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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dark Chocolate Gelato





This is a very dark chocolate gelato.  Two kinds of cocoa combine to give the deep, rich color and flavor.



Today I was thinking about emulsifiers again.  The problem with most ice cream recipes, in my opinion, is their dependence on egg yolks, which are put in to improve the texture of the finished product.  Who wants to eat a combination of 10 egg yolks, sugar, and heavy cream?  Well, besides you.

Gelato appeals to me because most of the flavors don't require or benefit from egg yolks.  It's a primarily milk-based frozen dessert, usually with additional milk solids added for texture.  There is some cream, and quite a bit of sugar, too.

I often make a base from dry milk powder and caster sugar (see my other gelato recipes), to which I add milk and cream.  In this case, I wanted to make a liquid base, to support the dark chocolate mixture I had in mind.  I wanted to cut the amount of sugar somewhat, but not sacrifice texture.  I knew I needed a good emulsifier.

Next on the emulsifier list after egg yolks was Lecithin.  I have some, but most people don't.  I've also found lecithin to be hard to work with, and perhaps best left to the pros.

Then there was Mustard.  Mustard is a good emulsifier, which is of course why it's in vinagrette.  However, mustard-chocolate ice cream .... no.

Which led to Honey.  Why didn't they just put honey first?  Of course honey was just the thing!  I used to use it in salad dressings all the time, for just that purpose.  I would make chocolate gelato with honey as an emulsifier,   I was a little concerned about keeping the honey flavor in the background, so I decided to go for an intense chocolate flavor, using some of the new Black Cocoa powder I picked up at King Arthur the other day.



Dark Chocolate Gelato


 Ingredients

1/2 cup sweetened condensed fat free milk
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
3 1/2 T Double Dutch dark cocoa
1 T Black Cocoa
1/3 cup heavy cream or light cream
2 1/2 cups milk



Process

1. In a food processor bowl fitted with blade, combine the condensed milk, the honey, and vanilla.  Process until well-blended.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powders with 2 T boiling water.  Stir with a chopstick or small spoon until completely blended.  If necessary, add a bit more boiling water.  The goal is a glossy, workable paste.  Add the confectioners sugar while still hot.  Heat the cream until very hot; add to the chocolate,  blend.

3. Add the cocoa mixture to the food processor and process until smooth.

4. Add the milk, one cup at a time, processing between cups.

5. Freeze in ice cream machine of your choice.  Then place in freezer for at least two hours to complete freezing.

6. Serve and enjoy!!





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