Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

It’s that time of year!

And by that I mean that I’ve already complained about it being too hot. Feel free to hate me. I think my body is struggling to recover from the winter that we just had. I need time to adjust! Temperatures over 80 degrees feel like a heat wave. Don’t get me wrong, it felt wonderful outside!

If I could live outdoors, I’d be happy as a clam right now.

Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

But inside (in my apartment building which is officially set to ‘heat’ radiator mode), I’m…not so thrilled. My cooking willpower drops down to nil when my kitchen is over 80 degrees. Turning on the oven feels like torture.

So I did what any normal person would do under the circumstances.

I made ice cream. But not just any ice cream. Ginger ice cream with chocolate bits.

Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

So maybe there is something to be said about being uncomfortably hot in your own home. All roads hot apartments lead to ice cream.

And this is definitely not your average ice cream! If you’ve never had ginger ice cream before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Like many other ice creams, this one starts off with simple custard base made with milk, eggs, and sugar, which is then infused with fresh ginger.  And not just a little bit of ginger…about 1/4 cup of packed grated ginger.

Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

I tend to be easily overwhelmed by desserts that are too ginger-y in flavor–but I can promise that this ice cream does not fit into that category.

It has a strong, distinguishable ginger flavor that finishes with just a touch of spiciness, yet it is not at all overpowering. It is definitely different and unique, but it could easily gobble up a big bowl of this stuff!

The fresh ginger has the added effect of making this ice cream incredibly refreshing as well. Similar to that of a fresh mint ice cream. The addition of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate bits, while optional in theory, adds such great texture and flavor to every spoonful that I can’t really imagine this ice cream any other way.

Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

Ginger Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

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This ginger ice cream recipe starts with a simple custard base made from milk, eggs, and sugar. It is infused with fresh ginger root, which gives this ice cream a distinguishable ginger note that finishes with a touch of spiciness, yet it is not overpowering. The addition of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate bits adds great texture and flavor to every spoonful!


  • cup (80 mL) water
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (125 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed coarsely grated ginger
  • 1 cup (240 mL) whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (240 mL) cold half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ounces (45 g) bittersweet chocolate finely chopped


  • Combine the water and ¼ of the sugar (30 grams) in a small saucepan. Bring to a low simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the grated ginger and bring mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. This is essentially a simple syrup.
  • In a separate large saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of granulated sugar with the milk. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the ginger simple syrup. Stir to combine, cover the pot, and allow mixture to infuse for 20 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar until the mixture is thick and pale yellow in color. It should fall from the whisk in thick ribbons (otherwise known as ribbon stage).
  • Once the milk and ginger mixture has infused, return mixture to heat until scalded (just below boiling point). Temper the milk mixture slowly into the egg and sugar mixture, by pourign it in slowly and whisking continously with your other hand. Return mixture to pot and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, or until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon or the temperature reaches 180°F (82°C).
  • Place the half-and-half (or cream, if substituting) in a large, clean bowl set over an ice bath. Set a fine-meshed sieve over the bowl. Strain the ice cream mixture through the sieve into the half-and-half. Press the ginger into the sieve with a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible. Allow the ice cream base to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate base overnight or at minimum, until very cold.
  • Just before churning, stir in the lemon juice and mix well. Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer directions. Right before the ice cream is finishing churning, add the chocolate bits and allow them to distribute evenly.
  • Transfer the ice cream to an artight container and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours or until firm. Allow ice cream to soften just slightly before serving.

Tips for Success:

  • Feel free to substitute the half-and-half with heavy cream, if you prefer or already have this on hand. However, half and half results in an incredibly creamy ice cream with a touch less guilt! 
Adapted from Fresh Ginger Ice Cream by Barbara Tropp, China Moon Cookbook.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 194kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 142mg, Sodium: 83mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g