Big Fat Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Once upon a time, the child’s 11th birthday party involved a thing called a Vermonster.

Nope.  Not a theme park.

It is every child’s ice cream fantasy.  Twenty scoops of pure Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a bunch of toppings, sauces, and other goodies were crafted into a sundae and tossed into a giant metal mixing bowl with enough spoons to keep a gaggle of tween-age girls happy for at least 30 minutes.  Back in the day – you could order a Vermonster in a local Ben & Jerry’s.

There was nothing more fun than living in Vermont when Ben & Jerry’s first became, well, Ben & Jerry’s.  It was extraordinary ice cream – and so very different from the boring box-store stuff.  Ben & Jerry’s was ice cream with heart.

But fast forward a million years or so and here we are on the left coast and Ben & Jerry’s is now in almost every box-store freezer and not even owned by Ben or Jerry anymore.

What’s a girl to do?

Make homemade of course.  It is easy enough and well worth the small effort for the huge payback.  I’m a big fan of Graeter’s Ice Cream – the kind where they drizzle chocolate in while it is churning and you get varying and often huge chunks of deep dark chocolate goodness in a bite of ice cream.

It is easy to do at home in your very own ice cream maker.  This Cuisinart Ice Cream maker here, not all that expensive, is our favorite small summer electric appliance.  Just remember to do a couple of things to make delicious homemade ice cream.  First, keep the bowl thingy in the freezer – the coldest part of your freezer – so it is always ready to go when you feel like some ice cream.  And make the custard stuff the day before (if you remember) so it is nice and chilled before you churn.

And may I say, that custard ice cream base is really worth the eggs and stove top preparation – though it takes a few minutes.

The Cuisinart book that comes with the ice cream maker has a some great recipes.  And so does David Lebovitz in his book, The Perfect Scoop. For the size of the machine, David’s recipes are better.

Find yourself a Cuisinart and get ready to make some fabulous ice cream.  And to help you along, I’m giving away a copy of David’s book (The Perfect Scoop) to one lucky reader.  Just leave a comment about your favorite ice cream eating moment/memory and Cap’n Awesome will choose a winner at the end of the following week.  Anything that makes Cap’n Awesome laugh always helps – and believe me, he could use some giggles.

This custard base recipe is one I’ve taken from David’s Perfect Scoop book and modified slightly (not much at all because why mess with perfection). I skip the vanilla bean infusion and just use some really good bourbon vanilla extract instead. For the ice cream base recipe from David you will want to go here to his website. Having made it several times I can tell you that you won’t find any better than his recipe.

To add the fabulous chocolate chips follow this simple method.  Melt a small block (not packaged chocolate chips) of really good chocolate – I use about 8 to 10 ounces for each batch of ice cream – bittersweet and semisweet make a great mix – in a microwave safe glass measuring pitcher.

Start with 20 seconds and stir.  Do it again until the chocolate is melted. Be careful not to over-do it – chocolate burns quickly.  Or use a double boiler method and melt the chocolate over low heat.  You will want to use a small pitcher to pour the warm, melted chocolate into the ice cream.

When the ice cream appears finished that is the time to pour the chocolate.  Start drizzling a little stream right through the open top being careful to aim for the bottom of the container and not the paddle. A silicone spatula helps if you get a bunch on the paddle.  Just use the spatula to push the ice cream around.  You will see the larger and smaller chocolate pieces start to freeze and mix in nicely.  Just continue until you’ve used the whole amount and let it churn for a minute more.

Most home ice cream makers are finished when the ice cream looks like an almost frozen milkshake.  Don’t fret if it seems kind of melty.  Just scrape it all into a freezer safe container.  It is best when it has a chance to freeze for several hours or overnight.  But we’ve indulged in under two hours and it is still mighty fine ice cream.

For really great GF ice cream cones you cannot beat these here from Let’s Do (Edward & Sons).  And just in case you lust after an ice cream sandwich, try making large Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookies here and filling two with ice cream. For best results, fill with a ton of ice cream, wrap in plastic and freeze for an hour or so.  If you can wait that long.

If I had my way, ice cream would be its own food group. Right next to chocolate.

It may be the end of summer (or winter) and the apples are not quite ready for picking.  So I say – eat ice cream and be happy.





  1. Awesome. I wish I could have partaken in the Vermonster.
    My favorite ice cream memory happened about ten years ago in Greenwich Village. We were tourists wandering around late at night, and it hot and muggy (August). There was this tiny gelato/sorbet shop that was literally just a door and an counter. I had the most delicious blood red orange Campari sorbet. The next night we tried to find it again, and wandered around for hours to no avail. I’m pretty sure I didn’t just dream it… did I?

  2. I remember back in the days when mum used to calm us down with spoonfuls of ice cream. I still love ice cream, I’ll make this for my kids. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sounds wonderful! I’d love to make my own ice cream.

  4. I can’t believe that I went through this whole summer without making ice cream at home (my bowl has been in the freezer since May)! This post reminded me of all the deliciousness that I’ve missed and I can’t wait to try out your recipe. Thanks!

  5. I have fond memories of my parents taking us to Bridgeman’s Ice Cream Parlor where we’d order a LaLa Palooza (a giant sundae) and feast away. Sadly, the restaurant closed down right about the time my mother became lactose intolerant. Maybe they missed our sales too much! LOL

  6. One 4th of July, my sister, her husband and their son were at my folk’s house for the holiday festivities. We had just finished eating and mom was dishing out the homemade ice cream. (I wasn’t for sure I’d be able to hold the dish, my arm was so sore from being drafted to crank the machine!)

    My nephew got his scoop on a cone and was eagerly licking it but was being followed by my parent’s German Shepard “Pal” in anticipation of dropped food, a common occurrence with my nephew. Looking away for a moment and holding the cone a little too low, the dog seized the opportunity of an easy meal and gulped down the scoop of ice cream and most of the cone in one bite. My nephew immediately started crying and the dog cocked its head at the noise, wondering what all the fuss was about. It didn’t take but a few seconds for the dog to start howling along with the boy. At first we thought it might be the loud noise making the dog cry along in sympathy, but after rubbing its paw over the top of its head several times, we figured that the dog most likely had an ice cream headache!

  7. This sounds amazing. I might just have to go buy an ice cream maker….

  8. Oh boy, those ice creams all look perfect! Picture perfect! Mmm…

    As for ice cream…when we were kids, my parents didn’t take us to the local ice cream shop often, it was a huge treat for us. One time, I remember them saying “we’ll go, once you have each run around the house 20 times”. So, outside my brother & I went, and we ran all our energy out earning our ice cream. With kids of my own now, I know they did it because we were probably begging & hyper. I can’t wait to do the same to my kids one day too. 😉

  9. I always love that first scoop of summer. Food tastes better when the moment is right.

  10. domestic diva says:

    I loved make vanilla ice cream with my grandma. Yum!

  11. Wow! I would love to indulge with it. That’s a fine icecream with luscious flavors.

  12. I remember spending weekends with my parents (almost twenty years ago) and sneaking off with dad for “bike rides.” It turns out, it was his code for telling his little boy that we were going to ride about a block to get Haagen Dazs bars and hide the evidence. I remember that almost as much as I remember his mason jar filled with raisins and rum for the treat that just named itself. Ice cream equals love.

  13. I’d love a Vermonster right about now! My favorite memory of ice cream is summers at Cape Cod- there was this great ice cream shoppe where my sister and I would get bubble gum ice cream with real mini gumballs or chunks of gum in it. It sounds gross- but we just loved it.

  14. I’d bet I could eat a Vermonster on my own after I made it dairy free that is. My favorite ice cream moment would have to be when I found David Lebovitz’s website had ice cream recipes on it! Everyone says it’s the BEST they’ve ever eaten and I agree, even when made with alternative milk it’s like indulging in a little bit of Heaven.

  15. GlutenFreeCanteen says:

    Congratulations winners! Cap’n Awesome made his pick and guess what? He couldn’t pick just one so there are three winners today. Big shout-out to Mike, Julien and HapaMama. I’ll send you each an email to collect your mailing addy for the book.

    Thank you so much to the rest of you for participating. Loved all your comments and there are more giveaways in the future – so stay tuned.

  16. These are the best ice cream recipes I have ever tried!!!!