Summer + ice cream = memories.
In a bowl, on a cone, in a sandwich, alongside a fresh fruit pie or crisp, in a float or blended into a milkshake — however you serve it, it’s always smooth going down, whatever the flavour.
But I think many of us would admit to a particular fondness for chocolate. After keeping warm with mugs of the hot stuff all winter long, there’s something particularly satisfying about cooling off with your first scoop of rich, dark, chocolate ice cream once the warm weather takes hold.
Below is a snapshot of one of my favourite ice-cream memories. Hanging out in the Dairy Queen parking lot with the greatest T-ball team of the 70’s, the Bionic Batters. That’s me in the middle row, second from the right.
We’re all looking triumphant, so we must have won. Not that winning is important. I’m all about participation.
Those who know me well just choked on their own guffaw. If there is one constant in this world, it is the competitive spirit that courses through my veins. I play to win — I know no other way. ;)
This recipe is adapted from Saveur, who used cocoa to make theirs. I had a couple of big bars of good-quality bittersweet chocolate in my stash, so I went with those instead, but I have included the cocoa variation in my notes below the recipe.
This is a Sicilian style gelato, meaning that it uses cornstarch instead of egg yolks as a thickener. It’s lighter, easier on the waistline and cholesterol counts but still rich, creamy and delicious. I know many of us out there aren’t huge fans of cornstarch, but there’s always options! How about tapioca or rice starch? I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t work…
(Click the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
: Easy, creamy & delicious, you’ll be making homemade ice cream more times than you’ll care to admit to this summer!
- Half & Half – 2 cups (500 ml)
- Milk – 1 cup (250 ml)
- Vanilla – 1 tsp. (5 ml)
- Sugar – 3/4 cup (180 ml)
- Cornstarch – 2 Tbsp (30 ml)
- Salt – pinch
- Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped – 7oz (200 g)
- Bring half & half, milk and vanilla to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl.
- When cream mixture is at a simmer, remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate, and continue to stir until completely melted and smooth. Whisk in sugar mixture, then return pan to heat over med-low. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is slightly thickened, stirring constantly. (5-10 minutes).
- Remove from heat, cool, then refrigerate, covered overnight (at least 6 hours).
- Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm. Remove the gelato from the freezer 10 minutes before serving to soften slightly for easier scooping.
- For super creamy, wonderfully rich gelato, substitute whipping cream for the milk. You only live once, right?
- To make this recipe lighter, use 3 cups of milk and no cream.
- Experiment to find the milk/half & half/whipping cream combination that you like best. You’ve got all summer to figure it out!
- The original Saveur recipe used ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa instead of bittersweet chocolate. To use cocoa, whisk it into the sugar/cornstarch, then add the whole mixture to the heated cream/milk off heat. Continue recipe as above.
- 1 tablespoon of vodka added just before you pour the mixture into the ice cream maker will make the gelato easier to scoop right out of the freezer.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: Italian
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