What is gelato? Some might say gelato is just the Italian word for Ice Cream. While close, that wouldn’t be exactly accurate. There are two big differences between Italian gelato and American ice cream. The first is that gelato contains less butterfat; it is typically made with whole milk rather than cream (in some rare cases a combination of the two). Second is that it is churned slower which pumps less air into it than it’s American counterpart (I find that most home ice cream makers do a good job with gelato in this area).
This recipe is for a Sicilian style Chocolate Gelato, which is even further away from American ice cream than the gelato served in the north of Italy. Sicilian gelato contains neither cream nor egg; it uses as it’s base what is called a crema rinforzata, made from milk, sugar and cornstarch. The result is a gelato that is lighter and at the same time more intensely flavored than American ice cream or Northern Italian gelato (which is usually made from an egg based custard).
- 3 cups whole milk
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Place 2 cups of the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat when milk just begins to simmer.
- Add chocolate to the hot milk and stir in until completely melted.
- Combine remaining 1 cup of milk, cocoa powder, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl, then stir into hot milk and chocolate mixture.
- Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring until mixture thickens, approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
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