Chocolate Water Ice: a chocolatey, creamy, icy, perfect summer treat. This is a cold, very chocolatey dessert that is MADE for the chocolate lover in your house. If you are from the Philadelphia area, like myself, you already know of our beloved wooder ice. You may have also heard it referred to as Italian Ice, but the culture here is what makes the difference and thus, we are calling it Water Ice. They are made the same: water, sugar, flavor. This is summer in Philadelphia in a cup. What makes Italian Ice & water ice even more special and different? THE GELATI: creamy ice cream layered with water ice. Treat your family to a summer in Philadelphia speciality that’s crazy easy to make.
aka ADD ICE CREAM: Take your Chocolate Water Ice experience to the next level by pairing it with your favorite ice cream. If you are using hard ice cream, microwave it for 10-15 seconds to warm it. Gelatis are traditionally with soft serve so I like the ice cream to be quite soft. The contrast of textures makes this one of my favorite desserts ever. I LOVE to eat this with our favorite Trader Joe’s Coffee Bean Blast. Layer them: water ice, ice cream, water ice, ice cream in a cup & serve.
Tips for the Perfect Chocolate Water Ice
I want your final product to taste as much like my favorite chocolate water ice as possible. I like to leave it to freeze in a loaf pan, stirring it every few hours to keep it chunky and icy. 3 cups of water is also what makes the recipe a little icier than a sorbet for example. You can also choose to freeze as ice cubes and blend the together in a high powdered blender. I love this result, and with my Vitamix find it even creamier. But again, I am looking for a frozen, kind of icy texture so I freeze in the loaf pan most frequently.
Home Cook’s Notes
For Best Chocolate Flavor
This recipe is very chocolatey. It’s made for the chocolate lover *me*. The best chocolate water ices are the chocolatey-est ones with little chocolate bits. So to get the ultimate chocolate flavor you want to use a really good cocoa powder. I think Ghirardelli makes a perfect chocolate water ice. If you want to amp up the chocolate even MORE, go for a good cocoa like Droste.
Making homemade water ice is a great and super fun project for the littles. It’s easy to make, fun and delicious. But the cocoa in this recipe MAY not be your kid’s favorite. To tamper down the cocoa flavor, use basic Hershey’s cocoa. After you dissolve the cocoa in the recipe, taste it. Add a bit more sugar if you need it to be sweeter & keep warmed until added sugar dissolves.
Achieving the perfect balance of chocolatey goodness in your Water Ice is essential. To ensure a rich and robust chocolatey flavor, I like to use a high-quality cocoa powder. I love Droste for a really chocolatey flavor, and Ghirardelli for a more classic chocolate flavor. The espresso powder adds a little subtle boost to the chocolate.
From the Kitchen
From here, I like to pour my chocolate water ice mixture into something with a spout. But all we are going to do is pour the hot chocolate mixture into ice cube trays. You can let it cool to room temp to pour, but you don’t have to. Freeze over night. You can also freeze in a loaf pan and stir every few hours. Before fully frozen, add a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips. My favorite chocolate water ices growing up always had them, so I have to add them whenever I make it. You may have to let it sit out on the counter for 10-15 minutes. It should be fairly easy to scoop with an ice cream or cookie scoop.
When you make this Chocolate Water Ice – could you let me know your thoughts in the comments or on my Instagram @quartersoulcrisis . Did you make a Gelati? Are you from Philly? Which ice cream did you choose? I really really want to hear from you!
Chocolate Water Ice (No Churn)
- 2-3 Ice Cube Trays OR Loaf Pan/any freezer safe dish if using ice cube trays, you also need food processor or blender
- Large Sauce Pan
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder optional, but delicious
- 1 pinch salt
- 1-2 tbs mini chocolate chips optional
- your favorite ice cream optional
- Make Water Ice Base: In a large sauce pan (on no heat) add water & sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved (1-2 minutes). Next, turn heat to medium-low and add cocoa powder, vanilla & whisk. Heat mixture until cocoa powder is completely dissolved, keeping heat on low (it shouldn't come to a bubble at all!) and stirring often, scraping the sides to make sure cocoa doesn't burn.
- Freeze Option – Ice Cube Trays: pour mixture carefully into something with a spout & carefully fill ice cube trays. Freeze 5-8 hours until frozen or overnight. Once frozen, blend in food processor on high until combined. Serve: Add ice cubes to food processor and blend on high until broken up & all combined. Sprinkle mini m&ms and stir it up if using. Serve immediately with tightly packed ice cream scoop or pack into a freezer safe container & freeze until ready to serve.
- Freeze Option – Loaf pan or Dish: pour mixture into loaf pan or dish with mini chocolate chips if using. Let freeze and stir every 2 hours until frozen and scoopable. I like this option for it's icier and classic water ice texture. Serve: Scoop with ice cream scoop when ready to serve. You may need to let it sit on counter 10 minutes before scooping
- GELATI *Ice Cream Layered w/ Water Ice*: Soften your favorite ice cream flavor (ours is Trader Joes Coffee Bean Blast) in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. In a glass, layer water ice with ice cream. Eat together for the best summer treat of your life!