1/2 cup unsweetened quality cocoa powder*
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder and 1 cup of the half-and-half until combined. Turn heat onto medium. Whisk in remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just until it comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat.
In mixing bowl of stand mixer, whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add sugar and whisk to combine. Add a very small amount of the cream mixture to the eggs and sugar mixture and continue until about one third of the cream mixture has been added.
Pour in remaining cream mixture and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175°F.
Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. When completely cool, cover bowl and place mixture into the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40°F.
Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions, about 25 to 35 minutes. Pack into storage container and freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.
*Whenever possible, invest in quality cocoa powder — World Wide Chocolate is a resource we like for premium chocolate.