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).Print