Mexican Chocolate Chile Ice Cream


Mexican Chocolate Chile Ice Cream

Have you ever photographed ice cream?! Good gracious. Talk about stress, man. I shot four ice cream recipes in about two hours, which is crazy fast for me. (Typically I move painfully slow.) It had nothing to do with efficiency–but rather, total panic. There I was with glamorous streaks of creme anglaise in my hair, running from room to room, looking for the scooper, the lens cleaner, the omg! I hate shooting ice cream – never again! Amelia thought photographing ice cream was a new and fun game so of course she bolted from room to room right behind me. She also starred lovingly at the melty, drippy ice cream. She would’ve eaten it–she’s not a discriminator!

In the second installment of Ice Cream Week on A Cozy Kitchen I bring you this week’s underdog. This recipe started as simple, but-very-important-to-me coffee ice cream. Not just any coffee ice cream but coffee ice cream made with some of my favorite coffee in LA. But then I got distracted and started cleaning out my horrid spice drawer and found treasures. TREASURES, I tell you. So, it quickly evolved into this Mexican chocolate situation. I debated on a name. I considered Mole Ice Cream but then someone on Twitter said it sounds like moles are in ice cream, like, the animal, so I decided against it–I think it was a good move.

There are no animals NOR spies in this ice cream. Just awesome spices, an ancho chile pepper, some coffee and well…take the jump.

Mexican Chocolate Chile Ice Cream // A Cozy Kitchen

This ice cream begins with the very important “steeping process.” This is how the awesome stuff gets into ice cream without actually being there.

It may look like plain ol’ chocolate ice cream, but man it’s so different. But sort of the same.

Mexican Chocolate Chile Ice Cream // A Cozy Kitchen

The milk is steeped with half of a dried ancho chile, cinnamon sticks, coffee beans, a few allspice berries, some chocolate and I think that’s it.

All this business in ice cream results in a slightly chocolatey, spice-laden and earthy flavor. It’s killer.

Mexican Chocolate Chile Ice Cream // A Cozy Kitchen

Mexican Chocolate Chile Ice Cream


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup good-quality coffee beans
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 dried ancho chile pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • To a bowl, prepare an ice bath by adding 10 or so ice cubes and adding a few splashes of water. Set a slightly smaller bowl inside the bigger bowl and set a sieve or strain inside the smaller bowl. Set the whole ice bath contraption aside.
  • To a medium saucepan, add the milk, sugar, coffee beans, cocoa powder, ancho chile pepper, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and salt; heat over medium until the milk reaches a slight simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid or foil and let it steep for 1 hour.
  • Place a sieve over the mouth of the jar of a blender. Pour the liquid through the sieve and into the blender, removing the ancho chile from the sieve and adding it to the blender. Discard the rest of the stuff. Blend until very smooth. Note: If there are little seeds here and there, not to worry, we're going to strain it again at end of this process. Add the chocolatey milk mixture back to the saucepan and rewarm.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks together, thoroughly. Next you're going to temper the milk mixture. Whisking the entire time, add about 1/4 cup of warm milk to the egg yolks. Add the remainder of the milk to the egg yolk mixture and whisk. Return the entire mixture back to the medium saucepan and place over low heat. Cook the milk and yolk mixture, stirring constantly, until the thermometer reads 170 to 175 degrees F and the mixture appears thick and coats the back of the spoon.
  • Pour the mixture through the sieve into the bowl. Lastly, stir in the heavy cream. Keep mixing until the mixture is room temperature. Wrap the bowl in plastic and transfer it to the fridge for 4-5 hours, or overnight, until very cold.
  • Churn the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker, according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Serve immediately for soft serve or alternatively transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze overnight. Garnish with salted pepitas, if you like!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Leave a Reply

  • Reply this is lemonade June 11, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Yum! The photos do not look at all like products of panic! I love how you’ve photographed the ice cream. All I’m thinking is if you left it out any longer it’d melt…and that’s too much ice cream for one person… so, I think I should come over and help you eat it up! 😉
    The steeping idea sounds great. I must try that – going to pin this, don’t know when I will make it because I don’t have an ice cream maker so the process will be more involved I guess, but I won’t mind looking at the photos again from time to time…

  • Reply Salinya June 11, 2013 at 5:24 am

    This looks and sound delicious. I really enjoyed reading about ice cream photography! It’s good to know you kept it real. I’ve read about how ways the advertising industry tricks us into thinking we’re seeing pictures of good food when it’s really rocks or soap suds.

  • Reply Tieghan June 11, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I shoot ice cream the same way you do, in a total panic. I run from room to room and fear it is melting (it is!). The photos are awesome and the ice cream sounds insane!

    Mexican chocolate chile!! I mean come on! YUM!

  • Reply Jaclyn June 11, 2013 at 5:58 am

    The pictures look great! You are killing me with this ice cream week, can I come stay with you until its over? I promise all you’ll need to feed me is ice cream!

  • Reply Erika June 11, 2013 at 6:43 am

    This is killer. Spicy chocolatey frozen goodness… and the ice cream melting in those pics is all kinds of wonderful, so I’d say your photos are perfect!

  • Reply Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) June 11, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Once again, your ice cream is just amazing!!!! I love the flavors in this one.

  • Reply Bev @ Bev Cooks June 11, 2013 at 7:18 am

    a) I HAVE shot ice cream and wanted to murder it.

    b) This looks perfect!

    c) lick.

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 11, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Neat! This is one purdy ice cream!

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition June 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

    It may have been hard to photograph, but I love how that mess of ice cream looks! Also on my “I love” list: Mexican chocolate. Always.

  • Reply Katie Meyers June 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Wow- this looks delicious & right in line with my ridiculous obsession for Mexican food! Will definitely have to try this! And, though it sounds like it was a ton of work… Your pictures still turned out excellent! 😉

  • Reply cindy June 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Photographing ice cream always makes me panic! I can’t even believe you did 4 in one day! CHAMP!!

    PS, this flavor situation is like a siren song for me…coffee is my absolute fave and I love warm spice + chocolate!
    PPS, that first photo is killing me…I love it!

  • Reply Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic June 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    What an amazing flavor for ice cream! I am such a fan of the sweet and spicy flavor combo, especially of the mole (non-rodent, non-spy) variety. And this one looks incredible! You may have been panicked taking these pictures, but it does not show at all.

  • Reply Christina @ The Beautiful Balance June 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I can only imagine how incredible this tastes! Love the added spices!

  • Reply Joanne T Ferguson June 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    G’day! I LOVE your photos too!
    When it is A LOT warmer, will put this on my list to do! Mexican chocolate with the chile would be divine too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  • Reply Brittany June 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Ice cream is totally stressful!! Unless you’re eating it.

    The last time I shot ice cream I used Matt Armendariz’s technique of setting up the shot with a balled up paper towel in place of the ice cream. I was still a little frantic, because I almost always am, but it totally helped!

  • Reply Jayne June 11, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    precisely why I was impressed with Tracy Shutterbean’s perfect pictures of ice cream sandwich yesterday. No melts, no drips. Perfect cuts! I’m lovin all these ice creams everywhere. This is an epitome of frozen hot cocoa.

  • Reply Averie @ Averie Cooks June 12, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Your ice cream looks so good! I just posted ice cream yesterday, too! And today, pancakes.

    Your cookbook is gorgeous! I loveeeee the cover shot. So pretty & congrats! I can only imagine how many pancakes you made and ate last year. lol

  • Reply Tina June 12, 2013 at 5:59 am

    The pictures are beautiful lady!! The ice cream sounds so rock star! I love all things with chocolate!

  • Reply Nina June 12, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I’m in love with the way you photographed this ice cream, and I definitely know the struggles of shooting ice cream! It definitely requires planning ahead and some serious speed-photography skills. This ice cream looks delicious!

  • Reply joelle (on a pink typewriter) June 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

    For some reason, this ice cream seems fancy, like for a fun, outdoor summer dinner party!

  • Reply Abby June 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    your ice cream photographs are so. incredibly. gorgeous. love your work, as always. and this recipe is incredible.

  • Reply [email protected] June 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Yum, this looks great. Your ice cream looks lovely and in little perfect scoops too. I photographed ice cream for the first time the other week and found it to be a little tricky to work with.