Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Marcella's Gelato di Cioccolato del Cipriani

Quite simply, this is the most delicious ice cream I've ever tasted. Even Nigella Lawson calls it 'The World's Best Ice Cream', and it's absolutely true. Having read many rave reviews about Marcella Hazan's Chocolate Gelato recipe, I decided to give it a whirl, especially having just recently made my Decadent Sicilian-Style Chocolate Gelato, which I thought was pretty damn good. Apart from splatters of chocolate around the kitchen, Marcella's recipe was quite straight forward. And after an hour in my Lello Ice Cream maker, the gelato looked perfect. Before storing it in the freezer, I decided to try a spoonful — that was when the wheels fell off 'the gelato cart'. One spoonful led to another, then another. Oh my God! Next thing I knew I was licking the bowl clean. With chocolate quite literally all over my face, I knew that this was the über recipe. 

Marcella and Victor Hazan

I can now look forward to watching my friends and family as they take their first bite of Marcella's Gelato di Cioccolato and smile as they become seduced by the silky smooth texture, deep rich colour and intense chocolate flavour. To her credit, Marcella admits that she got her recipe from the pastry chef at the Cipriani over 25 years ago, while she and her husband Victor were dining there one afternoon. 

The world famous Cipriani in Venice

Marcella says she's made it many times, and it's never failed. The secret is the browned caramelized sugar that's added to the cocoa and dark chocolate that intensifies the flavour and extraordinary deep rich colour of Marcella's divine Gelato di Cioccolato del Cipriani, that sets her recipe apart from all the others. Nigella and I agree, this is 'The World's Best Ice Cream' and Marcella is indeed the reigning Queen of Chocolate Gelato. 

The divine Nigella Lawson

Marcella Hazan's Gelato di Cioccolato del Cipriani
Serves 6-8

Recipe by Marcella Hazan - adapted from 'Marcella’s Italian Kitchen' 

4 egg yolks
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
2 cups whole milk
3 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 oz high quality unsweetened cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Heat the milk until it just begins to boil. Using an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks and 2/3 cup of the sugar until they form creamy pale yellow ribbons. Then add the hot milk slowly to the whipped eggs and sugar while mixing with the electric mixer. Add the melted chocolate and mix it in well. Add the cocoa and mix again.

Put the remaining two tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of water in a small pan over high heat. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a saucepan and place it over low heat and stir constantly with a whisk. When the sugar in the pan has turned to a dark caramel, add the caramel to the chocolate mixture and mix it in thoroughly with the whisk until it dissolves. 

When the mixture has cooled completely, freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions, about 1 hour.