Yes, there's more work involved when making your own ice cream. I know that. BUT, it's totally worth it and not hard to do at all. In fact, making your own ice cream is pretty darn easy and involves very few ingredients!
I started making my own frozen treats several years ago. It's something fun to do in the summer and I just think the homemade stuff tastes better! PLUS, I'm always craving flavors that can't be found at the store - such is the case with this Stracciatella Gelato.
Gelato shops and cafes are everywhere in Italy. They're just like Starbucks, but better. My friends and I would stop at least once a day to grab a scoop or two and while we loved to change things up and try new flavors, we almost always ordered Stracciatella. It's basically chocolate chip ice cream, and it's delicious. That creamy vanilla base with those crunchy little chocolate bits. Mmmm. Tastes like summer.
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Freezing Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open and inside scraped
4oz dark chocolate, melted
The night before you want to make the gelato, put ice cream maker bowl in the freezer.
The next day, start on the gelato!
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, vanilla bean and the scraped out bits from the vanilla bean. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring every so often. Remove from heat and let milk and vanilla steep for an additional 15 minutes.
In a heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth.
After milk/vanilla mixture has finished steeping, slowly pour it into the bowl with eggs and sugar and whisk rapidly. You don't want the eggs to cook, so a slow pour and fast whisking will help make sure this doesn't happen.
Once everything is well whisked and combined, pour mixture back into saucepan and return temperature to a medium heat. Stir frequently and when the mixture begins to thicken, remove from the stove and turn off burner. About 4-5 minutes.
Once the mixture has been removed from the heat, whisk in heavy cream until just combined.
Remove vanilla bean and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Cover and store in fridge until chilled, about 3 to 4 hours.
When ready to make gelato, remove ice cream maker bowl from freezer, place in ice cream maker and assemble other pieces. Turn on.
Slowly pour cooled gelato mixture into ice cream maker and churn until you reach a thick, ice-cream texture. This can take upwards of 45 minutes, but begin checking after 25 minutes.
In the final five minutes of churning, melt chocolate in a double boiler and slowly drizzle it into the gelato. The chocolate will harden as soon as it enters the ice cream maker, creating little crunchy chocolate bits throughout for that traditional stracciatella texture!
When gelato is done churning, transfer to a freezer safe container, cover and allow to freeze for at least two hours.
When ready to enjoy, remove from freezer and allow the gelato to stand at room temperature for approx. 10 minutes.