Cold Italian Hot Chocolate with Orange-Cardamom Ice Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

A Passion for Ice Cream

A Passion for Ice Cream

By Emily Luchetti

Published 2006

  • About

Italians use cocoa powder, sugar, water, milk, and cornstarch in their hot chocolate. The result is a thick beverage unlike the thin, milky American version, yet much lighter than cream-based hot chocolates. Italian hot chocolate is just as good cold as it is hot. The cocoa powder gives it a slight bitter edge, which can be rounded off by adding more sugar if you prefer, though the bitter bite is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the ice cream.


Orange-Cardamom Ice Cream

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups milk
  • cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • Zest stripped from 1 large orange

Cold Italian Hot Chocolate

  • 1⅓ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2⅔ cups milk
  • 2⅔ cups water


To Make the Ice Cream

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, the salt, and cardamom.

Heat the milk, cream, orange zest, and the remaining ½ cup sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly pour the milk and cream into the egg mixture, whisking as you pour. Return the egg-and-cream mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until the custard reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula.

Strain the custard into a clean bowl, discarding the orange zest, and cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

To Make the Hot Chocolate

Sift together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and sugar. Heat the milk and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until warm. Whisk in the cocoa mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula until the liquid coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour the hot chocolate into a bowl. Let cool and then refrigerate until cold.

In Advance

The cold hot chocolate can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

To Serve

Divide the cold hot chocolate among 6 mugs or large coffee cups and scoop some orange-cardamom ice cream into each. Serve extra ice cream scoops on the side.