I read a post by David Lebovitz once, where he discussed how cooks and chefs spend a lot of time and effort perfecting a recipe so it works perfect for the home cook. It was in relation to blogging and altering original recipes to create new ones. In some respects I completely agree with him. Altering a recipe (especially one that you’re not familiar with – for me this is mainly anything baking) can end in disaster. You result in feeling peeved off with the recipe and sometimes writer. I’ve done this many times. I think “yeah, I don’t want to add that, I’m just going to take it out and use this ingredient instead”. Fail.
For Christmas my mum bought me an ice-cream machine. For months she asked me what I wanted for Christmas and all I said was “ice-cream machine”. She wanted to get me something nice and meaningful, not another kitchen appliance. In the end, I won, and got my machine.
First attempt at ice-cream failed. I had never made custard before, and it split, giving me milky scrambled eggs. I didn’t follow the recipe properly. (PS anyone out there who can make custard but thinks risotto is too hard – man up! Custard is the trickiest thing I’ve ever made!)
Second attempt, just saved the custard – was bordering on splitting. I couldn’t be bothered chilling it for hours so I stuck it in the freezer and stirred it occasionally. When it was cool I thought, yay, ready for ice-cream! What happened, it never set, so when I freezed it, ice particles formed. Again, I didn’t follow the recipe properly.
Enter this weekend. It was a terribly hot weekend. I thought ice-cream would be perfect. I found a recipe, and when I took it home realized it had store-bought brownies added in the end. Hrmm. No thanks. I flipped through the ice-cream manual, found a rich chocolate recipe. Seems ok. Read it. Thought “that’s not exactly what I want”. So I made up my own recipe. I did exactly what I’m preaching you shouldn’t do. I took my knowledge from two fails, and started cooking. I added ingredients bit at a time and tasted. I added more chocolate. I chopped up ingredients, added half, thoughts that’s enough.
And people. It worked. I made the creamiest, most intense chocolate ice-cream I’ve ever had. It’s rich, and slightly bitter without being too sweet. It’s good. I’m still in shock that it worked.
Triple Chocolate Gelato
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
600ml thick cream
2 cups full cream milk
200g dark chocolate (70%), melted
30g white chocolate
30g milk chocolate
30g dark chocolate
In a large saucepan on a medium heat, add the cream, milk and vanilla, and bring to the boil. Turn off and set aside.
In a medium bowl, add the eggs, egg yolks and sugar, and beat for 5 minutes until thick and creamy.
Return the cream mixture to a low heat. While beating on a slow speed, slowly add one cup of the hot cream mix to the egg mix and continue beating. When well combined, slowly pour the egg mix into the saucepan with the cream and stir. Continue stirring for 15 minutes until the mixture thickens - you will have a custard now. If you have a thermometer, the temperature should be 150°F/65°C. If you notice 'bits' in the mix, strain with a fine sieve and return to the pot.
Turn the heat off, and slowly add the melted chocolate, stirring until completely combined. Pour the mix into a bowl and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
When the mixture has completely cooled you can add the chocolate bits. You can either chop or grated the chocolate, depending on whether you like it chunky or fine. I placed mine in a food processor using the grater blade to get a mix of fine and chunky. Fold the chocolate into the cream mix, then pour into an ice-cream machine, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Makes around 2 litres.