The very mention of this delicious dessert immediately inspires images of picturesque Italian streets that gently wind through a small, endearing village. Children run and play, laughing happily, as Jonathan, the girls and I walk with our assorted flavors from the local gelateria.
Perhaps you’ve seen gelato images like this or this on Pinterest and know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely love how beautifully displayed gelato is in Italy — such lovely attention to detail and enjoyment in simple pleasures.
This summer I have been dreaming of making my own gelato. Yesterday, while gathering eggs from the coop and fresh mint from our mint patch (it’s the only herb we have growing), I felt inspired to give it try. Yes, I was very excited, and yes, I am still excited today because it turned out quite delicious! It is very simple to make! The most difficult part was waiting the six hours before the prepared mixture could be put in the ice cream machine.
Chocolate Chip-Mint Gelato
*I prefer to use all organic ingredients
5 large egg yolks
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
4 small sprigs of mint (or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract)
1 cup chocolate chips, finely chopped in a food processor
– In a medium-size bowl, beat sugar and egg yolks until mixture pales in color and resembles cake batter. This should take about two minutes.
-Set sugar/egg mixture aside, and in a medium saucepan, heat milk, heavy cream, vanilla and mint leaves (or peppermint extract) until bubbles start to form around edges. DO NOT bring to a boil. 😉
-Remove pan from heat, and with a ladle or small measuring cup, gradually add half of the milk/cream mixture to the sugar/egg mixture to temper. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. (the temperature will be around 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but I only used the spoon test.)
-Pour the entire mixture through a sieve to strain out the fresh mint or any other remaining lumps. Once the mixture is in the new bowl, cover the top of the mixture with plastic wrap to help prevent a skin forming on the surface.
-Now comes the waiting period of six, yes six, hours. *sigh* I know some recipes call for chilling the mixture overnight, so I’m thankful the manufacturer’s directions on my ice cream machine only called for six hours. Hooray!
-In six hours, set up your ice cream machine, pour in the very aromatic gelato mixture and set the timer for approximately 20-25 minutes (or the time recommended by your ice cream manufacturer.)
This is really a fun part of the process because you can call in your family to watch the gelato in action! I’m telling you, it’s pretty exciting! We peeked at our gelato quite often, and I almost shed a tear of joy! Look how beautiful it’s all coming together — creamy, dreamy, and oh-so lovely! 😉
-About 20 minutes into the freezing process, pour in 3/4 cup of the finely chopped chocolate.
-And at 25 minutes, take another look at the finished product sprinkled with the remaining chocolate!
Time to enjoy with family and friends!