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Chocolate Gelato

From Italian Cooking and Living, June/July 2003

You can give this gelato a nutty twist: Toast some hazelnuts, and place them in a blender. Finely grind them, and add them to the milk as you heat it. Strain the infused milk, and proceed.

  • 31/2 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint

Place 2 inches of water in a saucepan. Place it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Break the chocolate into pieces, and place in a clean metal bowl. Put the bowl on top of the saucepan with water, shut off the heat, and set aside for 10 minutes or until melted. (If the chocolate hasn't melted, turn the heat back on, and stir until it melts.)

In another saucepan, combine the milk, half of the sugar and a tiny pinch of salt, and heat until bubbles form around the edges. Do not boil. Pour the melted chocolate into the saucepan with the milk, and remove from the heat.

In a bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the yolks, and whisk until it's thick and a pale yellow color. Temper the egg mixture by pouring 1/4 cup of the hot milk and chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. (The tempering process raises the temperature of the eggs so they don't scramble when added to other hot ingredients.)
Add the egg mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk and chocolate, and mix. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Strain the mixture into a bowl that is set in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Occasionally stir the mixture until it cools. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

When ready to serve, wash and hull the strawberries. Cut them into 1/4-inch slices, and divide them among 6 dessert bowls. Place a scoop of chocolate gelato on top of the sliced strawberries, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serves 6

Copyright © 2006, Italian Cooking and Living. All rights reserved.

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