Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chocolate Gelato or ice-cream

The heat wave continues and with temps reaching the high 90s for the past wk, I am NOT turning on my oven.  Our outdoor thermometer actually read 101 on the deck on Thursday.  So that only leaves one thing to do...ICE-CREAM!!!

Gelato is Italy's ice-cream.  During our trip to Italy a few years ago, we enjoyed small dishes of the creamy dessert while taking in the sights and sounds of the plazas.  Gelato differs from American ice-cream in that it generally has less cream and more milk - meaning that it contains slightly less fat.  But I doubt it makes that much difference with all the sugar that's added.  When making a chocolate gelato, high quality chocolate really does make the difference.  I have read this a number of times but of course I didn't believe it until I actually used good chocolate and was surprised by how fantastic it tasted.  It turns out all chocolates are NOT created equal.  Unfortunately, the higher the quality, the higher the price tag.  But I've also found that the flavors differ substantially between the various brands...And so it all comes down to personal preference.

When I made the fantastic tasting gelato, I didn't write down what brand of chocolate I used, so I'll just have to start making more to find it again. Today I am using Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Bittersweet Chips.  Now, the recipe that I found online some where years ago, calls for 2 cups whole milk.  But I don't have any whole milk so I'm using a can of evaporated milk.  I'm also increasing the amount of heavy cream...So in the end, this is probably more like ice-cream than it is gelato.

Here's my ice-cream maker.  The Deni Automatic Ice Cream maker.  Cute little thing, reminds me of R2D2 from the original Star Wars movies.  Yes I'm old enough to remember those movies.  I like it.  Although I find that the ice-cream is extremely soft even after letting it churn for the max recommended time.  So I have been wrapping it in a blanket and then putting the entire canister into the freezer for half an hour before transferring it to a new container.  It's still really soft but a little better.

Here's the recipe I used.
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 can (15oz) evaporated milk
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate, in small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the chocolate in a medium sized bowl and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, place the sugar and salt.  In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and enough milk to dissolve the cornstarch placing the remainder of the milk in the pan with the sugar.  Stir in the cornstarch and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, stirring constantly.  Allow to boil for one minute, continuing to stir.  Immediately pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.  (I cover the bowl with a plate to trap in the heat)  Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Add cream and vanilla and stir to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap such that the wrap is touching the surface of the liquid completely.  (This is so a film will not form on the surface.)  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Transfer to an ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
R2 wrapped in the blanket churning away.

This was usually thick before I put it in the ice-cream maker.  I can only assume it's because I increased the fat content by using evaporated milk and increasing the cream.  Maybe next time I'll actually follow the original directions and see how it's different.  It tasted great and helped to cool the family down.

It was so good my one daughter actually tried licking a drip off the table. Yup that's Olivia in the photo to the right.


No comments:

Post a Comment