Ice Cream is one of those things that people love and can't get enough of. On the contrary, I don't happen to love it. Even as a kid, it didn't attract me as much as cakes and pies.But I do enjoy a good ice cream now and then.
While grocery shopping yesterday, I saw the Half & Half and immediately reminded me of the amazing gelatto I had while in Rome two years ago. It was the creamiest most flavorful gelatto I've ever had in my life. Since there was some cocoa powder and chocolate chips in my fridge already, it sounded like a good idea to make some ice cream for the New Year celebration.
The end result from this recipe was a velvety, creamy texture with a deep chocolate flavor. The secret for the velvety texture even after freezing for over 24 hours is the gelatin. I added some unflavored gelatin powder to the mix. What gelatin does, is prevent the formation of big ice crystals while the ice cream freezes. That way you don't have to eat the entire thing in one sitting and can actually keep in the fridge for up to a week. That's if you can resist eating it.
Another secret for creamy rich ice cream, is making a custard first, letting it cool, the refrigerating it for a few hours, before putting it into the ice cream maker. I'd never done it this way before but wish I had, because the result is like a smooth gelatto. Very different from store bought ice cream.
If you don't like cinnamon, leave it out or add the same amount of espresso coffee. What this does is deepen the chocolate flavor in the ice cream. If you have neither or just can't find it, leave it out completely, it won't affect the texture itself.
2 cups Half & Half
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
2 ounces Chocolate Chips (dark or milk)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon or Espresso Coffee (optional)
4 Egg yolks
1 tsp Unflavored Gelatin Powder, plus 2 tbsp Cold Water
-Mix the gelatin powder and water in a bowl and let it rest.
-Whisk the cocoa powder and milk together in a sauce pan then transfer to the stove and heat until it's almost boiling. Retire from heat. Add the gelatin mix and mix well.
-In a stainless steel bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes).-Gradually pour the scalding half-and-half mixture into the whipped egg yolk mixture, making sure you keep whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle. If any lumps do form, strain the mixture first before heating.
-Put everything back into the sauce pan and cook on low heat until the mix thickens and sticks to the spatula as shown in the picture. You want the custard to stick to the spatula and don't drip off.
-Retire form heat. Transfer it to a bowl and let it come completely to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. If you put it in the fridge while still hot, the gelatin will turn the mix into pudding. When it has finally come to room temperature, refrigerate it for 2-3 hours until completely cold.
-Now it's ready to put in the ice cream maker. Follow the machine's instructions. Usually process for 20 minutes or until it has almost doubled in size.