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desbarres chocolate gelato recipe

Vanilla Stracciatella Gelato

On June 20th, we talked about chocolate in the summer on Instagram Live. Part of that chat covered what to do with chocolate that has suffered from the heat and developed a bloom. Don't throw it out was the key message!

There are lots of recipes that use just a little chocolate  - those 1 or 2 bars that you left in the car for a few weeks, or forgot about on a sunny window sill. They may show bloom, but they will still be delicious if you cook with them.  

This recipe is for stracciatella gelato, which is typically a vanilla-based gelato with ribbons of hard chocolate throughout. This is a great way to make a little bit of chocolate go a long way. 

This wonderful gelato is made in the Sicilian style, using corn starch as the thickener instead of egg (for a custard base). I have to admit I was hesitant to use this method at first, but now it's my go-to vanilla gelato recipe. It's easy to make and easy to modify. Latte Stracciatella, just add instant coffee. Cherry chocolate Stracciatella, add chopped cherries. Mint chip, add mint flavouring instead of vanilla.


¾ cup granulated sugar (some recipes call for a bit more, some less. We like this ratio of liquid to sugar)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups 1-2% milk
1 vanilla bean split and with seeds scraped out
3-4 ounces bean to bar chocolate


Whisk the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan until mixed well. Once combined add the milk, cream and vanilla bean and seeds. Gently stir until mixed. Place the pot over medium heat and whisk slowly until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pot and mixture begins to thicken. Stir for about 4-5 minutes more but don’t let mixture boil. Lower heat if necessary.
Remove vanilla bean pod.
Let mixture cool.
Place in ice cream maker and follow your makers instructions.
Meanwhile, melt 3-4 ounces of dark chocolate.
When the ice cream is ready to be removed from the maker, place a thin layer in a pre-cooled container. Drizzle melted chocolate over the layer, then add another layer of ice cream and repeat. The chocolate will harden quickly.
Once all the chocolate and ice cream have been added to the container, freeze for an hour before eating.


Vanilla Latte Stracciatella: Once mixture is cooked, stir in 2 tbsp. of instant coffee.
Mint Chip Stracciatella: Don’t add vanilla bean or pod. Once mixture is finished cooking add 2 tsp. mint, extract, or to taste.
Chocolate Cherry Stracciatella: Thaw frozen cherries, squeeze as much liquid as you can from then, then chop. Add to ice cream just before it has finished churning.

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