Ice cream for a Friday Cocktail? OK, maybe I’m stretching it just a bit but this ice cream, unlike the Blueberry and Basil Martini pops I did recently, offers up bourbon in a most evident way so of course I thought it absolutely appropriate!
This started innocently enough; I saw the Twitter account for Scharffenberger Chocolate tweet something about ice cream so I asked if they had a link for some on their site. Included in a list of ice creams was one for a Sicilian chocolate gelato. Using milk instead of heavy cream was appealing; as much as I’m loving the whole ice cream thing…I’m thinking I had better find a lot of sorbets and gelatos to satisfy my urge to create or I won’t be able to waddle into the kitchen!
Their recipe was very straightforward; milk, sugar, cocoa and then some corn starch to thicken the mixture before putting it through the paces to turn it into ice cream. Easy enough, right? Well, not quite so fast there pardner…nothing is ever THAT easy.
First, I didn’t have enough cocoa left in the Scharffenberger tin that was in my cupboard; drat, this was going to require a shopping trip? Luckily I spied a bag of cocoa I had forgotten that I had purchased from my local Savory Spice Shop. Their stock offered a cocoa that was not ‘Dutch processed’ and as I discovered in reading that almost empty tin, Scharffenberger does not process their cocoa either; maybe that is why I love it so much. Dutch processed chocolate has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. I like that the flavor of the unprocessed cocoa is more bittersweet so in that realm I was still good to go.
Second? I can never leave something alone. I love the Jack Daniels Chocolate, Chocolate Chip from Liks, a local ice cream shop. Though I’ve tried, the owner won’t part with his recipe and I get that…but it didn’t stop me from wanting to make it myself so why not now? No problem for me to quickly sub the Jack with my favorite bourbon, Maker’s Mark. I also remembered that I had a stash of amazing Hotel Chocolat chocolates from a giveaway on my friend Ken’s blog at Hungry Rabbit NYC – so with my cocoa in hand, booze at the ready and my chocolate bar chopped into shards, I was ready to roll. Although I was re-creating something that was most definitely ice cream, I was so looking forward to trying the Sicilian gelato recipe; using 1% milk instead of heavy cream. If it was satisfying that would be an exciting twist in my ice cream journey that has just started. I admit, I did add just a bit of half and half to up the cream factor a bit and the resulting ice cream/gelato/cocktail that was born was perfect.
I asked my neighbors Karen and Terry over to be my ‘testers.’ I actually offered them a smorgasboard of frozen treats. We started with this bing cherry sorbet with cava, moved on to Blueberry Basil Martini popsicles and then the dessert course of our desserts was this chocolate and bourbon gelato. Yes…it was fun!
How did the gelato go over? The richness from the chocolate combined with the bourbon and chocolate chips made for a completely swoonworthy treat…it might be called gelato but my company just called it amazing!
By the way, you know this is a blog where I take photos of REAL food right? So this is the real deal…real ice cream that will become melting ice cream within minutes. No Crisco or other faux blends that make taking photos easier but are inedible. So yes, you really can lick the screen!
Sicilian gelato is light and refreshing yet with good ingredients it's also a very satisfyingly rich dessert.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
- In medium saucepan bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer.
- Combine the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch into a bowl and whisk in the remaining cup of milk and half and half.
- Scrape the cocoa mixture into the hot milk. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and bubbles a little at the edges.
- Stir and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon with a whisk.
- Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap. Chill without stirring until very cold to the touch. (I put mine into the freezer for about 45 minutes to speed it up a bit).
- Freeze according to the instructions with your ice cream maker. Because the mixture is thick to begin with it may take less time than average in your ice cream maker.
- Add chocolate chips and just mix in.
- Put mixture into container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can make an icy granita or fudge pops with the same recipe.