Chocolate Gelato

Gelato, the famous Italian ice cream, is considered by many to be the finest ice cream in the world.  It has less air incorporated into it than American ice cream, which makes it very dense, allowing the flavor to really shine through, and it is typically lower in fat than American-style ice cream.

The ingredients for gelato vary from northern to southern Italy. Sicilian-style gelato is made with milk, flavoring, and cornstarch as the thickener-no eggs! Be sure to use premium quality cocoa for dark, rich chocolate flavor.

  • 3 cups whole milk, divided*
  • 3/4 cups premium cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pour 2 cups milk into a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Combine cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, and remaining cup of milk into a medium mixing bowl; whisk until smooth. Add hot milk to cocoa mixture, and whisk to combine.

Pour mixture back into sauce pan, and return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles around the edges and begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes. Simmer gently, stirring slowly, for an additional 2 minutes. The mixture will be the consistency of warm pudding or thick cake batter.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean mixing bowl; press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, tightly covered, for at least 8 hours.

Pour chilled mixture into the bowl of an ice-cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When gelato has reached soft serve consistency, pack gelato in a cold container, press plastic wrap against the surface, and cover the container with a lid. Store in the freezer. For the best texture, serve the gelato on the day it is made.

* Recipe Note: When you see the word "divided" after an ingredient, it means that the full measure of this ingredient will not be used all at once; part of it will be used in one step of the recipe and the rest will be used in another step of the recipe. Whenever you see this, read the recipe carefully to see how to divide the ingredient and where to use it.

Yields: 1 quart