I promised my son I would make more ice cream after we quickly devoured the chocolate cappuccino ice cream I made last week. Rather than repeat the exact same recipe, I decided I would make this recipe for dark chocolate gelato. My wife and I have a lot of cookbooks, and I have collected nearly ten books specifically about ice cream. Finding a recipe for a chocolate gelato should be easy, especially since several of the books have “gelato” in their title. To my surprise, only one of my books had a pure chocolate gelato recipe, the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library book, Ice Creams & Sorbet. If your bookshelf has limited space, this cookbook—loaded with great photos and recipes—is one that I highly recommend. A lot of other cookbooks have numerous recipes that I look at and have absolutely no interest or confidence in. I really believe Williams-Sonoma have done a great job with this book.
What is gelato, anyway?
Gelato is typically made with whole milk rather than cream or half & half like ice cream. Although there is less fat than your typical ice cream, gelato is denser and results in a dessert that seems more rich than ice cream. Gelato is also best served near melting—in stores this usually means a special, forced air freezer.
You never forget your first gelato
I first tasted gelato in high school at Gelato Classico in Palo Alto. Their dark chocolate gelato is amazingly rich, smooth and dark. I’m always torn between their limone sorbetto and chocolate gelato. You can get a cup with one or more flavors neatly partitioned, but I could never bring myself to combine sorbet and gelato in the same cup. Since then I have been fortunate enough to taste gelato in both France and Italy on hot summer nights, but making it at home is much easier on the pocket book.
Emerging from the ice cream maker with a pulled taffy satin sheen, this dark chocolate gelato recipe isn’t quite as dark as Gelato Classico’s version, but it definitely is just as rich. My wife described eating this as “almost like eating a candy bar.” The light waffle-cone cookie I served it with was a perfect contrast to the rich chocolate flavor of this gelato. So rich, you may hesitate for a second helping…who are we kidding? You’ll have another scoop—just this one time.
Stir constantly until mixture thickens and a finger leaves a track when dragged across the back of a spoon (about 180 °F).
The recipe, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Dark Chocolate Gelato recipe page.