When it comes to ice cream, finding a sugar-free version that actually tastes good seems pretty impossible. After all, when one thinks of ice cream, it’s usually served on a waffle cone or topped with gooey caramel sauce or hot fudge. So if you’re diabetic, or need to cut back on your sugar intake, a scoop if this dessert on a hot summer night is off limits. Speaking of low-sugar, here are some diabetic-friendly desserts you should try.
But don’t count sugar-free ice cream out too quickly. We asked our Test Kitchen for a deliciously rich chocolate ice cream that’s free of sugar, and they definitely delivered. Keep reading for the sugar-free ice cream recipe, a step-by-step how-to and plenty of Test Kitchen tips.
How to Make Sugar-Free Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 2 eggs
- Dash salt
- 8 ounces sugar-free chocolate, melted and cooled (we like Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Chips)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Yield: 1 quart
Step 1: Heat the milk and agave nectar
In a small saucepan whisk together the milk and agave nectar over medium-low heat. Let the sweetened milk heat until bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan.
Test Kitchen Tip: Agave nectar is a syrupy alternative to white sugar. It has a very low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike, but is still about as calorie-dense as white sugar. Want to learn more about sugar alternatives? Here’s everything you need to know.
Step 2: Temper the eggs
Next, combine the eggs, salt and melted chocolate in a small bowl. Slowly add a small amount of the sweetened milk to the chocolate and eggs, whisking constantly. This keeps the eggs from scrambling.
Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and whisk over low heat. Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture has thickened and is able to coat the back of a spoon.
Test Kitchen Tip: If you’re not a big fan of dark chocolate, feel free to substitute your favorite type of sugar-free chocolate. You might have to adjust the amount of agave nectar, depending on how sweet the chocolate used is.
Step 2: Cool the mixture
While the mixture is cooking, put an ice bath together. To do so, grab a large bowl and roasting pan, making sure the bowl can nest inside. Place the bowl in the pan then fill the rest of the pan with ice cubes and cold water.
When the ice cream mixture has reached the desired consistency, transfer it from the saucepan and into the bowl in the ice bath. Stir the ice cream mixture for about two minutes, then stir in the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.
Remove the bowl from the ice bath then cover the bowl with wax paper. You’ll want to make sure the waxed paper is touching the surface of the ice cream mixture. Then pop the bowl in the refrigerator to cool for a few hours, or overnight.
Step 3: Freeze
Once your ice cream mix is completely cooled, pour it into your ice cream maker’s cylinder until its two-thirds the way full. Freeze according to your machine’s instructions. When the ice cream has frozen, put it in a freezer-safe container, like this one from StarPack, and freeze for 2-4 hours.
Test Kitchen Tip: Be sure not to over churn your ice cream or else it can turn icy. The ice cream maker will give your ice cream a fantastic texture, but the freezer is the best way to solidify the ice cream.
Step 4: Scoop and serve
After the ice cream has solidified, pull it out of the freezer and get scooping! Serve the ice cream with some fresh fruit, roasted peanuts or other sugar-free toppings.
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