So the official start of summer doesn't begin until June 21...ah, formalities. Considering Chicago only has three real full months of warm weather, I must get a jump on gelato season now.
Unlike most gelato recipes, which are egg yolk based, this one uses corn starch as a thickening agent. The result is a much lighter gelato ("lighter" meaning calorie content, not flavor or richness).
For you frozen dessert devotees, I would recommend purchasing an ice cream maker since there really is nothing like homemade ice cream. I own a Cuisinart brand (automatic, not the old school hand-crank variety) which I bought for around $60. Oh, and as for recipe books, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz has some really unique and interesting frozen desserts.
Mocha Chip Gelato
Adapted from Gourmet, January 2001
- 1-3/4 cups 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 1 tablespoon instant-coffee granules
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
- pinch of salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and cornstarch.
Whisk together sugar, cocoa, and remaining 1-1/2 cups milk in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring. Whisk in coffee granules. Stir cornstarch mixture again and whisk into coffee mixture. Return to a boil, whisking, then remove from heat.
Add vanilla, a pinch of salt, and half of chocolate to saucepan, stirring.
Set saucepan in a large bowl of ice water to cool, whisking frequently.
Freeze chocolate mixture in ice-cream maker. When nearly frozen, add remaining chocolate and churn until blended. Serve gelato sprinkled with almonds. Makes 4 servings.