vanilla bean ice cream with bittersweet hot fudge

despite the fact that i am a self-proclaimed chocolate fiend, there is nothing quite like a scoop (or two) of good vanilla ice cream. creamy, smooth, delicious and simple. i promised that i would get around to doing a vanilla ice cream so here it is! and it didn’t take me that long to get around to it… my last ice cream recipe (dark chocolate cherry ice cream) turned out so well that i think i was quite anxious to move onto the next one! and what would a vanilla ice cream be without fudge? (yay! chocolate works it’s way in again!) so of course i had to have that as well. i love the fudge that kindof hardens up in the bottom of the bowl under the cold ice cream that you dig out at the end like a buried treasure… i could eat a whole bowl of it, although i won’t. or at least i shouldn’t… no i won’t… lol 😀

vanilla bean and hot fudge sundae

vanilla bean and hot fudge sundae

vanilla bean ice cream


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 good quality vanilla beans (i used madagascar vanilla beans which i also use to make my homemade vanilla. they rock.)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of kosher salt


  • split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife and set aside
vanilla beans and seeds

vanilla beans and seeds

  • heat the milk, 3/4 cup heavy cream and sugar over medium-low heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar
  • whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl
  • gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the eggs to temper them and then whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan
  • add the vanilla beans (pods and seeds)
add vanilla to cream mixture

add vanilla to cream mixture

  • cook, stirring constantly over medium-low heat until the temperature registers 168 F on a candy, fry or instant read thermometer. another way to check that your custard base is finished is to run your finger up the side of the spoon or spatula you are using. if the line you drew remains without the liquid running back into it, you are done

    custard "test"

    custard “test”

  • remove custard from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl to remove any lumps, scraping as much vanilla bean through the strainer as possible. reserve the vanilla pods to add back in later on
strain the custard

strain the custard

  • stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cream
  • blend with an immersion blender for 30 seconds to a minute- this will ensure a smooth consistency (please do still strain first!)
  • add back in the vanilla pods
  • cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight
vanilla bean ice cream base

vanilla bean ice cream base

  • churn the chilled mixture in an ice cream maker according to your model’s specifications
churned ice cream

churned ice cream

  • when the ice cream is very thick transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 3 to 4 hours. you can eat it immediately out of the ice cream maker but it will be more of a soft-serve consistency.
  • if you wish to add in extras like pieces of diced peach or chunks of chocolate, do this about 5 minutes before the churning process is complete and then proceed as stated.
vanilla bean ice cream

vanilla bean ice cream

bittersweet hot fudge sauce


  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (i use Ghiradelli’s 60% cacao chips- these are my all-purpose chips; i like them so much better than semi-sweet)
  • 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • pinch of espresso powder


  • melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat
  • add in the sugar, milk, vanilla, espresso powder and salt
  • bring to a simmer, stirring almost constantly to dissolve sugar and prevent scorching
  • mix in heavy cream to you desired creaminess. heavy cream will add a richness to this but also dilute the chocolate taste a bit so this is more about personal preference. it will also help the mixture thicken up once you’ve let it cool down a bit
  • using an immersion blender, blend the mixture for about 1 minute. this will really make a difference in the texture of your sauce- don’t skip it! if you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully pour into a regular standing blender and blend for about a minute.
  • transfer to one or two storage containers and allow to cool a bit before serving- about a half hour or so, if you can wait that long. (in the picture at the top of this post i couldn’t wait to try it… i only managed to let it cool about 10 minutes and it was still a bit too runny. but delicious…)
  • store in the refrigerator
bittersweet hot fudge

bittersweet hot fudge

some freshly made whipped cream would also be amazing on a sundae made with these two recipes but i guess i wasn’t feel quite THAT indulgent today 😉

i will say that i this is not the hot fudge sauce i will stop at. i think this is the perfect topping for this ice cream however, they paired wonderfully together. but it is not my “definitive” hot fudge. i’m sure i’ll figure out just what that means in time. i think i will be trying to make a ganache hot fudge in the near future…

3 responses to “vanilla bean ice cream with bittersweet hot fudge

  1. Pingback: July 25 – National Hot Fudge Sundae Day | Cheer Du Jour·

  2. Pingback: Cannoli Ice Cream | therapy bread·

  3. Pingback: Reese’s Pieces Ice Cream | therapy bread·

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