Chocolate Covered Christmas ~ Day 10
It's the middle of December, it's cold outside and there's a fire in my fireplace. So, why am I posting a gelato recipe? Because, it's a great dessert and it's something we don't usually think to serve in the winter time. I like things that are different and homemade gelato doesn't have to be a summer-only dessert. I was in the mood to try something new so I got out my ice cream machine and recipe book, The Ciao Bella Book Of Gelato & Sorbetto, and whipped up a batch of chocolate gelato. The process is a little more involved than making ice cream but the taste and texture is well worth the extra effort. A little will go a long way because gelato is rich, so you won't need to make a lot. I dressed up each bowl with a sugar dusted chocolate tree to give it a holiday feel. If you like the idea but just can't imagine getting out your ice cream machine, or you don't have one, you can buy ice cream or gelato and serve it with a chocolate tree on top. That's close enough and just as festive!
Some of my favorite places for gelato:
Artisan Gelato by Norman Love ~ It's out of this world! Some of the best out there!
Eataly in NYC ~ Close your eyes and you'll think you are in Rome when you eat gelato at Eataly!
- 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 milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees F. Turn off heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Add chopped chocolate, and stir or whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
- Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and mixture is pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture, mixing 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 cover the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185 degrees F. Do not bring to boil.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, 4 hours or overnight.
- Place custard into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
To make chocolate trees: pipe melted chocolate onto wax or parchment paper into desired shape. Sprinkle with sugar and freeze for 10-15 minutes or until ready to serve. Gently peel paper away from chocolate when ready to serve and place on top of ice cream.