Chocolate Cayenne Ice Cream – Queen City Cayenne

Queen City Cayenne is the name of Jeni Britton Bauer’s chocolate ice cream with a kick of cayenne pepper. I’ve already told you why I love making her ice cream and shared with you a berry crisp ice cream recipe from her book, and now I am here with another.

Chocolate Ice Cream

This twist on chocolate ice cream uses bittersweet chocolate, which is my favorite chocolate, and cocoa powder to make a chocolate paste that gets added at the end, which makes the final product extra smooth.

Cayenne Pepper in Ice Cream

Honestly, I thought this was going to be a disaster. I didn’t think I was going to be sharing this recipe with you all. When I had snuck a bite of this ice cream while I was transferring it from the churner to the freezer, I wasn’t impressed.

Chocolate Cayenne Ice Cream

But of course I gave it another try that night when I scooped myself dessert. The first bite; same reaction. The second and third; okay, it’s not bad. The fourth; wow, this is interesting! Interesting in a good way.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

It was an acquired taste but after the first three tiny bites, I loved it! You may not like the idea of not falling in love with the taste of ice cream at-first-bite but this was my experience. You may be hooked the first time you sneak a taste.

Aztec Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

All I can say is, this slightly spicy chocolate ice cream is totally worth exposing your taste buds to. Picture them saying, “C’mon man, what are you waiting for?” Please note, if you aren’t partial to cinnamon, reduce the amount by half.

Chocolate Cayenne Ice Cream (Queen City Cayenne)
Excerpted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artison Books). Copywrite 2011.

Chocolate Paste
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Ice Cream Base
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

For the chocolate paste:
Combine the cocoa, sugar, and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until smooth. Set aside.

For the Ice Cream Base:
Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese, warm chocolate paste, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart heavy duty saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, while stirring, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk the hot custard into the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Add the cinnamon and cayenne and stir well. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours. When chilled, stir the custard and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions.

Pack the ice cream into a container, press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal the container. Freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 4 hours.

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  1. OOH! Looks delish! I just love anything chocolate and spicy! I might actually have to break down and buy the ice cream maker bowl for my stand mixer now.

  2. Thanks! I doubt you'll be disappointed, making ice cream can be really fun. 🙂

  3. Richard Rowe says: Reply

    I’ve not had any Queen City Cayenne since my daughter left Columbus several years ago, so was excited to find this recipe on the Internet. Unfortunately, I got a little confused with the reference to “remove the vanilla bean” when it was the first mention of a vanilla bean in the recipe. WHEN, precisely should I add the vanilla bean and should it be split and scraped? Thanks for any assistance you might provide… this will be my first attempt at making ice cream in a long, long time and I’ll be trying to use the ‘ice cream maker’ attachment on our Kitchen Maid mixer.

    Thank you, also, for the recipe.


    -Richard Rowe

    1. I’m sorry for the confusion, there is no vanilla bean in this recipe! I’ve fixed the error.

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