Prep 45 mins
Cook 20 mins
Quality chocolate is essential. Look for brands without hydrogenated oil.
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- Add chocolate to the top half of a double boiler set over about 1 inch of simmering water; stir until half the chocolate is melted, then remove the top half of double boiler and continue stirring until the chocolate has fully melted; set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and batter-like, even if still gritty, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in the melted chocolate into the yolk mixture until grainy but fairly smooth; set aside.
- Add milk and cream to a saucepan set over med-low heat until small bubbles appear around the inner edge of the pan; do not boil.
- Whisking all the while, pour about ¼ of the hot milk mixture into the chocolate mixture.
- Whisk this combined mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk mixture until smooth.
- Immediately turn heat to very low (if you have an electric stove, use a different burner just now set on low).
- Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes.
- Strain the chocolate custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl; stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight, stirring once in a while to assure the chocolate is evenly distributed in the mixture.
- Just before making the gelato, place the custard in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
- Freeze custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Serve at once OR transfer to freezer container; stores in freezer for up to 1 month; soften at room temperature for up to 10 minutes before serving.
- **Optional add-ins: add 2/3 cup of any of the following to the ice cream machine just before the gelato firms up, or stir them into the finished gelato in a storage container--chocolate chips, chopped Baby Ruth bars, chopped Butterfinger bars, chopped hazelnuts, chopped Junior Mints, chopped peanut brittle, chopped pecans, chopped pistachios, chopped unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped unsalted peanuts, dried cherries, dried cranberries, M&M mini baking bits, mint chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, sweetened shredded coconut.