Have you wondered just how amazing it would be to make your ice cream at home? We did, and we were at first put off by the idea of having to buy an ice cream machine... But then we thought machines are taking our jobs. It's time to hit back and get our jobs back!
The result is truly remarkable: a refreshing stracciatella (chocolate chips) gelato made without an ice cream machine!
Preparing this handmade ice cream is not hard at all, but it does require 2 minutes of your time every hour, for up to 8 hours. So it's ideal you do this when you are at home, say on a Sunday.
How does the ice cream maker work? It is freezing the mixture while stirring it constantly, thus preventing it from becoming a block of ice. The stirring will help develop tiny ice crystals whose structure keeps them apart from one another and makes it easy for you to spoon through. Alas, not very a scientific explanation, but hopefully it makes our job clear: we need to stir the ice cream to make it creamy.
If we can stir it every 30 minutes, or even 1 hour, before it forms a block, then mission accomplished! In the steps below, we will show you how to do it. Don't worry, it will be easy and effortless.
Also, as here at Foodaciously, we strive to make tasty recipes healthier and diet-friendly, we have used dark chocolate and sugar-free sweetener erythritol.
Try opting for dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao solids, 80% and 90% would be ideal, as they have fewer and fewer sugars. Here we have used the 99% to keep the sugars almost to zero.
Erythritol is a fantastic sugar replacement for sweet treats and desserts. It's a natural ingredient that tastes like sugar, but it doesn't get digested. So you'll get the same yummy sweetness but without the calories. Amazing!
|Dark Chocolate 99%
As you'll need about eight to ten hours from start to finish, we recommend you make this ice cream when you're planning to be at home all day, like on a Sunday.
Pour the whole milk in a saucepan and add the zero-sugar erythritol and vanilla extract.
Gently heat the milk until it's warm enough to melt the sweetener but don't let it boil.
Keep stirring until the erythritol granules are completely dissolved.
Then, transfer the mixture to a jug or container and leave it to cool down completely in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, add dark chocolate pieces in the bowl of a food processor and blitz them pulsing in short bursts. You should get medium chocolate chips the size of a pinky's fingernail (1).
Alternatively, you can chop the chocolate with a sharp knife.
Keep the choc chips in the fridge right until it's time to add them to the ice cream mixture, or they will melt, and you'll end up with a chocolate ice cream rather than a choc chip one.
Next, pour the double cream cold from the fridge in a mixing bowl and whip it with an electric mixer or stand mixer, or do it by hand with a whisker.
Start at low speed and then gradually increase as the cream gets fluffy and firm (2).
It should take about two minutes to make whipped cream depending on the speed of your mixer.
Now it's time to put all the ice cream ingredients together.
Gently incorporate the milk cold from the fridge into the whipped cream a bit at a time.
Use a spatula to fold the cream and mix until you don't have any lumps.
Then, add the dark chocolate chips and transfer the gelato mixture into a tin or plastic container suitable for freezing.
Now, here it comes the part where you replace what the ice cream maker does: stirring while the gelato freezes.
Keep the ice cream in the freezer at all times, laying the tin flat to avoid spillage.
Every hour, take it out, stir quickly with a spoon to break the ice crystals, and put it back.
Repeat this step about 8-9 times - you'll see the gelato mixture getting thicker and thicker with every round.
Once the gelato is dense and creamy and it can be scooped into a ball, you're good to go, and you can leave it in the freezer overnight.
Make sure all the ingredients are always cold from the fridge when preparing the ice cream mixture.
If you can't find erythritol, you can still make this recipe with normal white sugar. Just use the same amount as in the recipe and you're good to go.