White Chocolate-Habanero Ice Cream

in Chocolate, Ice Cream

White Chocolate-Habanero Ice Cream

My husband and I love spicy foods. We love making spicy foods even spicier but we’re not into the it-must-hurt-to-be-good spicy foods. Those foods suck. For days.

There are few dishes that don’t benefit from the heat of a splash of Tobasco or a handful of chopped, fresh serranos. I don’t think ice cream necessarily belongs on that list.

White Chocolate-Habanero Ice Cream

Last year, Jason and I went to a cooking demonstration with David Lebovitz at Central Market. Talk about fun! I’ll say it again: If you ever get a chance to just sit back and watch, eat, drink, and listen while the man cooks, do it! I also had him sign my copy of The Perfect Scoop. As far as I’m concerned, that book is a must-have for ice cream lovers. We have been pleased and it’s clearly showing 🙂

His White Chocolate ice cream is one of my favorite recipes in the book. Not that any of his recipes need improvement, but if you’re feeling adventurous you can force the mixture to grow up rather quickly with the addition of heat from a habanero pepper. It’s smooth, creamy, and white chocolatey… all the way up until the heat kicks in. It’s cold. Then it’s hot. But it’s still cold. It totally confuses your mouth. But it’s rather good.

White Chocolate-Habanero Ice Cream

Eat it plain. Eat it sandwiched between the last two White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut cookies in the house. Eat it straight out of the ice cream machine soft-serve style.

White Chocolate-Habanero Ice Cream

Hot and cold, white chocolate ice cream infused with heat from a habanero.


  • 1 Habanero
  • 8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. Put the chopped white chocolate in a large bowl.
  2. Seed and very finely chop the habanero. Add 1/2 the chopped pepper to a medium saucepan with the sugar, salt, and the milk.
  3. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warmed. Let sit for 20 minutes to infuse the milk.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
  5. Pour the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  6. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-proof spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
  7. Pour the custard into the strainer set over the bowl of white chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
  8. Add the remaining chopped pepper and heavy cream, and stir until mixed.
  9. Set the bowl over an ice bath and stir until cool.
  10. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Yields: 1 quart

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

Estimated time: 3 hours

20 comments… add one
  • now that is a good flavor combination! hot and sweet.
    I want to get an ice cream maker so badly

  • I LIVE for spicy food!!

  • habenero ice cream? whaa?? I’ll take it! good idea. hey, have you ever had corn ice cream?


  • See I would never have thought of adding something as spicy as that to icecream, but once you think about it, it seems like a perfect match. Now I have never made icecream myself, which almost seems like a sin but maybe I will try this… Or maybe I should start with something a bit more simple…:)

  • I can’t wait to buy an ice cream maker. I LOVE Central Market!!! I used to work there while in culinary school. It was a great place to work.

  • That sounds really good… I’m going to have to try that.

  • OHHH YUM! This is totally my kind of dessert. We make “Fire and Ice” bites that always satisfy the need for heat… Habanero chilies cut in half then filled with Lemon Sorbet. Painful but WOW!

  • I think heat in desserts is an unexpected and fun idea! I would love to try this idea for ice cream. We are just starting to warm up down here in Kentucky, so this one is perfect timing!

  • Oooh great idea! I’ve been wanting to make a mango sorbet for a while, but couldn’t decide what to do to it to make it different. Well, mango habanero sorbet sounds just perfect. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Gary

      Having made mango habanero ice cream recently I can say that the combination is a sure winner. Though I must admit the leftover pulp of mango, lemon juice sugar and habenero that wouldn’t fit through the strainer was on its own an amazing experience.

  • OMG! Ice cream & white chocolate both are my favourite! and I luv spicy food! 3 of them combine… wouldn’t it be so great!
    Looking at the ice cream sandwiched in macadamia nuts cookies, I just want to have a bite!

  • I remember an episode of Nigella (Bites, maybe?) where she poured sweet Thai chili sauce on vanilla ice cream. I haven’t tried it, but I was sorely tempted … but I do believe your recipe might make me forgo Nigella and go the habanero route!

  • Heh, I’m not surprised at this, especially after the hot strawberry ice cream you did a while ago.

  • Jeannine

    What if you don’t have an ice cream machine? Can you make it old-school somehow??

  • Mallory – I can honestly say I’ve never heard of corn ice cream before!

    Jeannine – All the recipes in The Perfect Scoop require some sort of ice cream maker. I picked up a super inexpensive model from Target a few summers ago and love it.

  • I love combining ingredients you wouldn’t have thought of in ice cream, but I do have to admit that I’d never have imagined adding habaneros to white chocolate. Sounds amazing. I’ve been meaning to pick up that book for a while, but I fear that my husband would get tired of eating ice cream for dinner every single night…

  • I like the sound of a Habanero ice cream!

  • I really want to try the white chocolate ice cream from The Perfect Scoop soon! This just gives me more motivation. Glad you enjoyed it between some of those cookies – thanks for the link 🙂 I’m DYING to meet/see/be taught by David Lebovitz – hopefully someday!

  • Wow! Such an awesome idea.. I’ll have to try it with the new ice cream maker!

  • I need this. I neeeeeeed it! Wow, nice to meet someone just as obsessed with spiciness as I am!

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