Monday, April 15, 2024

Ice Cream Recipe Review: Fany Gerson's Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Marzipan

"Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Marzipan" on page 99 of  Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories by Fany Gerson.

  • I couldn't find this one online; I included an adapted version below. 
  • My other chocolate ice cream reviews can be found here.

This ice cream tastes like a cross between a flourless chocolate cake and a Reese's peanut butter cup.  It's decadent and delicious.  

You'll either need to buy or make peanut mazapán, a Mexican candy made with only two ingredients: roasted peanuts and powdered sugar.  

This is actually the second time I've made it - I screwed it up the first time. I was experimenting with a new technique of adding all the ingredients at once, then cooking until the custard thickens, but what I didn't know is that in order to thicken the custard, the egg yolks need to reach a much higher temperature than chocolate can handle, and I wound up with seized chocolate (flavor was still good, but the ice cream was grainy - like eating chocolate sand).  The fats were also not properly emulsified which made the ice cream VERY hard, but also also had an odd texture: kind of dry and crumbly.  

So this time, I put all ingredients except the chocolate and cocoa into the pan, cooked it until the custard thickened, removed it from the heat, and then let it cool down to below 120F/49C before adding the chocolate. That technique worked fine, and I wound up with delicious ice cream that was decidedly non-grainy. 

So, learn from my mistake, and don't heat your chocolate up beyond the temperature needed to melt it. 


  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) of chopped/crumbled mazapán peanut candy
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk (530 ml)
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream (175 ml)
  • 1/2 cup sugar  (100 grams)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips or finely chopped bars (210 grams)
  • 3 1/2 tbsp of high-quality dutch-process cocoa (53 ml)
  • 2 tsp Mexican cinnamon (optional)


  1. Chop or crumble the mazapán (aim for pieces about the size of chocolate chips), and place in the refrigerator or freezer.
  2. Place all ingredients except the chocolate and cocoa into a pan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until it begins to thicken (about 165F/74C). 
  3. Remove from heat and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the chocolate to the custard and stir until melted and fully incorporated. If you let the custard get too cool, turn the heat on low and stir constantly until chocolate melts. Remove from heat immediately. 
  5. Chill custard in ice water (place pan in a bowl of ice water) for 30-60 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill fully.
  6. Churn.
  7. Stir mazapán into the soft ice cream, serve, or transfer to freezer to harden fully.
  • The temperature of the custard needs to drop to about about 110F/43C before you add the chocolate (it MUST be below 120F/49C, otherwise the chocolate will seize, rendering the product grainy, like chocolate sand). I found that it took about 20 minutes to cool enough, but the time will vary based on ambient temperatures.
  • You need to locate a source of good quality dutch-process cocoa, that is finely ground enough to ensure it melts/dissolves fully. Low-quality cocoa that hasn't dissolved will leave the ice cream tasting powdery.  I like Lake Champlain Cocoa.

Substitutions and Techniques:

  • Turbinado sugar instead of white sugar (always) as I prefer the flavor.
  • I added 1/8 cup of glucose to help smooth the ice cream (it's a non-sweet ice cream). I think I should have added another 1/8 cup.
  • The original recipe has you heat the dairy with half the sugar and when the sugar has melted, temper a mixture of egg/remaining sugar/salt/cocoa mixture. Cook until thick, then strain the custard into the chocolate and stir to melt/incorporate. I didn't do it that way.
  • I didn't include the cinnamon. I don't like it in chocolate (or coffee for that matter).


  • Same day: Ohmygod.  Delicious.  
  • Next day: Ice cream is still much harder and less smooth than many other recipes when frozen hard, but the chocolate ice cream flavor is one of the best I've tried. It's obviously made right this time and the texture is definitely not wrong.  This ice cream is very addictive, and very rich.
  • I want to figure out how to make this a little smoother/softer, while preserving that wonderful flavor.  
  • It's also a little too salty - most recipes call for a pinch on the light end, and up to 1/4-1/2 tsp on the salty end for a recipe. This one calls for a full teaspoon. I think the salt should be cut at least in half.


  • This one is too rich and delicious for additional toppings and stands alone.

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