Chocolate Gelato

This was an interesting experiment. The recipe comes from Food Network Magazine, but I don't have an ice cream maker, so I had to improvise.

8 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 C Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt

heavy whipping cream (optional)
ice cream cone or bowl also optional

Put the milk chocolate and cocoa powder in a blender. Brings 2 cups of water and the sugar to a simmer in a saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot sugar syrup into the blender; cover and pulse a few times until mixture is smooth and not foamy. Add vanilla, and almond extracts and salt to the blender and pulse once more to mix. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Whisk the chocolate mixture, and then here's the part where I had to improvise. I poured the mixture into a metal cake pan, covered with plastic wrap, and put it in the freezer. I went to whisk the mixture about every 30 minutes or so, but it wasn't really freezing through or solidifying yet. I decided to let it go for a bit, stirring only once every two hours or so, and then eventually just letting it sit in the freezer overnight without stirring it.

When you're ready to serve it, work quickly by scraping the ice mixture (it should be frozen through) into a bowl or mixing bowl and whisk rapidly for just a few seconds. Over-whisking, I think, would cause it to revert back into a liquid.

Just a couple of tips: Be sure to chop the chocolate up fine like the recipe says. The faster the ingredients incorporate when you pulse the blender the better. You'll want to pulse the blender as little as possible to keep the foam level down. Foam in the mixture is, I think, the reason why mine took so long to freeze. Essentially, the bubbles suspended in the chocolate mix acted as insulation so the freezing process took longer. The trapped air bubbles could also interfere with having a smooth texture.

This particular recipe has a very strong chocolate flavor, and the whipped cream was almost necessary to cut the sweetness of the gelato. I made whipped cream out of heavy whipping cream, a little vanilla extract, and a little sugar simply by beating the ingredients together at very high speed in my mixer for a few minutes. The consistency of the gelato was a bit foreign to me. It was almost like chocolate slush. I think the texture could have come out a bit smoother if I had whisked the mixture maybe once every 4 hours for about 16 hours and let the texture build through the freezing process. Or I could just go out and buy a damn ice cream maker.


  1. Hey! No fair taking credit for making the whipped cream!! :P

  2. Oh, yum!!! My one attempt at gelato was a flop...will need to try this soon :)

  3. I ate my fill of gelato when I was in Italy and yours looks like it came out just fine. Great flavour combo of chocolate and almond!

  4. kudos to you for attempting this without an icecream maker!