Chocolate Is The Key To Elevating Crunchy Add-Ins For Your Ice Cream

One of the best parts of making your own ice cream is adding crunchy mix-ins to upgrade the dessert's flavor and improve its texture. Whether you swear by Oreo cookie chunks, homemade chocolate crunch, or chocolate-coated pretzels, consider adding a crunchy mix-in that not only tastes like chocolate, but that's also coated in chocolate. That cocoa coating adds taste — who doesn't want more chocolate? — and it also keeps your go-to ingredient from losing its signature texture.

Indeed, when making homemade ice cream, crunchy mix-ins tend to lose some of their crunch amidst the dessert's creamy consistency. A coating of chocolate, however, saves the day, as the chocolate shell protects the interior texture. Of course, not all toppings come coated in chocolate. But that doesn't mean you can't use the almonds you already have in your pantry. Rather than running to the store for chocolate-covered nuts, you can make your own at home. The process is as simple as melting, dipping and, of course, mixing.

Melt and thin dipping chocolate for your favorite form of crunch

When it comes to ice cream, liquid chocolate is good for more than just hot fudge. In fact, melted chocolate comes in handy at the mix-in stage of your ice cream-making endeavor. It's the best tool for making mix-ins that maintain their signature crunch.

To cover your favorite ingredients in chocolate, simply melt your solid candy, whether by microwave or double boiler on the stove top. While the chocolate is melting, add a small amount of a neutral-tasting oil. The addition of this oil achieves a few outcomes; it thins out your chocolate and lowers the candy's melting point. That way, after the ice cream — and, therefore, your chocolate coating — freezes, it will melt more easily in your mouth.

Once your chocolate has completely liquified, you can dip your mix-ins into the melted mixture. Do so by breaking your ingredients into small, ice cream-ready pieces that you then dip in and out of the chocolate. Or, you can stir your mix-ins directly in with that bowl of melted chocolate. Regardless of your technique, you'll want to lay the crunchy, chocolate-coated bits on a wire rack until the liquid solidifies. Then you can add everything to your ice cream maker and let the mixing begin.