This decadent chocolate orange ice cream combines two fabulous flavors into one delicious ice cream, rich natural cocoa powder and fresh tangy oranges.
This orange chocolate ice cream was originally published as part of my Christmas recipe collection in December 2020. In 2021 I revised the recipe to simplify it and make it even better! If you made the original version and loved it let me know and I can pop the original recipe in the comments for you. But try the new version, it really is better!
Do oranges and chocolate go together?
Absolutely. Oranges and chocolate is a classic pairing that dates back hundreds of years. The rich, intense chocolate contrasts beautifully with the fresh, zesty citrus flavors of the orange.
Chocolate and orange is one of those flavor combinations that always reminds me of Christmas. Oranges have long been associated with Christmas time. Did you ever get an orange in your stocking at Christmas time? Back in days when fruit was more seasonal receiving a precious orange at Christmas was a real treat for some people!
These days we are fortunate to get oranges at any time of year but that doesn't make the wonderful combination of chocolate and orange any less delicious. This ice cream makes a fabulous addition to any festive Christmas dessert menu but it's also delicious at any other time of year! I hope you love it as much as my family does 🙂
Natural cocoa powder: natural cocoa powder is best for this recipe as it won't compete to much with the orange flavor, but you could use Dutch-processed if that's all you have.
Orange zest: for this recipe you will only need the zest from the oranges. The zest gives a wonderful orange flavor without the need for additional flavoring. If you really want to use flavoring I recommend no more than a few drops of food-grade natural orange oil over orange flavoring, it will give better flavor.
Sugar: regular white sugar is best for this recipe. You could use castor sugar if you prefer but I don't recommend using any other type of sugar.
Thickened cream: I use thickened cream which has a fat content of about 34%. You could also use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream which is similar.
Full fat milk: is best for this recipe. It needs to have a fat content of around 3.5%. I don't recommend using low-fat milk, it will make your ice cream icier.
Tapioca starch: is a natural and accessible way of both thickening and stabilizing the ice cream. If you can't get tapioca starch you can use arrowroot powder or cornflour in the same volume.
Glucose syrup: also called confectioner’s glucose. You can get in from specialty baking shops, online and some supermarkets. A small amount of glucose syrup helps lower the freezer point of ice cream and improves the texture and scoop-ability of the ice cream. You can substitute with the same amount of light corn syrup or powdered dextrose. Measure carefully, preferably using a digital kitchen scale, and don't add to much or your ice cream will melt in a red hot minute!
How to make chocolate orange ice cream
See the full recipe card at the end of the post for ingredient amounts and instructions.
Zest the oranges, taking care not to zest too far down into the bitter white pith, or your ice cream will be bitter. Run a knife over the zest several times so it's very finely cut. This will help get the maximum orange flavor out of the zest.
Measure the milk, then take two tablespoons of the measured milk and add them to a small bowl with the tapioca starch. Mix well to form a slurry.
Add the rest of the milk, the cream, sugar and glucose syrup to a small pot on the stove. Sift in the cocoa powder. Heat gently on a low heat and stir to dissolve the cocoa powder. If you are having trouble getting the cocoa to fully dissolve you can remove it from the heat and carefully and briefly blitz with a stick/immersion blender to fully mix in the cocoa powder.
Add the orange zest and continue to heat on low until the mix is warm, string to dissolve all the sugar and glucose syrup. Test the ice cream mix. If it is not 'orangery' enough you can zest another two oranges and add it, or you could add a few drops of food-safe orange oil. Keep in mind the flavor will increase as the mix cools and the zest infuses its flavor into the ice cream mix. Give the milk and tapioca starch slurry a good stir and add it to the ice cream mix. Stir well, then remove from the heat and allow to cool for ten to fifteen minutes.
Strain the mix into a heat-proof jug. I do not recommend leaving the zest in, it will make your ice cream bitter and the zest will catch in the machine as the ice cream churns. Chill the mix in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
Put your ice cream storage container into the freezer to chill. If using a self churning ice cream churner switch it on about ten minutes before churning your ice cream, otherwise take the freezer bowl out of the freezer right before churning your ice cream.
Remove the ice cream mix from the fridge. If the mix has settled as it chilled give it a good stir before pouring it into the ice cream churner.
Churn the ice cream. It will be the consistency of soft-serve when it's done. Transfer to the chilled container and freeze for four hours, or until firm.
How to serve
To serve the orange chocolate ice cream remove from the freezer, scoop and enjoy! Fabulous on its own, or with some leftover orange syrup from my chocolate covered orange peel drizzled over the top. Perfect for festive Christmas dessert or at any other time of the year. Delicious!
How to store
This ice cream will store well in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks. After that it may start to become a little icy, but will still taste delicious.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy Christmas desert recipes?
Why not try making
- Old fashioned fruit cake
- Gingerbread ice cream
- Gluten free shortbread
- Ice cream Christmas pudding
- Aero Mint Cheesecake
Chocolate orange ice cream
- ice cream maker
- stick/immersion blender
- 1 cup (250mls) full cream milk
- 2 flat teaspoons (5gms) tapioca starch
- 2 cups (500mls) thickened cream
- ½ cup(110gms) white sugar
- ¼ cup (25gms) natural cocoa powder
- zest of 3 - 5 medium oranges
- 1 teaspoon (7.5gms) glucose syrup
- A few drops food safe orange oil (NOT orange essence)
- Measure the milk. Add two tablespoons of the milk to a small bowl with tapioca starch and mix to form a slurry.
- Zest the oranges, then finely chop the zest so its nice and small.
- Add the rest of the milk, the cream, sugar and glucose syrup to a small pot on the stove. Sift the cocoa powder into the pot.
- Heat on low until just warm, stirring to dissolve the cocoa powder. If you having trouble getting the cocoa powder to dissolve you can remove the pot from the heat and carefully and briefly blitz with a stick/immersion blender until the cocoa powder is fully mixed in.
- Add the orange zest and continue to heat on low until the mix is warm, stirring to dissolve all the sugar and glucose syrup. Test the ice cream mix. If it is not 'orangegy' enough you can zest another two oranges and add it or you could add a few drops of food safe orange oil.
- Mix the tapioca starch and milk well again to form a slurry, then add to the pot. Stir well, then turn off the heat and allow to cool for about ten to fifteen minutes.
- Strain the mix into a heat proof jug, cover and chill for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
- Put your storage container in the freezer to chill. If you are using a self refrigerating ice cream machine turn it on about ten minutes before churning, other wise taking the freezer bowl out of the freezer just before churning.
- Remove ice cream mix from the fridge. If the mix has settled a bit give it a good stir before pouring it into your ice cream churner.
- Churn the ice cream. It will be the consistency of soft serve when done. Transfer to the orage container, Sprinkle with orange zest and stir in quickly.
- Cover and freeze for four hours or until firm.
- To serve remove from the freezer, scoop and enjoy! Fabulous on its own, or with some orange syrup and chocolate sauce poured over the top. Delicious!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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