Chocolate Gelato is one of the most popular and loved flavors of Italian Gelato. It’s a timeless taste that appeals to all, adults and children.
For chocolate lovers there is no better gelato, not only in summer but at any time of the year, when you are in the mood for something truly greedy!
For this reason, now we are going to show you how to make the authentic Italian chocolate gelato recipe, made with egg yolks and both cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate.
Chocolate Gelato is easy to make at home. Thanks to its creamy consistency and strong taste, it goes very well matched with Gelato “alla Crema” or with Fior di Latte Gelato: a perfect combination!
Chocolate gelato lends itself to many recipes and, with a little imagination, it can become a new dessert every time you want to eat something different. If you add some dark chocolate chips, for example, it can become an extra dark gelato for true chocolate lovers; or dipped in coffee for a total black Affogato!
As for the ingredients, choose the chocolate according to your tastes, based on how bitter you prefer it: select a product with a more or less high percentage of cocoa. We suggest 70% dark chocolate.
Now we’ll show you how to make the best chocolate gelato recipe at home, WITH or WITHOUT the ice cream maker.
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How to Make Chocolate Gelato Recipe at Home
WITH Ice Cream Maker:
- Prep Time:1 H (about half an hour of cooling in the refrigerator + about 30/40 min in ice cream maker)
- Cook Time: 10 Min
- Servings:6/8 people that is about 750 g (5 cups) of Chocolate Gelato
WITHOUT Ice Cream Maker:
- Prep Time:5 1/2 H (about half an hour of cooling in the refrigerator + cooling in the freezer for about 5 H)
- Cook time: 10 Min
- Servings:6/8 people that is about 750 g (5 cups) of Chocolate Gelato
- 3 medium egg yolks
- 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) of whole milk
- 250 ml (1 cup) of heavy cream
- 50 g (1/2 cup) of bitter cocoa powder
- 100 g (3,5 oz=2/3 cup) of 70% dark chocolate
Kitchen Tools and Equipment You May Need for Making Chocolate Gelato
Gelatiera (Ice Cream Maker)
The most useful tool for making authentic Italian gelato is for sure an ice cream maker or Gelatiera. There are various types of Gelato makers, but the best is the one that has a compressor that cools while churning the Gelato.
Let’s have a look at some of them:
The best performing gelato machine is Lello 4080 Musso Lussino 1.5-Quart Ice Cream Maker. It’s easy to use, perfect for professional results at home. Small, with a large, non-removable bowl. The spatula is made of stainless steel. It has a powerful and robust refrigeration system to achieve professional performance without pre-cooling.
Another high-performance ice cream maker is the Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker (built-in compressor, no pre-freezing). Incredibly easy to use, you can create delicious gelato in the comfort of your own home. Ideal for entertaining, this high capacity unit makes up to two quarts of your favorite frozen dessert in a single batch.
Other types of gelato makers, without a compressor, plan to keep the special container of the machine in the freezer many hours ahead of time to cool the ingredients. Among these we recommend Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker which in our opinion is quite cheap and practical.
Other Kitchen Tools
If you want to make gelato without an ice cream maker, the result is still good if you follow our recipe well. In this case, it’s useful a gelato container. You need it in any case, even if you don’t eat immediately all the gelato, even if you make your chocolate gelato with the ice cream maker.
Other accessories that you can use to serve your homemade gelato can be the tool to make the gelato scoops or the handy scoops to make sundaes of gelato. Finally the waffle cones that kids (and adults, why not!) love so much!
So first of all we are going to show you how to make Chocolate Gelato WITH the ice cream maker. Then, since not everyone has an ice cream maker but still wants to try making chocolate gelato at home, we’ll show you how to make gelato WITHOUT an ice cream maker.
Making gelato without an ice cream maker takes more time and more patience but your homemade gelato will be as good as the one bought in an Italian Gelateria!
How to Make Chocolate Gelato
Step 1) – To prepare the mixture for the chocolate gelato recipe, start by mixing in a bowl the cocoa and half the sugar (75 grams). transfer to a saucepan then add the cold milk. Mix with the help of a whisk and place on the heat.
Step 2) – Stir and continue to cook for about 5 minutes over very low heat.
THE MILK MUST NOT BOIL
If you have a kitchen thermometer you can check that the temperature remains at about 85°C (185 F). If you don’t have a thermometer, take care to remove the saucepan from the heat or to lower the heat if you see that the milk starts to boil.
This is for pasteurizing eggs and making chocolate gelato safely at home.
Chop the chocolate and add it. Let it melt completely, continuing to mix and always making sure that the mixture DOES NOT boil.
Step 3) – Meanwhile, whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar (75 grams, half the amount) until fluffy and frothy.
Step 4) – Add the hot milk-chocolate mixture to the egg cream. Transfer to a saucepan, keep stirring with a wooden spoon and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. The mixture must reach no more than 85 °C (185 F). In this way the eggs are safely pasteurized. When it become thicker, it’s ready.
Step 5) – Remove from the heat and add the cold heavy cream. Stir to mix all the ingredients.
How to Make Chocolate Gelato WITH Ice Cream Maker
Now you have a lukewarm mixture. If you have an ice cream maker with a compressor (that cools while churning the gelato), there is no need to cool the mixture further in the refrigerator.
Step 6) – Pour the chocolate mixture into the ice cream maker. Start up the machine following the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually you have to let the ice cream maker work for about 30/40 minutes. Chocolate gelato is ready!
PLEASE NOTE: The best ice cream maker you can find on the market is the one with a compressor that cools while churning the gelato. This ice cream maker is very similar to the professional ones and is the one we used for this recipe.
How to Make Chocolate Gelato WITHOUT Ice Cream Maker
If you don’t have a gelato maker, don’t worry! It takes more time (5 hours instead of about 40 minutes) and more work but the result is still exceptional! Let’s see how to do it!
Step 6/2) – Follow carefully the above steps, from 1 to 5, then pour the chocolate mixture into a gelato container and place it in the refrigerator. Let it cool for about 1/2 an hour.
Then transfer in the freezer and leave it for about 5 hours. Every 30 minutes you have to break the frozen surface. So remove from the freezer and mix for about 30 seconds using a hand whisk or an electric whisk on low speed.
This step is necessary in order not to create ice crystals in the gelato and have a creamy result. Of course, this is a slightly more labor-intensive process, but it’s well worth it. In the end, you will surely have a terrific authentic Italian Chocolate Gelato!
Make Chocolate gelato and eat it right away. If you leave it in the freezer for too long, crunchy ice crystals form and your gelato is no longer so good. So eat your homemade chocolate gelato immediately or keep it in the freezer and eat it within two days.
TIP: if your gelato it’s too hard and frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Chocolate Gelato Variants
Let’s see some chocolate gelato variants:
Eggless Chocolate Gelato Recipe
If you prefer not to use eggs, don’t worry you can still make an excellent homemade chocolate gelato with no eggs. It’s a little less creamy and soft but for sure lighter.
- So, put the unsweetened cocoa powder and the sugar in a bowl.
- Dissolve them slowly with the milk, using a whisk and stirring constantly.
- Transfer to a saucepan and add the heavy cream.
- Mix with a wooden spoon then cook on a low heat.
- Continue to mix and, as soon as the mixture starts to boil, turn off the heat and add the dark chocolate, keeping to mix until completely melted.
- Transfer to a gelato container or ice cream maker then follow the step 6) with ice cream maker or step 6/2) without ice cream maker.
Extra Dark Chocolate Gelato
Choose the chocolate to use according to your tastes and based on how intense you prefer it, with a more or less high percentage of cocoa.
If you want a more delicate flavor, even sweeter, you must choose a chocolate with a percentage of cocoa equal to or less than 50%.
If, on the other hand, you want an extra dark chocolate gelato, choose a chocolate with a percentage of cocoa equal to or greater than 70%.
Often, for an even more intense taste, chocolate with 70% cocoa is used with the addition of dark chocolate chips at the end of the preparation.
How to Serve Chocolate Gelato
As already mentioned, Chocolate Gelato is a classic taste for a gelato and goes perfectly with Fior di Latte Gelato or Gelato alla Crema.
True chocolate lovers like it alone! But you can match it just with some fresh whipped cream. That’s great!
However, there are many ideas for serving and enjoying chocolate Gelato, making it a new, special dessert every time, for different occasions.
If you want to make an Homemade Italian Chocolate Gelato with an extra touch or a particular taste, here we go with some ideas!
There are flavors and aromas that enhance and make the taste of chocolate special. You can add them directly to the chocolate preparation.
For example, you can make a Cinnamon Chocolate Gelato by adding half teaspoon of Cinnamon Powder.
The Coconut Chocolate gelato is also a must: add one tablespoon of Shredded Coconut to the chocolate Gelato mixture.
For a touch of freshness, add one teaspoon of Crushed Mint Leaves.
And finally, two slightly special combinations that will make your Chocolate Gelato really special:
For a sweet-salty taste add half teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt Fine Grain.
For a spicy touch, add 1/3 teaspoon of Hot Chili powder.
You can also decorate your chocolate gelato in many ways. The most usual combinations are with Chopped Hazelnuts or Pistachios.
For the fall/winter season, even for a fresh dessert after the lavish lunches of the Christmas period, we suggest you decorate your chocolate Gelato cups with Sicilian Candied Orange Peel.
10 thoughts on “Chocolate Gelato Recipe”
This looks so delicious!
One question, do you think it would be possible to add rum or bourbon to the gelato?
This is by far, the absolute best chocolate gelato recipe i have tried. Thank you so much, your instructions were so easy to follow and the gelato is delicious. I did add almond extract for the flavor though.
I made this recipe three times, once using 100 grams of 70% chocolate, and then with 50 grams. The third time I simmered the milk with the zest of one orange, and added 4 drops of orange oil to the final mix.
I also added 1/2 t. of vanilla, why? Adds flavor.
Using less chocolate resulted in a less sweet, but equally rich and delicious gelato.
I also didn’t cook the milk for 5 minutes, and I just warmed it. Why? Because pasteurized milk doesn’t need to be re-pasteurized, and all you do is reduce the amount of milk.
Otherwise an excellent recipe, and well-loved amongst my friends.
The milk is heated to those temperatures and with those timings to pasteurize the eggs and make a great gelato safely at home. In fact, in fruit gelato such as lemon gelato for example, that doesn’t want eggs, the milk is cold.
Thanks for the great tips though. I really like the touch with the orange!
On returning from Italy, having had the best dark chocolate gelato imaginable, I made it my goal to recreate it at home. After some internet searching I came across this recipe, and it could be the very same one! Have made several times since. Many thanks!
Making this right now, and I’m sure it will be *bene! Thank you!
Couple of things, for clarity:
1) you never mention the “refrigeration” bit (outlined in the overview) during the ice cream maker instructions. Not hard to figure out, but still ..for clarity.
2) if you use “half the sugar” in step 1, and then “half the remaining sugar” in step 3, you still have a bit of sugar left unused.
Thank you Sean! I hope it’s clearer now.
How was your chocolate gelato?
I’ve made this chocolate gelato recipe three times now. It’s absolutely fantastic. Particularly good served to raspberry coulis. I’m looking forward to trying a few different combinations soon but for now it’s too perfect to interfere with. Many thanks for sharing it.
I’ve made this recipe three times now and enjoyed consistently excellent results. The texture, intensity, and sweetness are perfectly balanced. Thanks for posting.
I made this chocolate gelato today, It is the best gelato / ice cream I’ve ever had, Until today nothing was ever better than Haagen-Dazs, This is better than Häagen-Dazs, I’m 58 and have been eating Häagen-Dazs Since I was 20 And I’ve been saying that nothing is better than Häagen-Dazs that long. every time I take a bite, I say OMG! that’s good.