My Favorite Chocolate Gelato (Dairy Free)

I love to give out samples of healthy desserts. I want my clients to know that treats are okay and they never have to feel deprived. A few times this summer I made my very favorite Chocolate Gelato, and have since been swamped with requests for the recipe. I didn’t blog it previously, because I generally like to share simpler recipes, and this one takes some time. On the other hand, it is absolutely divine! And apart from the healthy tweaks I’ve made to the original recipe, chocolate itself is once again in the news for its benefits: this time for heart health. According to this research, chocolate is “associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiometabolic disorders”. And that wasn’t even healthy chocolate! So go ahead and indulge!

The original recipe comes from a great ice cream recipe book, below. To qualify it for my “healthy treat” standards, I used coconut instead of cow’s milk, and xylitol instead of sugar. And I made it in my wonderful DeLonghi Gelato maker, but you could use the less expensive Cuisinart, or even just a blender. I think the latter would work especially well if you make pops out of it, and that’s great built-in portion control, too. Links for all of these items are below the recipe.

My Favorite Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

2 cups of the creamy part from 2 cans of organic coconut milk (not Light!) (I like Thai Kitchen)
3 T raw organic cacao powder (you could use unsweetened cocoa powder, too)
5 oz unsweetened raw organic chocolate chunks, chopped
1 cup xylitol
1 cup So Delicious refrigerated coconut milk, unsweetened
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Warm the coconut cream and cacao powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to blend. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on low for another 30 seconds, while whisking. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the rest of the coconut cream. Pour/scrape into a large bowl.

Warm the So Delicious coconut milk, with the xylitol and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour some of the warm milk into the egg yolks, while whisking. Then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir over medium heat with a heatproof spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Make sure you keep scraping the bottom so it doesn’t burn. Pour this into the chocolate mixture and combine until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Let the bowl rest in an ice bath (a larger bowl with a layer of ice) until it cools. Chill in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker or pops.

Sometimes I mix in fresh mint, berries, or cinnamon (different batches – not together!). Plain or enhanced, this recipe always gets raves.

Every recipe I’ve made from this book is delicious!

This is the gelato maker I use. I love the results, and it is so easy to use and to clean. The quality difference between this and the Cuisinart is marked, although I was very happy with my Cuisinart for many years.

This is the much less expensive Cuisinart, although it is an update from the one I had.

And for the least expensive option of all, use your blender to aerate a bit, and then pour into pop molds, like these. I also use these to freeze plain coconut water. It makes a light and refreshing treat after a sweaty yoga practice.

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