an ode to jeni’s

choco ice cream main

Generally speaking, I’m not big on ice cream. I can eat soft serve and frozen yogurt all day long, but ice cream is just too… cold. Or hard. Or something. Definitely too something. There is one exception to this – my annual trip home to Columbus always has a planned stop at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Jeni’s is the best ice cream I have ever put in my mouth, and now that I live 2,000 miles away I have no way to fulfill my Jeni’s cravings (Shipping is $35!!! I don’t know what’s more crazy – that they charge $35 –with a $65 minimum purchase– or that I debate paying that much just to have it!).

I’m super excited, too, because Jeni’s has been getting all kinds of attention lately. They’ve been featured over and over in various lists of the country’s best ice cream spots. I won’t be as excited when I head back to their store and find them even more jam-packed than usual, but for now I’m happy for them. At the same time, I hate everyone who gets to go there, while I’m left to shake like fiend 2,000 miles away. [Dear Jeni’s, please come to Scottsdale/Phoenix area – I need you.]

It was 118 degrees out this day, this poor scoop of ice cream didn’t stand a chance…

Then, a glimmer of hope, a small ray of sunshine in my dark, Jeni-less life. Jeni just released a cookbook! All of my favorite ice cream concoctions were finally at my fingertips… I was drooling just thinking about it. I ordered the book as soon as I was able and anxiously awaited its arrival. I knew it wouldn’t be as good as eating Jeni’s authentic ice cream, but it should at least get me through those rough patches where I really just need my Jeni’s fix.

It was really difficult to decide which recipe to make first, in the end I settled on what appeared to be pretty much the easiest ice cream recipe I’ve ever seen in my life. No tempering egg yolks, no whisking until my arm wants to fall off… the hardest part of this recipe was waiting until it was cold enough to eat. (Then again, I like eating the less-frozen version of ice cream better anyway). Even after it’s completed the freezing process (which took somewhere longer than 4 hours but less than 24 hours), this ice cream is super creamy and melts into pure chocolate bliss once it hits your tongue. It’s like eating a frozen truffle – well, the inside of a frozen truffle. God, this stuff was good, my mouth is watering again just thinking about it…

I really wish I could have taken some better pictures, but even our A/C can’t take the bite out of a 118 degree day. Maybe next time  😉 For now, you can use this on its own, or make ice cream sandwiches!

Moral of the story? BUY JENI’S ICE CREAM BOOK – unless you’re in Columbus, then just go there!

{A huge “thank you” to Jeni’s publisher for giving me permission to post this recipe}

The Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream in the WorldJeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home c/o Artisan Publishers

Print Me!

  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s 72% Dark, figuring it was close enough)
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 1 C evaporated milk
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1. Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl (this is called “making a slurry”). Set aside.

2. Chop chocolate and put it into a medium bowl. Fill a separate large bowl with ice water.

3. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, evaporated milk, sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the cocoa, whisking until well-mixed. Continue boiling for 4 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return to heat and bring back to a boil, stirring with a spatula, until slightly thickened (about 1 minute).

5. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the chocolate. Add salt and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

6. Pour mixture into a 1-gallon freezer bag and submerge sealed bag in ice water until cold (appx 30 minutes).

7. Pour bag contents into frozen ice cream machine and spin until thick and creamy (about 25 minutes in Cuisinart 2 gallon machine).

8. Transfer ice cream to mouth storage container and press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface. At this point it is basically soft serve ice cream, go ahead – try a bite. Freeze until firm – at least 4 hours. (At the 4 hour mark, mine was still rather soft. Mom described the ice cream as being “like a frozen chocolate pudding” – I didn’t check it again until the next day when it was completely firm). Once firm the ice cream still melts like a divine chocolate truffle when it hits your tongue.

2 thoughts on “an ode to jeni’s

  1. The recipe as printed in the book and reprinted here, with permission, is wrong. Other published versions of this Jeni’s Splendid recipe call for 1.25 cups of heavy cream, and if you use the only the 0.25 cups specified in the book, the result is a mess (and yields way less than the “about a quart” the recipe promises). It’s irritating that the book is in it’s 6th or 7th printing, and Artisan books hasn’t fixed the mistake.

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