Do you dream of Velvety Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato? After making it, I sure do!!! There is not better way to use 15 egg yolks. I promise it is so worth it! And don’t go all “skinny minny” on me, shut down, and say “WOW, that’s too fattening!” Well, yes it is if you eat the whole dang batch in one sitting. That reminds me of my Nutrition 101 class at the Y in Provo, UT. After getting my schedule, I headed over to the Wilk to purchase my textbooks for the semester. Low and behold, to my utter shock and awe, the cover of my NUTRITION textbook had ICE CREAM on the over. Like 20 different flavor scoops! I was so confused. Bottom line the professor’s message was moderation in all things, and a well rounded healthy nutrition regimen also included ICE CREAM. That was the first exposure I had to debunking all the well known hear-say about nutrition, and the “Good” vs. “Bad” the weight loss industry wants us to buy into. I remember as a kid EGGS were deemed unhealthy, and since been debunked. How about Gelato? Um, yes please!
When I think of gelato, I FONDLY think of the gelato I had in Lahina on the Hawaiian island Maui, a hot day in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, or the gelato we had on a freezing day in Vail, CO. Freezing or not, gelato in a warm indoor french cafe was magnifique! I’ve had gelato just about everywhere I travel, including stay-cations I’ve spent touring the Strip here in Vegas. Only the Hawaiian Coconut Pudding Gelato, better known as Haupia, actually stands out as memorable in terms of the gelato itself. I’ve had plenty of my favorite flavors at various locations, and while the gelato is always yummy, the actual gelato never stand out as memorable.
If you are familiar with Marcy’s Ice Cream & Candy Store in Torrance CA, which is quaint ma and pop shop in the South Bay of LA that rocked locals by closing around 2010, then you KNOW how dand good their Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream was. I haven’t been able to quelch my Marcy’s Choc PB fix since the last time I was there before they closed their doors forever. The closest I have gotten is Golden Spoons Chocolate Peanut Butter frozen yogurt. Not even 31 Flavor’s or any other store bought tub of Chocolate Peanut Butter can come clase. This may seem like blasphemy to some of you, but it is my reality…UNTIL I made this gelato!!!
The funny thing is that for at least a month straight after we got back from our trip to CO for Christmas, my husband would bring up getting this new gelato and ice cream machine almost DAILY! To say I was getting irritated is putting it mildly. First of all, between the two of us before getting married, we had two ice cream machines that were very similar and I used mine maybe twice. It simply did not make the making ice cream experience memorable for me, and I had mine since 2000. Hence it did not get used, and hence I was not keen on getting yet another ice cream machine promising gelato as well. We just got rid of both of our previous ice cream makers not too long ago. Then one day he came home with said ice cream and gelato maker in hand, much to my immediate displeasure…only to commence frequent, though restrained, pleas as to when I was going to make gelato. Grrrr….not that I already had a full plate, heck my plate is always over flowing!!!
The closer Valentine’s Day got, my icey-gelato-making-heart melted, and I couldn’t think of a better present for my husband to show my love for him than to give in to his frequent pleas for homemade gelato; it mean it was what he had been asking me to do for almost 6 weeks straight. Then the research started, because yo, I CANNOT just simply make gelato on the first recipe I come across, which happened to be the recipe booklet that came with the Cuisinart Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker. I read tons of recipes, and there is a certain foundation or formula to each variation of recipes. Once I get a grasp on the similarities in each one, I can decipher what I can do to start “playing around” and making my own custom, and memorable recipe that I will love and go back to every time.
I cannot tell you why Marcy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream popped into my head as I researched recipes, other than through the multitude of recipes I saw a ton of chocolate gelatos, which I am not drawn to straight up chocolate ice cream or gelato, but my husband is. However, dang it, if I am gonna be the one to make it, I sure want to be one of the ones to enjoy the fruits of my labors.
So. Chocolate Peanut Butter it is…and we are not talking chocolate from cocoa powder either. I find cocoa powder has a chalky chocolate taste I have an aversion to and can tell right away if it is the main, or only, chocolate ingredient used in something I eat. We are going for the real deal, high quality chocolate I use time after time, Ghirardelli because I can get it at my local Costco in bulk. The only question remained is what type of chocolate do I use?
The dark chocolate that my husband prefers over all other types? Milk chocolate that pairs well with peanut butter? Or the middle of the road semi-sweet? I can assure there really is not a wrong choice here, because each type of chocolate chip will change the flavor profile just slightly to momick the chocolate chosen. If you prefer dark, use dark. If you prefer milk, use milk chocolate chips. Use whatever your taste buds fancy. I was tending towards the dark chocolate, because as you can see in the picture to the right of our gelato in Vail, CO, my husband goes for the triple chocolate and cookies and cream variety, while I go for the exotic fruity scoops. Not only do I love this photo for the memory of it, but the irony that despite it being a ridiculously cold but clear and stunning day in Vail the first thing we got was gelato! Cracks me up everytime.
“Life’s Uncertain. Eat dessert first.”
Do you see how gorgeous the gelato presentations are? It’s almost as beautiful as the scenery that day walking around the Vail town center. Ahhh, it is so fun to be momentarily transported back to Vail through these pictures. I hope you get a moment to live vicariously through them in a delicious moment of escaping your current reality. I have to point out the itty bitty taped up sign warning all patrons that they are limited to ONE sample. Really? REALLY? I mean, ok, I can see that would get pretty tedious and irritating to those waiting to be served…but really? Oh, and I must tell you the final chocolate decision that ended my internal debate…semi-sweet. Yes, I went with semi-sweet because I really didn’t want to go for the sharpness of dark chocolate having the memories, and hence cravings, for Marcy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream strongly present in my psyche at that moment, AND I felt the milk chocolate would be a bit too sweet for what I was going for. Too sweet as in you’ve had one or two too many Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and the pleasure is override by the sickeningly sweet aftertaste. Yes, there is such a thing as too many. One last thought, gelato is a frozen custard so it is richer than ice cream, and doesn’t have the same crystallization when frozen so it is softer than ice cream. Because it is so rich, the point is to savour the heavenly, velvety, frozen confection in a reasonable serving at one time. That is why the gelato cups you get are customarily smaller than what is available at most ice cream shops.
One final thought, I LOVE this ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt machine!!! SO much so I take back all my goals and immediate irritation when my husband first got this beauty. I didn’t know how amazing it was until I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato, which I did more out of the giving spirit of Valentine’s Day to show my love knowing this is something he REALLY REALLY wanted that I did do give this machine a go. I was not interested after my previous ice cream maker experiences..at all! This machine is a dream, and seriously makes me want to stand over the stove stirring the custard base for the 15-20 minutes it takes to make more gelato. I do really need, and now can’t wait for the right time, to make both ice cream and frozen yogurt on this puppy. It has a larger capacity, which always irked me about the older versions, and digital controls with automatic shut off timers that obnoxiously beep when done so I don’t ever forget to go get before it melts again…I hate wasted efforts especially with how busy I get multi-taking on the regular. You definitely want to transfer the completed gelato to an airtight container, and then place in the freezer; I do not recommend putting the machine tub WITH the gelato in the freezer. Ya, ask me how I know that bit of information! 😉 The last thing I recommend doing is cleaning out the machine’s freezer bowl and placing back into the freezer to be ready and waiting for your next frozen delight hankering!
This machine is so easy to use!
Velvety Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato
Are you ready to have premium gelato at home? Without the crowds? Without the retail markup? If you have a hankering for a satisfying serving of frozen custard that is ready and waiting for you at a moment’s notice in your own freezer, then this is recipe for you. Hold on to your taste buds, because this gelato will give you an off the charts, food-gasmic response. If you love gelato, but haven’t had a specific flavor that stands out and is memorable, this will definitely be a recipe you go back to every time…unless you have a peanut allergy…and in that case, omit the peanut butter all together and load up on the dark, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips to make a Triple Chocolate variation on this gelato.
15 egg yolks
*2 c whole milk
*2 c heavy whipping cream
*2 c half and half
*Use the above amounts, OR you can use 3 c whole milk and 3 c heavy whipping cream, OR 6 C whole milk
1 1/2 c sugar
1 T salt
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T vanilla
1 c creamy peanut butter
1) Add half the dairy amounts (3 c total of what combination you plan to use–reserve the rest), and the sugar to a saucepan (a thicker pan is best to avoid scorching), and give it a quick wisk. Simmer over med heat, stirring constantly until the sugar disolves and it is hot, but do not let boil.
2) In a sturdy bowl, I recommend a 8 cup glass measuring cup, wisk your egg yolks. Whisk in a 1/2 c of the hot dairy to the egg yolks; this tempers them to avoid curdling. Whisk in the remaining hot dairy mix at 1/2 c increments until combined.
3) Pour back into the sauce pan. Cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, constantly stirring, or until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the custard to boil to avoid curdling.
4) Stir in salt, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Stir until creamy and completely combined.
5) Pour into a large bowl, add the remaining 3 c of dairy, and stir until completely smooth and combined.
6) Place a film of plastic wrap on the surface of the custard and securely around the bowl to prevent a skin forming on the custard mix as it completely chills.
7) Chill for 4-6 hours, or over night. You want the custard mix to be completely chilled before adding to the ice cream/gelato making machine. I recommend this one for its large capacity, and easy programming.
8) Pour the chilled mix into the set up ice cream maker’s freezer bowl, set on the gelato setting, and forget it for 30 min. Enjoy your velvety custom frozen custard!