Gelato, meaning ‘frozen’ in Italian, encompasses all types of ice-cream made in Italy. What sets this southern Sicilian version apart though, is its crema rinforzata base of milk, sugar and cornflour, rather than cream, sugar and egg yolk. The result is a gelato with less fat and more flavour.

1 litre





Skill level

Average: 3.4 (120 votes)


  • 1 litre milk
  • 150 g dark chocolate (80% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ tbsp cornflour
  • 65 g (½ cup) cocoa powder

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 3 hours

Freezing time 1 hour

Place 750 ml milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and remove just before it comes to the boil. Stir in chocolate until melted and smooth.

Place remaining 250 ml milk, sugar, vanilla, cornflour, cocoa powder and ¼ tsp sea salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add cornflour mixture to the chocolate mixture, whisk to combine, then return pan over low–medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, for 8 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon; don’t boil mixture.

Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and place bowl in an iced-water bath. Stir until cooled to room temperature. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or until chilled.

Churn in an ice-cream maker until frozen. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 1 hour or until very firm.


Making gelato without an ice-cream maker
Follow recipe till the end of step 2, then strain mixture into a large, shallow tray. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour or until frozen at the edges. Remove gelato from freezer, transfer to a bowl, then beat until smooth and soft. Return to the tray and freeze for a further hour. Repeat beating and freezing until gelato is firm.



Photography by John Laurie.                  




As seen in Feast magazine, Jan 2012, Issue 5. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.