My search for the ultimate chocolate ice cream ended the day I opened my ice cream maker and took a taste of this version. And before I knew it, I'd licked the dasher as clean as the day I bought it! Intense cocoa powder blended with unctuous dark chocolate results in a perfect chocolate ice cream that's so irresisitable you won't be able to wait to dig in either. I don't know why, but homemade ice cream always tastes best scraped (or, if no one's watching, licked) directly from the machine.
Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a seperate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.)