan. Whisk until the custard is smooth. Stir in the sliced almonds. Chill over the ice bath for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 7

Once the ice cream base is cool, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Step 8

Once chilled, freeze the ice cream base in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until hard. Serve the ice cream with optional cayenne and/or a tiny pinch of salt

Tips & Variations

  • Ice cream maker