Living in my little neighborhood close to the sea comes with more benefits than the beach. I have neighbors who get the mail when I'm gone, friends who walk with me in the mornings and dads who lend helping hands with leaking pipes when my husband is out of town. Most importantly though, I have neighbors who bring treats.
You may remember my gelato-making neighbor and good friend, Captain Greg (he tirelessly coaches for Team in Training), of Plum Perfect Gelato fame? Or perhaps it's his Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk version that caught your eye? Well, in my opinion, today's Ghirardelli Mocha Chip Gelato takes the cake.
Bringing us his fifth Liv Life Guest Post (and my personal favorite!), I hereby give you... Captain Greg!
When I was just 4 years old, my Granddad would sneak my brothers and me into his kitchen for a treat that drove my Mom nuts. He would pour us each a cup of coffee, then add lots of cream and sugar until it was a crazy delight that little resembled the “cup of Joe” that got me through college. Mom was not happy… “Oh Dad”, she’d say, “Coffee is terrible for the kids!” And he’d chuckle and ask “Who wants a refill?” So my love affair with coffee got off to an early start, and when it collided with a passion for chocolate there was no looking back.
Mocha, that magical blend of coffee and cocoa, owned me from the first time I tried it. Growing up, Wednesday was Baskin Robbins night, and one of my two scoops was always Jamoca Almond Fudge. And at 16 my first job was a soda jerk at the Carnation Ice Cream Restaurant. My first day, the Manager handed me a 2-gallon tub of Mocha Chip -- and a spoon. Big mistake. 2 hours later, what wasn’t inside me had melted into a delicious drink that made milkshakes for a week!
So fast forward to now. I’ve fallen in love with gelato. Crisp, sharp flavors that far surpass their heavier confectionery cousin -- ice cream. And it’s a passion that takes little more than patience, great ingredients and a trusted ice cream churn. And like I needed an excuse! My Team in Training runners preparing for a marathon in San Francisco challenged me to whip up something with a taste of the City by the Bay. Too easy… for a guy that pounded 2 gallons of Mocha Chip as a teen? What says San Francisco more than Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and that silky blend of cocoa and sugar that draped many a sundae at Ghirardelli’s? Way too easy.
So today’s recipe is a flavor sensation that’s straightforward and simple. Start with a sweetened custard base, combine it with the essentials of any fine mocha, and amp it up to another level with Ghirardelli chocolate chips and slivered almonds. Then join me back in Grandpa Rathel’s kitchen for a celebration of coffee and chocolate! Give it up Mom… I’ll take another scoop please!
Captain Greg's Ghirardelli Mocha Chip Gelato
Mocha at its finest, I can imagine a bowl topped with a shot of espresso for an even bigger coffee punch!
4 cups whole milk
2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 large egg yolks
2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. ground instant coffee granules
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tsp. vanilla
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
2 Cups Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Premium Baking Chips
Separate the egg yolks and lightly beat them with a wooden spoon. Combine yolks with the sugar, stirring until the mixture is creamy, pale yellow and very thick. Transfer into a large saucepan (3 Quarts).
In a separate saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Warm the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until steaming.
Whisk the milk and cream into the yolk and sugar mixture. Hint: Start with just 2 cups of the milk whisked vigorously into the yolk mixture so the eggs don’t cook solid. Then whisk in the remaining milk and cream, adding slowly.
Cook over a low heat stirring constantly until thick enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Stir in the cocoa, coffee and vanilla.
Strain the mixture into a large bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Cool completely in the refrigerator (at least two hours).
Process in an ice cream making following the directions included with your model.
Turn the gelato into medium container with lids. Swirl in the chocolate chips and slivered almonds using a cold bread knife, stirring as little as possible. Cover and freeze at least 24 hours.
Yields 2 Quarts