Low Carb Vanilla Ice Cream w/Hot Fudge Sauce–No Ice Cream Maker Required!

Just a quick note about comments and emails–I have been traveling, and don’t always have a moment to respond to everything as of late. If you have an urgent question about a recipe, please shoot me an email (or two!). Keep in mind that I’m just a college student. Thanks so much for your feedback! I read all of it and take it to heart to improve the content here.

blackberry semifreddo2

It’s ice cream season in Florida!

I’ve blogged about this frozen treat before, but couldn’t resist trying a couple of recipes that seemed pretty easy, with readily available ingredients. Best of all, they don’t require an ice cream maker, but still yield deliciously creamy, airy results. Furthermore, they’re company worthy, making summer entertaining easy on your low carb plan.

Coming up for you are more ice cream recipes, now that I’m back home with my little Cuisinart ice cream maker. Stay tuned for a scoopable dairy-free ice cream, coming up next post.

Do you know what a semifreddo is? I had never heard of it until stumbling upon this Italian frozen dessert at a food blog. Semifreddo is italian for “half cold,” which aptly describes the nature of this icy gluten-free dessert. You whip together cream, separated eggs, sweetener and flavoring, then spread it in a loaf pan or mold. Freeze, slice, and enjoy. It’s that simple! All you need is a hand mixer and a few mixing bowls, along with a bit of patience for the whipping and freezing time required.

I topped off the vanilla bean version with a homemade sugar-free hot fudge sauce. It’s lick-off-the-spoon worthy. You can make up a small batch if you feel it’ll be dangerous to have hanging around.

Seasonal blackberries were used in the making of the deep purple semifreddo. I blended ’em up, strained them, and used them in the custard as well as the fresh sauce drizzled over the top. The sauce helps to cover the cracks I made from using plastic wrap to line the mold. Note to self–don’t line the mold next time. Just grease it with butter, and run the mold under hot water if you want your pretty pan design to show on the finished dessert. I used a jello mold for the blackberry flavor, which you can see created the rounded, fluted shape. How cool is the bright purple coloring from the blackberries? You just know something that naturally vibrant has to be healthy!

And to finish up, here are a few cool posts for your weekend low carb cooking:

How to Render Bacon Fat @ Mark’s Daily Apple
Flax Meal Bread @ Elana’s Pantry
Bacon Wrapped Steaks @ Flour Arrangements

Tastes just like a hot fudge sundae!
vanilla semifreddo2

Sugar-Free Vanilla Ice Cream (Semifreddo style)

Makes 6 servings

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split (optional)

Sweetening options:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons erythritol, powdered, or 1/2 cup xylitol, powdered plus 1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals pure stevia extract
3/4 cup Splenda

4 fresh, organic eggs (whites and yolks separated)
2 cups organic heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

In first bowl, beat sugar and egg yolks until mixture is a light creamy yellow, then beat in vanilla extract and bean scrapings. In second bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. In third bowl, beat egg whites, add a pinch of salt, and then keep beating until you have stiff peaks. Fold together cream and egg yolk mixture gently. Then fold in egg whites thoroughly, but with as few strokes as possible to keep the airiness. Spread into loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, or a metal mold. Freeze, covered loosely in plastic wrap, for at least 4 hours. Scoop out with an ice cream scoop. Alternatively, run water over the bottom of the pan for a few seconds, unmold, and slice.

~15.5g net carbs for the whole recipe using erythritol and stevia
~31.5g net carbs for the whole recipe using Splenda

vanilla semifreddo1

This hot fudge sauce will not work will Splenda as the primary sweetener. No matter how much you add, the unsweetened chocolate will still taste better. You must add erythritol or xylitol for the best flavor.

Sugar-Free Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from a recipe at AllRecipes.com

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I like Ghirardelli)
2 teaspoons unsalted organic butter
1/2 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
6 tablespoons xylitol, powdered, OR 7 tablespoons erythritol, powdered
Pinch NuNaturals pure stevia extract
4-6 teaspoons water

Powder xylitol or erythritol in coffee grinder with pinch of sea salt. Chop chocolate finely. Melt together unsweetened chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. I make my own double boiler by placing my steel bowl over simmering water in a small saucepan. Stir in cream and sweetener mixture, and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla and water. Add more water to thin it out if necessary. Taste and adjust sweetness with a bit more stevia or powdered erythritol, as necessary. Keep in mind that the sauce will firm up over ice cream. Store in a jar in the refrigerator, and reheat and whisk well to use.

~10g net carbs for the whole batch

Those little white flecks are bits of cream not mixed in well. Still tastes fabulous!
blackberry semifreddo3

Sugar-Free Blackberry Ice Cream (Semifreddo Style)
Adapted from a recipe at epicurious.com

Makes 5 servings

12 ounces blackberries (2 heaping cups)

Sweetening options:
1/3 cup erythritol, powdered OR 1/4 cup xylitol, powdered plus 1/8 tsp NuNaturals pure stevia extract
1/2 cup Splenda

1 cup organic heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5 large egg yolks

Line loaf pan with plastic wrap, if using. Powder erythritol or xylitol in coffee grinder. Purée berries with 1/4 cup cream and salt in a blender until smooth. Pour through a mesh sieve to remove seeds, if desired. Add yolks to a metal bowl and stir in erythritol or xylitol (or Splenda). Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with mixer until pale, thick, and tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and set in a large ice bath, stirring it around a few times as it cools. When yolks are cool to the touch, fold in berry puree.

Beat cold heavy cream (with 1/8 teaspoon stevia, if using), in other large bowl, using cleaned beaters. Whip until cream reaches soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into berry mixture gently but thoroughly. Don’t worry if you see a few streaks of white. Scrape mixture into pan or decorate metal mold and freeze, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until firm, at least 5 hours. Run warm water over the bottom of the pan for a few seconds, then invert semifreddo onto a plate. Alternatively, just use an ice cream scoop to serve from the loaf pan. Let semifreddo defrost for a few minutes for easier scooping.

~5.2g net carbs per 1/5th of a recipe, using erythritol and stevia
~7.6g net carbs per 1/5th of a recipe, using Splenda granular

blackberry semifreddo2

Fresh Blackberry Sauce

5 ounces (1 cup) blackberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon xylitol, erythritol, or Splenda
Tiny pinch NuNaturals pure stevia extract (optional)

Blend blackberries, lemon juice, and sweetener until pureed. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds.

~6.5g net carbs for the whole batch

49 Comments on Low Carb Vanilla Ice Cream w/Hot Fudge Sauce–No Ice Cream Maker Required!

  1. Nina
    August 2, 2009 at 12:36 am (13 years ago)

    looks amazing. can you tell me – I've never had a good experience with stevia – and mostly use splenda due to easy access – where you get your sweetners and your favorite brands? thanks

  2. Kelly
    August 2, 2009 at 3:16 am (13 years ago)

    Oh my gosh -these look SO GOOD! And I love half cold ice cream! It's the only way to eat it in my opinion. Also, I've been meaning to make ice cream with eggs, but I wasn't sure how. Thanks so much as always!

  3. Ali
    August 2, 2009 at 4:34 am (13 years ago)

    Wow Lauren – all of these recipes look amazing! I have been making a watermelon sorbet lately that just requires a food processor and is almost made entirely of watermelon. Maybe I will post it soon. You always share very creative recipes here! -Ali 🙂

  4. Jennifer
    August 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm (13 years ago)

    You are making me want ice cream! Lovely photos as per usual.

  5. Mee-Lise
    August 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm (13 years ago)

    The presentation is awesome and tempting! Think I'll try this with coconut milk as I'm a bit low on cream (how did THAT happen?). 🙂

  6. NewStartNow
    August 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm (13 years ago)

    I wonder if this will work with coconut milk?

  7. Lauren
    August 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm (13 years ago)

    Nina – I order from iherb.com (see my side bar for a $5 coupon code!) for all my baking needs, unless I find a better price elsewhere. I buy the erythritol in 5 lb bags. It's an investment, but it performs so much better than Splenda a lot of the time. A bag that big should last you a long time! Just click the names of the ingredients to be taken to their product page at iherb. 🙂

    Kelly – Hope you enjoy the ice cream!

    Ali – A watermelon sorbet sounds delicious. Hope you share the recipe!

    Jennifer – Thank you.

    Mee-Lise – It may be a bit icy with the coconut milk. You could try coconut cream (you'll need about four cans for it, though). Just chill the cans of coconut milk, and use the thick cream which forms a layer at the top. That should whip up if it's nice and cold. I did try this with coconut milk, and it didn't work!

    NewStartNow – See my response above. 🙂

  8. Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free)
    August 4, 2009 at 3:09 am (13 years ago)

    Love this post. I was looking through all of your recipes and they're great. So glad I found them. I've been looking for good sugar-free frosting – you have some fabulous recipes I'm going to try.

  9. Sandie
    August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm (13 years ago)

    Fabulous recipe & the blog looks delicious—love the healthy alternatives found here, particularly important for diabetic folks. Nicely done!

  10. Jessica @ MiniFad
    August 5, 2009 at 3:55 am (13 years ago)

    oh gosh. i have so many delicious blackberries right now. if enough of them last until tomorrow without being eaten, i may have to icecream them. 🙂 if not, we'll go with one of the others. looks delicious- thanks as always!

  11. Sophie
    August 5, 2009 at 7:37 pm (13 years ago)

    I'd heard of a semifreddo but didn't know what it was :P. I'm loving the colors here :D.

  12. Jess@MiniFad
    August 5, 2009 at 9:11 pm (13 years ago)

    Waiting 5 hours now. Did the blackberry… it tastes delicious (just isn't frozen yet).

    But the egg/sugar mixture came out funny- it got all chunky and didn't really blend in with the rest of it. You know how sometimes when you melt chocolate it gets to this odd, not-so-creamy and smooth, but dry and sticky consistency? …It did that. Any suggestions for next time? I'm going to do the chocolate ice cream next.

  13. Jess@MiniFad
    August 6, 2009 at 4:00 am (13 years ago)

    It's so delicious, Heather. An ode to blackberries and your recipe on my blog. Thanks for another great one!

  14. Ann
    August 9, 2009 at 1:24 am (13 years ago)

    We made the semifreddo last night w/ splenda and it is delicious. My sauce w/ erythritol was a bit grainy, but I did not have a coffee grinder and probably didn't heat it through. It was still delicious!!

  15. Chef Rachel
    August 11, 2009 at 1:19 am (13 years ago)

    OMG, Lauren! The Sugar Free Vanilla Ice Cream, Semifreddo Style looks to-live-for! You are so creative with the food styling. Really! I love looking at your pictures and reading your posts! I can't wait to try it…will probably try it w/coconut milk because many of my cooking students and clients follow dairy free diets. I will send you a link when I make it and post it on my blog with pictures!

    Thanks for the inspiration. I see you making a huge hit on TV as a celebrity chef and cookbook author! Have you seen the movie Julie & Julia yet?

    Best wishes,

    Chef Rachel

  16. mere
    October 25, 2009 at 9:45 pm (13 years ago)

    Hi Lauren, I've been pouring over your blog and all the fantastic recipes in an effort to get us all off of sugar (myself, my husband and our 2 year old, in Wellington New Zealand.)

    I made this delicious ie cream last night and while it tastes amazing, this morning its as hard as a rock (not really scoopable)– do you have any suggestions? I followed the recipe to a "T."
    THANK THANK you for all your incredible recipes– I'm SO gladI found you!

  17. rachel
    January 19, 2010 at 1:48 am (13 years ago)

    Goodness, your pictures leave me both tormented and amazed! Everything looks so incredibly fantastic.

  18. Nancy
    April 3, 2010 at 6:32 am (13 years ago)

    I make this ice cream all the time, we love it.

    I actually fill a large and a small loaf pan with this recipe and get about 12-14 servings.

    Mine also freezes very hard. I slice the entire batch after it freezes. To serve I put the slice with the chocolate sauce in the microwave for 10-20 seconds…melts the chocolate and softens the ice cream.

    It really does taste like a hot fudge sundae.

    Bonus, the chocolate sauce becomes a soft fudge in the refrigerator.

    Love your blog.

  19. clark
    May 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm (12 years ago)

    Wow, this is just heavenly. So easy to make and just delicious!

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    May 21, 2010 at 6:34 am (12 years ago)

    wow nice recipe, i love it.

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    This looks delicious, I would like to try it with raspberries.
    The fact that I don't need an ice cream maker is great.
    Thanks for the tip and the recipe.

  23. Anonymous
    September 10, 2010 at 11:47 pm (12 years ago)

    I made the fudge sauce and it rocks!!!

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    September 16, 2010 at 12:50 am (12 years ago)

    when i prepare cakes or another recipe i usually like to add some cream because the flavour drives me crazy.i really love it.

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  33. 3Lads&aLass
    June 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm (11 years ago)

    I just made this last night for my kids (my four year old is a Type I diabetic and we were trying erythritol and for the first time). The taste was GREAT, but my semifreddo froze TOTALLY solid in the freezer and seemed a bit crystalized. Any idea what I did wrong?

    We can't wait to try the rest of your recipes. So far, his blood sugars were really not affected by the erythritol. SO much better than Splenda!

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    I just made this last night for my kids (my four year old is a Type I diabetic and we were trying erythritol and for the first time). The taste was GREAT, but my semifreddo froze TOTALLY solid in the freezer and seemed a bit crystalized. Any idea what I did wrong?

    We can't wait to try the rest of your recipes. So far, his blood sugars were really not affected by the erythritol. SO much better than Splenda!

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  40. michael
    October 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm (11 years ago)

    Hi Lauren,
    I agree that the semifreddo-style ice cream looks amazing, and is hope indeed for those of us wanting to use limited to no bona fide sugar.
    Any concerns about xylitol as an ingredient, health-wise? also, have you considered using honey as a sweetener for either ice cream or sugar-free hot fudge sauce?
    many thanks,

  41. Lauren
    August 17, 2012 at 3:48 am (10 years ago)

    Hi, Michael! I realize your comment is very old. Just saw it whilst organizing older posts. 🙂 I don't have concerns about xylitol aside from its unpleasant digestive effects due to not being absorbed completely in the intestine. It's fermented from birchwood and fructose free, so I prefer it to honey in small amounts.

  42. Cappy
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    Hi! I’m enjoying your recipe archive immensely. I was wondering if your recipe for sugar-free hot fudge sauce would work for making chocolate milk. I’m doing the low-carb thing, and I really miss chocolate milk… Thanks!

  43. Cappy
    March 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm (10 years ago)

    I just answered my own question! I made the recipe completely in the microwave using a 2-cup glass measuring cup. To keep the sauce from firming up in the refrigerator (so I can mix it with milk to make chocolate milk without warming it up), I added 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk. 1/4 cup of this mixture plus a cup of unsweetened almond milk made a delicious chocolate milk. Thank you!

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