We have several gelato shops nearby, and I am a big fan of the chocolate-flecked stracciatella. This ice cream version is especially rich and flavorful. It's made with the addition of vanilla bean paste (or a scraped vanilla bean) and Lyle's Golden Syrup. If you can't find Lyle's locally, use light or dark corn syrup. Lyle's gives the ice cream a unique and wonderful flavor, so use it if possible.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup or corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 1 scraped vanilla bean and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (or 1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Combine the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and golden syrup or corn syrup in a large, heavy saucepan. If you are using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the mixture. Place the pan over medium heat and heat until it begins to boil.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the salt.
Remove the cream mixture from the heat. While whisking the egg yolks, gradually pour about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into them.
Whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan and place the saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture reaches 170° F to 180° F, or until it coats the back of a spoon.* This will only take a minute or two.
Pour the mixture into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate the custard mixture for at least 3 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
Put the custard mixture into the ice cream machine and begin churning following the manufacturer's instructions.
Place a 1-quart bowl, container, or pan in the freezer so it will be cold when you are ready to fill it with the ice cream.
Meanwhile, about 20 to 30 minutes before the ice cream is done, chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl or pan over simmering water. Stir in the vegetable oil and continue heating until melted. Let the chocolate cool slightly. Put the chocolate in a small food storage bag, press most of the air out, and seal the bag. If necessary, dip the sealed bag of chocolate in hot water to keep it from thickening or hardening.
When the ice cream is soft frozen, or about the texture of soft-serve (around 20° F if you want to check it on an instant-read food thermometer), snip a tiny piece of the corner off of the bag. Drizzle the chocolate into the churning ice cream in a relatively steady, gradual stream. As the chocolate is churned into the ice cream it will harden and form the chocolate chips. Continue until all of the chocolate is used.
Transfer the ice cream mixture to the cold container and cover tightly. Freeze until solid.
*When the mixture "coats the back of a spoon," it forms a coating which, when you run your finger through it, will leave a clear path which does not run together or drip. Whisk in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
Tips and Variations
- For fewer chocolate pieces, use 2 ounces of chocolate and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil.
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