Stracciatella Gelato is one of the classic flavors in the Italian gelato tradition. Along with Gelato alla Crema and Chocolate Gelato, it’s one of the most popular flavors.
The ingredients of Stracciatella Gelato are only milk, heavy cream, sugar and dark chocolate. It’s a delicate, amazing and creamy ice cream flavor, WITHOUT EGGS.
Stracciatella gelato is such a simple recipe that it requires TOP QUALITY INGREDIENTS. Therefore, you need fresh whole milk and fresh heavy cream, both of high quality. DO NOT USE skim milk, long-life milk or powdered milk.
The base of preparation of Italian Stracciatella Gelato is exactly the same as Fior di Latte gelato, with the addition of dark chocolate pieces.
We will show you how to add chocolate by the method used in the original Italian recipe!
The special feature of Stracciatella is the combination of textures: the creaminess of the ice cream and the crunchiness of the chocolate.
Now we are going to show you how to easily make stracciatella gelato at home, WITH an ice cream maker and WITHOUT an ice cream maker.
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Stracciatella Gelato Recipe
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: 5 Min
- Servings: 6/8 people that is about 750 g (5 cups) of Stracciatella 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: 5 Min
- Servings: 6/8 people that is about 750 g (5 cups) of Stracciatella Gelato
Stracciatella Gelato Ingredients
- 150 g (3/4 cup) of granulated sugar
- 350 ml (1 1/4 cup) of fresh whole milk
- 250 ml (1 cup) of fresh heavy cream
- 100 g (3,5 oz) of dark chocolate
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
The most useful tool for making stracciatella gelato is the ice cream maker. You can find different types of ice cream makers. But the best is the one that has a compressor, that refrigerates while making the gelato. We recommend Whynter Automatic Ice Cream Maker. This gelatiera is very similar to the professional ones. It’s a little more expensive than the others, but with this ice cream maker your gelato will surely come out perfect!
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. This just to cool the ingredients while mixing them. But its autonomy is quite short. We recommend Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker. In our opinion is inexpensive and practical.
If you want to make gelato without an ice cream maker, the result is still good if you follow our step-by-step recipe. A gelato container is useful in this case. It’s still a necessary tool, either in case you don’t consume all the gelato right away or if you make Fior di Latte gelato with an ice cream maker.
How to Make Stracciatella Gelato WITH an Ice Cream Maker
Step 1) – Pour the sugar, milk and heavy cream into a thick-bottomed saucepan. Stir everything together and cook over low heat, NEVER BOILING, for about 5 minutes, until all the sugar is well dissolved.
If you see that it starts to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat or lower the heat. Finally turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a stainless steel bowl with lid. Let cool in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.
Step 2) – After this time, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker. Start the machine following the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually you have to let the ice cream maker work for about 30/40 minutes.
How to Add Chocolate with Ice Cream Maker
Step 3) – After about 30 minutes, when the gelato is almost ready, you need to add the chocolate. So, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Step 4) – Slowly pour it directly into the ice cream maker while it’s churning. On contact with the cold gelato, the chocolate solidify. The spinning motion of the ice cream maker will reduce it to pieces.
The name Stracciatella comes from this process. “Stracciare” in Italian means “to reduce into small, irregular pieces” (for more informations, read the paragraph below, “Stracciatella Gelato: History and Origins.”)
Stracciatella gelato now is ready! Enjoy it immediately because freshly made gelato is terrific!
How to Make Stracciatella Gelato WITHOUT an Ice Cream Maker
Step 1) – Place the sugar in a saucepan and add the milk. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let it boil. Transfer the mixture to a stainless steel bowl with lid. Let cool in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
Step 3) – Then add the sugar/milk mixture that has cooled down and stir gently from bottom to top to combine.
Step 4) – Pour the mixture into a gelato container and place it in the freezer 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 to prevent ice crystals from forming in the gelato and to obtain a creamy result. Of course, this is a slightly more labor-intensive process, but it is worth it!
How to Add Chocolate Without Ice Cream Maker
Step 5) – About halfway through the procedure described in step 4, when the gelato is already dense but still very soft, add the chocolate. So, first chop the chocolate into small pieces and then melt it in a double boiler.
Finally, pour it slowly, while still warm, into the gelato container. Spread evenly. On contact with the cold gelato, the chocolate solidifies. Stir to break up the chocolate crust.
Once the chocolate is mixed with the gelato, you can put it back in the freezer. Let it solidify again for the remaining time, always stirring every 30 minutes.
Make Stracciatella gelato and eat it as soon as possible.
If you keep it in the freezer too long, crunchy ice crystals will form. The gelato will no longer taste as good as when you just made it.
So, consume your homemade stracciatella gelato right away. Or store it in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a week.
Tip: If it’s too hard and frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
What kind of Chocolate to Use for Gelato alla Stracciatella
In the official recipe of pastry chef Enrico Panattoni (see the paragraph: “Gelato alla Stracciatella: History and Origins”) it says that to make Stracciatella gelato you must strictly use dark chocolate with a minimum of 58 % cocoa.
Of course, depending on taste, you can also use higher percentages to get a more bitter taste.
Tips and Variants
Stracciatella is a very simple gelato flavor. Its goodness is based on contrasts. Creaminess and crunchiness, sweetness of Fior di Latte and bitterness of dark chocolate.
There are not many variations because they would alter this classic flavor.
Flavored with Vanilla
However, some people like to flavor stracciatella gelato with vanilla. You can add the seeds of a pod to the milk and cream mixture or use half a teaspoon of vanillin powder.
With Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Also, to enhance the chocolate flavor a bit and “color” the Fior di Latte, some people add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture. This will result in a Stracciatella Gelato with a base that is not cloying but slightly colored.
With Chopped Chocolate
Although the authentic, original recipe calls for pouring melted chocolate into gelato, many prefer to add chopped chocolate for convenience.
We recommend to finely chop the chocolate with a knife or grate it.
Chunks of chocolate should be present in the stracciatella gelato, but also very fine flakes, almost a powder, that blend with the white of the gelato.
Therefore, the use of chocolate chips is not recommended, although they are practical. Chocolate chips, all the same size and whole, would remain separate. They would not form the characteristic blend of Fior di Latte and chocolate.
Gelato alla Stracciatella: History and Origins
Stracciatella gelato was created in Bergamo in 1961 by pastry chef Enrico Panattoni.
Enrico Panattoni was of Tuscan origin. He had emigrated to Bergamo in the 1940s. There he opened the famous pastry shop “La Marianna“.
Panattoni’s specialty was Fior di Latte gelato. In 1961 Panattoni made an experiment and created a new gelato flavor.
During the churning of Fior di latte, he added a dose of hot melted dark chocolate. The beating of the freezer blades “chopped up” the chocolate as it solidified.
The effect is reminiscent of egg beaten in boiling broth, a very popular soup in those years, known as Stracciatella alla Romana. This is why Enrico Panattoni immediately named the new flavor “Stracciatella.”
Today the name “Stracciatella” related to Roman-style egg soup is less famous than the name “Stracciatella” referring to this Italian Gelato.