Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dark Chocolate Gelato (Dairy free, Coconut free, Nut free)

Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Gelato ©

I just sat my first exam in 13 years yesterday. It was for anatomy and physiology and seeing I have no background in science it has been a little out of my comfort zone. I actually feel really confident that I have passed but the perfectionist in me keeps going over and over what I could have done better. So annoying!

In saying that though I am a perfectionist about most things and have been known to throw a bit of a hissy fit when things don't work out the way I want them to. Take this blog for example, I almost didn't post this recipe because I couldn't get 'the perfect photo.'

But this one really is too good not to share. I mean how often do you find an ice cream recipe that not only tastes amazing but is dairy free, coconut free and nut free?

Noah is now 9 months old which means I have been dairy free for almost 9 months as well!

If you'd asked me previously whether I ever thought I could give up dairy I would have laughed. I LOVE my dairy ... butter, cheese and especially ice cream. But it has been surprisingly easy and I don't really miss it all that much. Probably it was easier to start with because I was doing it for Noah (no one wants their baby crying with pain and reflux) but I actually feel really well and have lost the baby weight so much faster than before. Win-win.

I make a brilliant dairy-free white sauce which means we can still enjoy lasagne and tuna mornay. I've been happily drinking rice milk and now that I have the Thermomix I am making lots of different milks. But I haven't had as much luck with dairy free ice cream. Most of the ones I've seen and tried are based around coconut cream. I don't mind them but most of the time I don't want my ice cream to taste like coconut!

That's why I was so excited to see this gelato recipe from The Paleo Mom. It is dairy free but without the usual coconut or almond milks to take away from the flavour of the chocolate. I tweaked the recipe a little by adding some rice malt syrup (which makes it no longer paleo seeing rice is a grain) but I wanted the kids to enjoy it and it would have been very intensely chocolatey otherwise. I also did the first few steps in the Thermomix in order to cook the egg yolks and will include those instructions as well.

Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Gelato ©

This makes the most delicious, darkly intense chocolate gelato. My kids loved it too but it's not your typical chocolate ice cream!

Dark Chocolate Gelato
Adapted from The Paleo Mom

300g dark chocolate (I used half each of Lindt 70% and 85%)
200ml hot water
50g rice malt syrup
1 ½ cups ice water
6 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Roughly chop the chocolate, add the rice malt syrup and pour over the 1 cup of hot water. Stir gently until completely combined.

Mix the egg yolks together in a small bowl. To temper the yolks add a small ladle of the hot chocolate mixture to the yolks and stir continuously. Keep stirring and add a second ladle. Pour the egg and chocolate mixture back into the rest of the chocolate and mix thoroughly.

Place the chocolate mixture in a blender. Add the vanilla and salt. With the blender on low speed, add the 1 1/2 cups ice water a little at a time, blending between each addition, or just drizzle the ice water through lid by removing the insert.

Place the chocolate mixture in an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it’s soft-serve consistency, place the gelato into a freezer-safe container and freezer for about 2 hours to get a perfect scoopable consistency.

If freezing for longer than that, remove from the freezer and place in the fridge for about an hour before you serve, or 20 minutes on the bench.

Thermomix instructions - break the chocolate into pieces, pour over the hot water and melt for 2-3 minutes/50 degrees/speed 3. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the rice malt syrup, vanilla and salt and mix 3 sec/speed 4. Break up the egg yolks then add to the mixing bowl and cook for 3 minutes/90 degrees/speed 3. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. While running at speed 4, remove the measuring cup and drizzle in the ice water until well combined. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge until completely chilled then follow instructions above to churn and freeze.

You'll notice in the top photo there are lots of yummy looking chocolate flakes on top of the gelato. This was just some of the mixture that set hard in the ice cream maker and got scraped off into shards after pouring out the gelato. Not sure why that happened but it gave a lovely texture.

Like most homemade ice creams this really is best served pretty much straight away. So if you can serve it after the 2 hours in the freezer that would be ideal.

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