'The World's Best Chocolate Ice Cream'

By Ms.Gourmet on October 26, 2009 9:42 PM
I have said it before and I will say it again, I believe that the Italian's are some of the most convivial and passionate people out there. They have an intrinsic understanding of one of life's most vital tenets, and that is, that food is to be shared. Basic attributes such as bounty, openness, generosity, community and mutuality are the essential principles that should undergird both our kitchens and tables. Irrespective of where the exchange takes place, be it around an actual, physical table amongst family and friends or online via a social network, I have always found the Italian's to be consistently pleasant, amiable, genuine and extremely satisfying!

I recently gifted myself with my very own ice cream machine. The minute I walked out of the store I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to try first - Marcella Hazan's world famous 'Gelato di Cioccolato del Cipriani'. Hence, I first came across this recipe years ago in Nigella Lawson's book How to Eat where she rightly declared it to be  - 'the world's best chocolate ice cream'.

Having neither Marcella nor her book at hand, I decided to email Marcella directly and kindly ask her for the recipe. Never in a million years would I have dreamt that she would respond, because both you and I know that Marcella Hazan is 'culinary royalty'. Yet, to my utter surprise Marcella - the world renowned, celebrated cook and author did respond, and respond she did in just a little over twelve hours!

I was absolutely flabbergasted that she bothered to take the time to respond to an insignificant email, sent by a complete stranger about gelato! Such a simple gesture, yet in doing so, this culinary icon demonstrated to me the enormity of her character, passion, dedication and integrity, something that some of the 'ever so busy' and 'way too important' self-publishers out there unfortunately lack.

Hence, this is what the darling Marcella had to say:
Oh, Nanette, what a coincidence. I just made that gelato last Tuesday for my husband's birthday. I followed the recipe the Cipriani's pastry chef gave me almost 25 years ago which - if you are careful about following it literally - is foolproof. You'll find it in my third book, Marcella's Italian Kitchen, published by Knopf in 1986. It is still in print. I have made it so many times, always for my husband's birthday, for some of my classes, and occasionally for dinner parties. It has never failed. A very important step is to caramelize the sugar until it is extremely dark. Let me know how you make out. I hope your children like it. It is not very sweet.

Ciao, ciao

So without further ado, I give to you Marcella Hazan's world famous - Il Gelato di Cioccolato del Cipriani recipe! And 'yes' Marcella, I followed the recipe to the letter and it was divine!

Il Gelato di Cioccolato del Cipriani

 The secret to this gelato is the molten brown caramelised sugar that is added to the cocoa and dark chocolate, which intensifies both its flavour and colour. Essentially you are after the taste of burnt sugar as it's that 'smoky bitterness' that sets this chocolate gelato apart from all the others.

Recipe source Marcella's Italian Kitchen 1986


4 egg yolks (I used organic eggs)

130g plus 2 tbsp of granulated sugar

500ml full fat milk (I used organic milk)

100g dark chocolate (I used a min. of 70% cocoa solids)

40g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used 100% Dutch cocoa powder)


1. Put the egg yolks and 130g of granulated sugar in a bowl and beat with a whisk until they are creamy and form pale ribbons.

2. Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan, then add it to the beaten yolks, trickling it in slowly and steadily and mixing it in with the whisk.

3. Melt the chocolate in the upper half of a double boiler, then pour it into the bowl containing the egg yolks and milk mixture, mixing it in thoroughly with the whisk.

4. Add and mix in the cocoa.

5. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a saucepan, turn the heat to medium, and stir with a wooden spoon (silicon spatula) until all components of the mixture are well amalgamated.

6. Put 2 tbsp of sugar in a saucepan with 2 tsp of water, turn the heat to high, and melt the sugar until it is dark brown. Add it immediately to the egg and chocolate mixture, mixing it in thoroughly with a whisk. If it crystallises, don't worry as it will dissolve as it is whisked.

7. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. When it is cool, place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Put the mixture in your ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturers instructions.


For a gelato slide show click here!

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Recent Comments

  • radha: Dear Mam, Its mouth watering to see the pics. I read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Thank you sweetheart! read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Hey, do you want to make more gelato with me?! read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Coming from you Alice, that's a huge compliment! read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Thank you gorgeous girl for helping me out the other read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Oh bella I'm so glad my blog finally let you read more
  • Melanie: This looks absolutely delicious. I love the deep chocolate color. read more
  • yael: How exciting to get an email like that! I have read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Well if truth be told I'm half Maltese & half read more
  • Ms.Gourmet: Andrea I simply approached her as Nanette and she graciously read more