|Chocolate Espresso Gelato|
No, I haven't forgotten about you. With such a busy month of May (at least, for me) I recently just realized that I hadn't published here in the last couple of weeks. I actually cooked last week with the intention of posting the recipe here but the result was not well and ultimately it's not something I'd recommend.
Meanwhile, Siri Pinter of SIRIously Delicious recently published a Homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe where she linked an instructional blog post by David Lebovitz. Also as I've been reading the blogosphere lately, I've seen a lot of ice cream recipes now that summer is upon us and I wanted to contribute however, anyone can make a custard and throw it into an ice cream machine, but churning manually? Like I've stated before, quick and easy is not my style. My readers ought to know me by now: I love a challenge.
Prepare homemade gelato without an ice cream machine.
The gelato base is taken from page 207 of Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking by Michael Chiarello with Janet Fletcher. The freezing and churning process is taken from David Lebovitz from the link above.
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons ground espresso roast coffee
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup (approximately 2 1/4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1. Combine the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean, and espresso in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over moderately low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well blended. When the milk mixture simmers, gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs to warm them, then pour the warmed eggs into the saucepan, stirring constantly. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture visibly thickens and reaches 175⁰ Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil or it will curdle.
3. Immediately remove from the heat and strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the chocolate, whisking until it melts. Then chill it over an ice bath.
(It is at this point where I start using Chef Lebovitz's instructions. If you have an ice cream machine, use it here according to the manufacturers instructions.)
4. Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.
5. After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it. As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.
6. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results, or use an immersion blender. You can also use just a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.
7. Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2 to 3 hours to be ready.
After the first 30 minutes, I noticed the custard had barely frozen so I checked on it every 45 minutes thereafter. It took a little longer than advertised (about 4 hours), but my freezer is near my stovetop and I had to cook dinner while the custard sat in it. It was a little warm in the home too.
Ultimately, yes. Not only was I successful in churning the gelato, but the espresso gave the dessert depths of flavor and I highly encourage you to try this recipe.