Chocolate Ice Cream Shell

Chocolate Sauce that Hardens Over Ice Cream for a Perfect Ice Cream Shell

Chocolate ice cream shell

Ice Cream Shells: certain ice cream chains and shops specialize in a chocolate sauce that hardens when it comes in contact with cold ice cream. There is a certain mystique to it. How come most sauces stay fluid? Why does this one transform into a shatteringly, crisp chocolate shell? And most importantly can I make it at home? That answer is yes, and actually it’s quite easy. This recipe is from Fran Costigan’s Book Vegan Chocolate, and this is a great example as to how a vegan recipe can be incredibly basic and appeal to all. (I prefer to make it with the coconut oil). Also make sure to try her Chocolate Dulce de Leche and read our interview with this great vegan pastry chef.

Recipes reprinted with permission from VEGAN CHOCOLATE© 2013 by Fran Costigan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Photo credit: Kate Lewis

Vegan chocolate cover

Chocolate Ice Cream Shell
Makes: Makes 1 cup / 240 ml
  • 7 ounces / 198 grams dark chocolate (68 to 70%), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and set in a saucepan of very hot water over lowest heat. Allow the chocolate to melt undisturbed until about two-thirds is melted.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir with a silicone spatula until all the chocolate is melted. Stir the oil into the chocolate until incorporated. Add the vanilla.
  3. Keep the shell in liquid form until ready to pour over the ice cream—do not refrigerate.


Spoon a few tablespoons of the liquid shell over a dish of ice cream and wait a few seconds until it magically hardens. The liquid sauce will turn into a firm chocolate shell within a few seconds of touching ice cream and will turn matte when it hardens.


Store the Chocolate Ice Cream Shell in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It will harden. To warm before using: place the jar in a small saucepan. Pour hot water to reach about halfway up the sides of the jar and warm over lowest heat until liquefied.


Mint Shell: Add a few drops of pure mint oil or 1/4 teaspoon mint extract.


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