Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

dulce de leche chocolate chip ice cream
Well.  Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Ice Cream?  If this isn't a little bowl of heaven, I don't know what is.  A sweet creamy custard ice cream with swirls of dulce de leche and crunchy lil' bits of chocolate?  I mean, c'mon.

As we well know, I am a huge lover of ice cream.  Love eating it, love making it, just love it.

And when you add in creamy smooth luscious dulce de leche caramel and chocolate chips to the mix, count me in.

This Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe sure seemed simple enough when I first came across it and it most definitely is, that's for sure.  I tweaked it of course, adding yolks as what's ice cream without some richness of egg yolks, amiright?!

Here's the tricky part:  swirls.

Getting swirls in your ice cream. 

getting swirls in ice cream
Again, you'd think this is simple, just plop the swirling material into the ice cream maker* as it churns away but no.  You get swirling material completely mixed in.  No swirls.

So, here, you can make this ice cream two ways:  1. dulce de leche thoroughly mixed throughout your ice cream (and there is zero wrong with that) or 2. swirl it.

The trouble I had too was of course the dulce de leche.  It's a thick, almost paste-like caramel that is not interested in being swirls.  Thick blobs is what it wants to do.  And while that's not necessarily a problem, nor is getting a whole mouthful of just dulce de leche blob, I like a little balance on my spoon.

Some ice cream, some caramel-y swirls, and cute little mini chips all in one bite, please.

I mean really, none of these are horrible terrible things.  In the end, you get some crazy delicious ice cream no matter what happens.  But me, like I said, I like to make sure I get what I want and swirls is what I want.

It's not rocket science, just thin the dulce de leche.

Oh, and speaking of, I went with half a can.  You're welcome to go with more or less but again, I'm big on balance and for me, half is just right.

Back to the swirls -- they aren't rocket science either, just drizzling the caramel goodness over layers of churned ice cream in the storage container.  But, it took some figuring and learning (gah so hard to learn having to remake ice cream over and over) to get this right for me and for you.

I see you scrunching your eyebrows at me.  Yes, I know, it's not swirled in the container.  You get the swirls when you scoop.*

And yes, you do need an ice cream machine for this here Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe.  Sorry, fans of the no-churn route.  But, I mean, seriously.  You'll have the machine and can make ice cream any freakin' time, day or night.

prepping ingredients for dulce de leche chocolate chip ice cream
I've yet to try making a no-churn ice cream still but anything I've read about it says that churned is miles ahead and way better any day of the week.  No offense.

No-churn is about the ingredients rather than the method and honestly, there's so little involved in making a churned ice cream, especially with these plug in electric fangled machines, I can't see an excuse to not go the churned route.  Plus, you can control the sweetness level.

Again, no offense.  I clearly have my ice cream biases.  Ahem.  Ok, moving on.

Let's make this Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Ice Cream then.

Start by freezing the container you're going to store your finished ice cream in ahead of time.  Something airtight is best, I like glass,* but whatever works for you is great.  Ice cream.

Into a bowl, pour some of the heavy cream, plop a fine mesh strainer* atop, set aside.  Easy!

Next, heat up the remaining cream and the first portion of milk together on say, medium-low or so.  Not looking to boil, merely get some steam going.  Easy too.

Meanwhile, whisk* those yolks, the sugar, and salt together until you get to that super pretty pale yellow color.
combining egg yolks and sugar
Now we'll temper the egg mix.  No biggie.  Drizzle some of the hot cream milk liquid into the yolk stuff while whisking constantly.  Add maybe about half-ish of the hot stuff or so; a guesstimate is fine.

tempering egg yolk mixture
Pour all that back into your saucepan* and heat that on medium or so until it thickens.  Mmm.

Once thickened, pour all that through the strainer into the bowl with the heavy cream, strain out any potential cooked egg bits.  Dash in the vanilla, stir a moment, and voilá, custard ice cream base.  Nice.

strainging custard mix
Now, you can set this bowl in an ice bath and chill it that way.  Or, you can set it in the fridge for a couple a' hours or, chill it overnight, any which way is fine.

finished custard base with plastic wrap atop
Don't forget to set some plastic wrap directly on top!
Pour the cooled mix into the ice cream machine, flip it on, and in the meantime, thin out your dulce de leche with a little bit of milk.  Just enough so it's not blobby and sort of drizzles easily enough.

time to churn the custard base
Or, go with blobs, who am I to say.

Once the ice cream is close to done in the machine, dump in the mini chocolate chips to get those spread evenly.

Flip the machine off, grab your frozen storage container.

Now, you have to work kind of fast here even with your previously frozen container. 

Spread about a third of the ice cream on the bottom, then add your blobs or drizzles of dulce de leche.  Another layer of ice cream, more caramel goodness....you get the idea.  If you have leftover dulce de leche, either flourish the top or stuff the spoon in your mouth, either/or.

layering churned ice cream with dulce de leche in container
Ok, pop the container in the freezer and pace anxiously for the next few hours until it's set.

scooped dulce de leche chocolate chip ice cream
Scoop.*  Eat.  Yum. 

scooped dulce de leche chocolate chip ice cream in a dish
Do you know how hard it is to photograph ice cream?  Clearly need some lessons.
Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.  Yes.  You are welcome.

*The ice cream makers, ice cream scoops, glass airtight storage containers, fine mesh strainers, whisks, saucepans, and scoops are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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