Half-Baked Chocolate Ice Cream

Photographer: Kate
Serves 6

If you put ice cream in the oven it will melt. Nobody is arguing that. But if you put a special ice cream base into a hot oven briefly, then in the freezer, you get a fluffy baked cake exterior and an ice cream interior! The inspiration for this one-of-a-kind dessert came from noticing the similarities between a type of no churn, Italian ice cream called semifreddo and a baked souffle. Semifreddo is similar to my Easy Ice Cream, with beaten egg whites joining the whipped cream and flavor base which is then frozen. Souffle is a flavor base combined with whipped egg whites, then baked.

During development I learned that whipped cream collapses souffles so it is included, unwhipped, in the base instead. An Italian egg yolk sauce called a zabaglione (a great dessert in itself) forms that base, which is then flavored with dark chocolate and folded into beaten egg whites. The bubbles of air from the egg whites expand in the oven as the outside bakes, and also make the ice cream interior fluffy so that it doesn’t need to be churned. The result is kind of like a rare steak, a layer of cooked outside and then a gradient to the uncooked (and frozen in this case) inside. So, like a steak needs a very hot grill to create a flavorsome crust before the interior is overcooked, we use a very hot oven on fan bake to ensure we get the outside cooked while the inside is unchanged. The whole thing is then frozen to create a dish even your most judgmental Auntie will praise.  An alternative name for the dish, coined with my colleagues Sara and James, is Alaskan Mousse. This is a cheeky nod to the similar dessert “Baked Alaska”, the mousse base of the dish and the enormous quadruped.

This is a great recipe to try with the family this Christmas. We have Pavlova in my family, always with fresh in-season boysenberries but I will be making room on the table for Half Baked Ice Cream this year for sure!


125g 70-80% Dark chocolate (I used 72% cocoa Whittakers)
4 eggs, separated. Yolks in a glass or metal bowl and whites in a mixing bowl
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
Fresh berries, to Serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) fan bake and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Grease the baking paper with butter or cooking spray.
2. Make the base; beat the egg yolks in the glass or metal bowl, slowly adding the sugar, then milk. Place over a pot of simmering water, to create a double boiler, whisking constantly. If using an electric mixer instead of a whisk, scrape with a silicone spatula to make sure the mixture up the sides of the bowl don’t cook. The “zabaglione” is done when it has thickened to the consistency of a thin custard (the mixture should mark the surface for a few seconds when drizzled from the whisk)
3. Take off the pot, still whisking for a minute to make sure the residual heat in the bowl doesn’t overcook the mixture at the edges. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the cream and salt.
4. Using a whisk or electric mixer, start beating the egg whites, add the icing sugar and lemon juice or white vinegar. Continue beating until the whites form stiff peaks.
5. Mix 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it up, when gently fold the remaining egg whites in with a silicone spatula until no streaks remain.
6. Pour mixture into the lined loaf tin. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C.
7. Remove from oven and let it cool on a heat proof surface for 30 min. It will sink significantly, but this is fine. Cover with foil or cling film and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.
8. When ready to serve, turn out on to a platter and cut into slices. Serve with fresh berries.