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They are so rich, it's hard to believe that gelatos are made from whole milk and not half & half or cream. This chocolate gelato is extremely smooth and 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. The ingredient list for this recipe comes from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library book, Ice Creams & Sorbet.


2 cups whole milk

5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar

1/4 lb dark chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa

Chop the chocolate into small pieces (to speed up melting), add to an empty mixing bowl and set aside. You will eventually pour the custard base into this bowl.

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until simmering and whisps of steam begin to appear (about 140 °F).

While the milk is heating, beat the egg yolks and corn syrup until blended. Add the sugar and continue mixing at medium speed until color lightens to a light yellow. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl during mixing.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the hot milk to the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Mix until blended and then return this mixture to the saucepan. Heat the custard mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and a finger leaves a track when dragged across the back of a spoon (about 175 °F).

Pour the custard mixture through a chinois or sieve into the bowl with the chopped chocolate. Mix the custard and chocolate to melt and blend the chocolate. Add the cocoa and continue mixing by hand until smooth. The goal is to blend, not whip air into the gelato.

Place bowl with gelato base into an ice bath or refrigerate until mixture is chilled to about 45 °F. Freeze according to your ice cream/gelato maker's instructions and transfer to a container. Let ripen in freezer for several hours before serving.

Click any image below to enlarge
  1. Comment from Jack Welch 
    2:12 PM   30-Jan-2008
    I have been to Italy and had Gelato and I have had Gelato at several places in the states. This recipe was better than ALL of them. I am so astounded at its taste and texture it is difficult to express it in words. Its perfect !
    1. Response from Brian
      8:09 PM   09-Jul-2008
      Hi Jack, thanks for the great feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed this--it is a chocolate lover's dream.
  1. 6:43 PM   08-Aug-2010
    Um...this looks heavenly! I wonder what a teaspoon of orange extract would do to this? I am excited to try!
    1. Response from Brian
      6:34 PM   04-Oct-2010
      If you like orange and chocolate I bet it's pretty good. When I was younger I liked the orange chocolate combination, but now not so much unless we're talking Grande Marnier!
  1. Comment from RK 
    2:24 AM   29-Jan-2011
    Great gelato, thank you for the recipe! One tip for those who're going to try this one: when putting the custard mixture back in the saucepan and warming, make sure to heat it very slowly. First time I tried it it frothed and curdled...
    1. Response from Brian
      8:14 PM   30-Jan-2011
      Yeah, it sounds like you had the heat too high or weren't stirring constantly. Glad you got it to work out eventually.
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