Chocolate Gelato

July 20, 2011

I didn’t buy Will a present this year, but I did make him one. No, it was not a coupon for free hugs. I told him I’d make create a chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings. Everything would be a surprise. Thinking of a menu was a fun challenge! While I wanted to do something elaborate, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too overwhelming and that most of it was make ahead so a) I didn’t cry, causing Will to spend part of his birthday consoling me and b) I could actually enjoy the meal without worry about the next course. I had a great time pouring over cookbooks and websites, and eventually decided on a menu. To start, I made a salad of warm figs, goat cheese, arugula, and a balsamic reduction. The main was Cacio e Pepe (homemade spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and black pepper). For dessert, I knew Will would most prefer something very chocolate-y, but I also didn’t want it to be too heavy, and I wanted it to be seasonally appropriate. So I busted out my brand spanking new ice cream maker (thanks for the wedding present, Kyle!) and made the richest, chocolate-iest frozen dessert I have ever tasted. Thank you David Lebovitz!

We did something else that was very fun last week as well. Several months ago, I found a Groupon for 70% off a whitewater rafting trip (wetsuit and complimentary disc of photos included). We decided to cash it in and spend it last week.

The Groupon was from Buffalo Joe’s Rafting. Before I’d bought the Groupon, I looked up reviews of the company to make sure they weren’t advertising tickets due to a sketchy safety record or anything. All the reviews were great, and I’d like to add one more glowing comment to the bunch. We had an amazing time rafting with them and would definitely like to return for another trip (hopefully with another Groupon, but maybe without one too). We did the Browns Canyon Full Day package. The guides were very knowledgeable and fun and we felt like we were in really good hands. And they had a pretty killer lunch too. We pulled the raft over to a little beach where they grilled steaks and corn on the cob. It was an awesome day, and it brought us closer to the unfortunate realization that some of the most fun things are expensive. Sigh. Back to work, I suppose.

CHOCOLATE GELATO (from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert)

Makes about 3 cups


5 oz (140 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process

1 cup (250 ml) plus 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk

Pinch of salt

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

4 large egg yolks


Place chocolate in a big bowl.

Whisk cocoa, 1 cup of the milk, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate and make sure to get any remaining liquid out with a spatula. Stir the chocolate mixture until it is smooth and all chocolate has melted. Place a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

Use the same saucepan to warm the other 1 cup of milk and the sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves.

In a different bowl, whisk egg yolk together. Then whisk constantly as you slowly add a bit of the warm milk/sugar mixture. Pour warm yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.sugar mixture. Turn the heat to low, stir constantly, and occasionally scrape the contents off the bottom of the pan using heatproof spatula. Stir until the mixture thickens up enough that it coats the spatula. Then, pour the custard you’ve made through the strainer placed atop the chocolate mixture, then stir them until they are smooth.

Place bowl with chocolate custard into an even bigger bowl filled with ice. Stir, stir, stir the custard until its cool (this will take a while, like 10 minutes for me, so you may want to bring a magazine). Once cool, cover the mixture with Saran or foil and refrigerate until its very cold.

Freeze in your ice cream machine using the manager’s instructions.


One Response to “Chocolate Gelato”

  1. Leah Says:

    I want to go white water rafting! So jealous. Glad Will had a good birthday. Love you both.

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