Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Decadent Sicilian-Style 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 North American ice cream, which makes it much denser, allowing the core flavours to really shine through. The ingredients for gelato vary from northern to southern Italy. 

Sicilian-style gelato is made with milk, sugar, flavouring, and cornstarch as the thickener — no cream or eggs, so it's fairly lean but still incredibly rich, smooth and full of fabulous flavour. Just be sure to use premium quality cocoa for this recipe to get its dark, rich and ultra chocolatey flavour. Low in fat, it'll satisfy all of your chocolate cravings while leaving out the guilt.

Decadent Chocolate Gelato Siciliano
serves 6-8

3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted to remove any lumps

Bring 2 cups of milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup milk with sugar, cornstarch and sifted cocoa in a bowl, then stir into the hot milk. Cook until the sugar and cocoa dissolve. Allow to cool, then cover with plastic and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Once chilled, process the mixture in an ice cream or gelato maker, as per manufacturer's instructions, although I ended up doubling the specified time to get the desired consistency. To store, pour gelato into a plastic container, cover and place in the freezer until ready to serve. Gelato at a real gelateria is kept in special freezers so it doesn't freeze hard. You obviously won't be able to do this at home, so just take the gelato out 10-15 minutes before you plan to serve it, although it's best the day you make it.