3/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, turn the temperature down to low. Stir the chocolate until it has melted and is smooth. Set the bowl aside.
Whisk together the cocoa powder, cream and half-and-half in a medium saucepan that is set to medium heat unit it begins to simmer, then remove from the heat and set aside.
In another medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks using an electric mixer until they are light and fluffy, gradually add the sugar and continue beating the mixture until it is all combined together.
Now you will temper the mixture. Tempering is the process of gently increasing the temperature of an egg mixture (typically egg yolks) before adding a hot sauce. This is done by adding a small bit of the sauce to the eggs and beating it well to incorporate. You are slowly bringing the temperature of the eggs up to meet the temperature of the sauce while keeping the eggs from cooking or curdling.
Temper the cream mixture by gradually adding small amounts of the heated cream mixture to the eggs (I would start with 2 tablespoons) and continue beating to ensure the eggs do not cook. After incorporating 1.3 of the cream mixture (don’t forget to always beat the mixture), pour the remaining cream, beat and pour back into the saucepan. Add the melted chocolate to this mixture.
Set the heat to low and cook the mixture (while stirring continuously) until it thickens. The perfect temperature to achieve this is between 170-175 degrees F. You want the mixture to coat the back of your spoon, this is the perfect temperature. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
Place the ice cream base in the refrigerator until it is cool to the touch or it has reached 40 degrees F, this should take 4-8 hours.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the directions provided from the manufacturer. I like to serve this with chunks of chocolate on top.