Classic Chocolate Gelato
Chocolate perfection, pure and simple. Ciao Bella Classic Chocolate Gelato is simply our deep Chocolate Base in its basic form; it stands alone in its sophisticated simplicity or can be used for infinite variations. Try experimenting with spice and different percentages of chocolate—milk chocolate for kids and dark and single-origin chocolates for chocolate connoisseurs. We recommend using a bittersweet chocolate with about 60% cacao for our chocolate recipes, but you could go up or down a bit according to your preference.makes enough for about 1 quart of gelato
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 60% cacao), finely chopped
• 4 large egg yolks
• 3/4 cup sugar
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn't form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chopped chocolate, and stir or whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously. Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F. Do not bring to a boil.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. To cool the custard quickly, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl with the custard in it; stir the custard until cooled. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To make the gelato, pour the custard into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Excerpted from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto by F. W. Pearce and Danilo Zecchin. Copyright © 2010 by F. W. Pearce and Danilo Zecchin. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.