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Dark Chocolate Gelato

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.

Ingredients for making Dark Chocolate Gelato.

Chop your favorite dark chocolate (72% Valrhona Araguani here).

Add sugar to whipped egg yolks and corn syrup.

With mixer on low, slowly add simmering milk to egg yolk and sugar mixture.

Stir constantly until mixture thickens and a finger leaves a track when dragged across the back of a spoon (about 180 °F).

Pour custard through chinois into bowl of chopped chocolate.

Stir custard to melt chopped chocolate.

Add cocoa and stir until smooth. Chill in ice bath until temperature reaches about 45 °F.

Freeze in ice cream maker, transfer to container and let ripen in freezer for at least one hour.

The recipe, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Dark Chocolate Gelato recipe page.

  • Great looking recipe! I look forward to trying it out myself! Nice job with the pictures. They make the recipe seem easier to follow.

    I am adding a link to your site from my blog that I just started this week. I’d love it if you came for a visit. It’s not nearly as nice as yours, but we have to start some where.

  • Hi Cocoa-Nut, thanks for dropping by. I’d recommend the Chocolate Cappuccino Ice Cream over this recipe. Something about the coffee helps produce an even better chocolate experience. Looks like you are off to a great start with your new blog. I wouldn’t have guessed you just started from the looks of things.

  • Cynthia

    The picture looks like very very delicious!
    This is my first time visited your blog which very beautiful.

    I saw the third and fourth photos, could I ask the question?
    Need I let sugars and eggs mix together until fluffy?
    Thank you for your answer, I will try this recipe at home. 🙂

  • Hi Cynthia, I think beating the egg and sugar until fluffy is mostly to ensure that the egg is thoroughly broken down. Once you add the hot cream mixture, any remaining egg bits might be less likely to blend in, leaving chunks. Either way, it is a good idea to pass the cooked custard through a sieve or chinois to strain out any odd bits of egg (I understand that egg whites, which cook at a lower temperature, can also be trapped caught the sieve).

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