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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe for Chocolate Ice Cream in The Perfect Scoop
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 6 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 21 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 1 quart


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder I used a blend of regular and Dutch process
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee grounds
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16-20 mini peanut butter cups unwrapped and chopped roughly


  • In a 2-quart, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, whisk 1 cup of the heavy cream with the cocoa powder and espresso.
  • Heat over medium heat until it just starts to boil, whisking frequently, then cook for an additional 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
  • Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and the rest of the heavy cream and stir until smooth, then transfer to a 2-quart mixing bowl, scraping the sides well. Place a strainer over the top and set aside.
  • In the same sauce pan, combine the milk, sugar, and sea salt. Stirring often, heat until warm.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
  • Add a few spoonfuls of the warmed milk mixture to the egg yolks, mixing constantly (this is tempering the eggs to prevent them from becoming scrambled).
  • Pour the egg mixture into the rest of the warmed milk, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened to the point that it coats the back of a spoon.
  • Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate mixture (so as to remove any eggs that did maybe accidentally become a little scrambled... it happens). Add the vanilla extract.
  • Stir until well incorporated and smooth.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 12 hours.
  • Freeze in an ice cream machine per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Transfer to an airtight container, layering the ice cream with the peanut butter cups.
  • Cover and freeze to set at least 4 more hours.
  • Best eaten within 2 days.