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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)

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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  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
  2. That looks amazing!! I’ve also been making ice cream but only vanilla. This recipe looks divine!

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

    June 27, 2013
  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
  5. Janet Rörschåch
    Janet Rörschåch

    WOW! WOW! WOW!

    June 26, 2013

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