Stracciatella Gelato is kind of like American chocolate chip ice cream, except completely different. Instead of the chips and sometimes chunks you find in American product, Stracciattella has fine bits of chocolate throughout, which results in a smooth texture with just the slightest crunch in every bite. This is achieved by drizzling in a thin stream of melted chocolate during the final stages of churning, which hardens on contact and gets broken up as it churns. My two previous gelato recipes, chocolate and pistachio, were Sicilian style gelato, which has no egg or cream and is thickened with a crema rinforzata made from milk, sugar and cornstarch. Here, for a little variety, I went with a Northern Italian style vanilla gelato, made with an egg based custard.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Stir the milk and sugar together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the vanilla bean. Heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and steep for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks and transfer the mixture back to the sauce pan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, 8 – 10 minutes and remove custard from heat.
- Pour the cream into a large bowl and place a mesh strainer on top. Pour the custard through the strainer, discarding the vanilla bean, and stir it into the cream. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Remove custard from refrigerator and process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. While ice cream is churning melt chocolate in a sauté pan over low heat or in the microwave. Drizzle a very thin stream of the chocolate into the gelato during the last few minutes of churning.
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