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Extremely Rich and Dark Chocolate Gelato – amore on a plate.

Posted in Bake, Baking, Food, and Food & Entertaining

IMG_2260Some of you will have been following my misadventures in ice-cream making – and know that I have ended up with iced cream. Or creamy ice. Not good. The revelation came when sofabrother asked me if I have been making a custard – before I freeze my mix. Well I be damned – I have not. Nor did I know you had to. But, this turned out to be just the advice I needed. Because my next attempt came out gorgeous.

I backed up his tip by some research, wanting to be sure I had not missed out on any other frozen wisdom. And learned about the relationship freezing point and sugar, freezing point and alcohol, floating eggs and sugar content in sorbet … and more of the like. I also discovered the difference between the ice-cream and gelato (less fat in the Italian version). And, as the latter is my preferred icy treat – took Mario Batali‘s advice and used only whole milk. No heavy cream. “It coats the palate”, he said – and I hate that.

I also used the best ingredients I could find – 85% Lindt chocolate, a good cocoa and full cream milk (we have had some disasters in the past involving baking efforts and low fat). My eggs were large and free-range, and even my sugar (light brown) came from a freshly opened pack. I was taking no chances. (Though paradoxically – for sorbet making – slightly overripe fruit is the way to go.)

I adapted (get me!) my recipe from one by Ina Garten. Hers had a 70% chocolate, more cocoa and cream in it .. and alcohol. But I am not a fan of booze in my sweets or sweets in my booze. I would, however, serve a glass of Amaretto with this. I think they would play nicely together.

IMG_2259Here the my (sorry Ina) recipe for Extremely Rich and Dark Chocolate Gelato

2 3/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use a good one, you will thank yourself)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 extra-large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
large pinch good salt (kosher is great as it has no additives)

Optional:
2 tablespoons Mexican coffee flavor liqueur (or something like Kahlua)

  • Heat the milk and 1/2 cup sugar in a large saucepan, until the sugar dissolves and the milk starts to simmer. Add the cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  • Place the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or use a hand beater and beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and very thick.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and  slowly pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  • Once combined – pour the egg/chocolate mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Don’t allow the mixture to boil! And don’t cook it for two long – it will thicken to the consistency of a dense cheese sauce. I let mine catch at the bottom, but fortunately realised it and was able to pour the good stuff off the top. I ate the rest and it was delish – but I am glad it didn’t go into my mix.
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve (a must do to sort out lumps) into a jug/bowl.  Stir in the teaspoons of vanilla and pinch of salt (this is also where you would stir in 2 tablespoons of a coffee/nutty liqueur if using). Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and chill completely. I left mine in the fridge for 6 hours.
  • Pour the custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn until it is thick but not freezing to the sides.
  • Decant into a clean container, cover and put into the freezer immediately.
How the Custard should look
How the Custard should look

To serve: Allow the gelato to thaw slightly before plating. I could have served my gelato straight from the ice-cream machine bowl when it finished churning – it was so perfect.  And might pull this trick out at a dinner party trick down the line. But a couple hours in the fridge improved the texture even more. It is so rich you may want to offer guests some raspberries for a hit of tang. But I love it in spoonfuls from the container.

Note on the ice-cream maker. I have a small Krups one that cost me about $120. It is for home use only – and it very easy to use, store, clean etc. I keep the bowl in the freezer so it is icy when I need it. The trick is to dry the freezer bowl completely before you put it in to chill – or you get little ice particles that break off in your creme.

PS: I used the separated egg whites to make some simple meringues. Find that recipe here. They were chewy with a hint of treacle spiciness from the brown sugar. The nephew and nieces devoured them.

(Images of gelato and meringue x 2 copyright campariandsofa, image of the custard courtesy Home Cooking Network. It should be noted that taking photos of chocolate gelato is not easy … can look like something completely different.)

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6 Comments

  1. Oh yum!! I’m trying to eat less sugar, but I am thinking I should reward myself for not eating so much sugar.

    June 27, 2013
    |Reply
  2. That looks amazing!! I’ve also been making ice cream but only vanilla. This recipe looks divine!

    June 27, 2013
    |Reply
  3. That looks amazing! Well done!!

    June 27, 2013
    |Reply
  4. I agree! WOW! This looks delicious. I’m not quite sure that me stumbling around and finding recipes like this is good, I’m 26 weeks pregnant and oh man, I just want everything. Especially chocolate! Dark…dark chocolate. Yum.

    June 26, 2013
    |Reply
  5. Janet Rörschåch
    Janet Rörschåch

    WOW! WOW! WOW!

    June 26, 2013
    |Reply

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