Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chocolate Gelato - from Cipriani Hotel

I haven't tried this. The recipe is from Epicurious, as is the review with suggested modifications. We had fabulous chocolate gelato in Florence and I want to try to make something similar. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Servings: Makes about 3 cups
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 1/2 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
4 large egg yolks, beaten lightly
In a dry 3-quart heavy saucepan cook 1/4 cup sugar, undisturbed, over moderate heat until it begins to melt and cook, stirring with a fork, until melted completely and deep golden brown. Remove pan from heat and dip pan briefly into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. (Caramel will harden.) Cool pan about 5 minutes and return to heat. Add milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until caramel is melted. Whisk in cocoa until combined well and keep mixture warm.

In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water (or a double boiler), melt chocolate, stirring, and remove from heat.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg yolks with remaining 3/4 cup sugar until thick and pale. Whisk in caramel mixture and chocolate in streams, whisking until combined. Pour custard into another 3-quart heavy saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 140° F. Cook custard, stirring (do not let it boil) 4 minutes more and remove pan from heat. Cool custard completely and freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.

Gelato will keep in the freezer for one week.

AWESOME!!! What an intense chocolate flavor! However, the recipe is way to complex and time consuming for it’s own good. Here’s how I simplified it: I cooked the ¼ cup sugar with 2 tablespoons of sugar on high without stirring until it started to caramelize (about 3 minutes). Then I swirled the pan until it reached a dark golden color. At that point I dumped in the milk that I had heated to almost boiling, and whisked like mad. After whisking in the cocoa, I mixed in the chopped chocolate. Thus a 30-minute process is cut down to about 7. Taking suggestions from the cook from Ann Arbor, I sifted a mixture of Cadbury and Droste cocoa into a 1-cup measure and that was perfect. I also used Scharffen Berger bittersweet for the chocolate. As this makes a batch about half the normal size, I found that it reached perfect consistency after about 20 minutes of freezing. The cook from Florida may have frozen the batch too long, but it still sounded yummy! To enhance and round out the chocolate flavor, I added a teaspoon of cognac and a pinch of salt to the mix just before freezing. Taking another suggestion from the cook from Ann Arbor, and because I am a chocolate fanatic, I mixed in a small handful of chocolate nibs (chopped roasted cocoa beans) to the gelato as I removed it from the freezer. Simply amazing! If you love chocolate gelato, this is definitely for you! Enjoy.

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