A luxurious, creamy gelato completely dairyfree but with a silky, smooth texture thanks to a special ingredient, the cocoa butter.
A true 100% vegan chocolate dessert you will fall in love with for sure...
- Place a plastic tube or a bowl on the scale, reset and weight the water (use water at room temperature);
- weight the sugar in a bowl then reset and add the cocoa powder; add also the guar gum (you can't measure 0.6 gr with a kitchen scale, a precision scale is needed, but you can have the same measure using a 1 ml spoon);
- mix powders (sugar, cocoa powder and guar gum) using the whisk, then add to water in the tube;
- mix with the immersion blender till all the sugar is completely dissolved;
- melt the required amount of dark chocolate placing the metal bowl on a pan of hot water (bain marie), stirring occasionally with the spatula; be sure that the bowl doesn't touch the bottom of the pan;
- add the melted chocolate in the tube with other ingredients and mix again with the blender;
- pour the mixture in your gelato or ice cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions; do not refrigerate the mixture because it becomes too thick; more details about gelato and ice cream makers in my guide;
- leave the gelato in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before consuming it.
You can find more details on preparation steps in my article The home-made gelato preparation steps.
Tips & insights
Chocolate and cocoa butter
Cocoa butter is a very good vegetable fat, very healty and melts on your tongue in a luxurious sensation. Unfortunately is not easy to use in gelato.
For chocolate and cocoa powder you can find various types, very different in aroma and flavour.
There are three cocoa variety: trinitario, forastero and criollo; the last one is the most aromatic, but is produced in very small quantity and is rare to find.
Also the area of origin is very important for the organoleptic characteristics of the chocolate.
When I look for chocolate and cacao to use in gelato, I evaluate the flavour that are released by different varieties, but I also evaluate the sustainability and ethics of production.
Chocolate is one of the products with the greatest exploitation of human labor; workers in this sector mainly work without any guarantee on the price of cocoa they grow, at the mercy of the market price imposed by a few international operators.
So I try to find producers that guarantee a minimum price to farmers or supporting development projects for local communities.
You can have a look at Fairtrade page or at The good trade page.
Guar gum and other thickeners
Guar gum is a natural thickener, a polysaccharide that comes from guar beans.
This recipe is something between a milk gelato (with fats and proteins from milk and cream) and a sorbet (without fats): we have fats here but they come from cocoa butter, so we need a thickener for a better texture.
Guar gum is frequently used in sorbet, because you needn't to rise the temperature of the mixture for activation of the gum; it's easy to use, but remember never to add it directly to wet ingredients: first it must be dispersed in other powdered ingredients.
It can be easily found in well-stocked food stores or you can find on internet on ebay or on amazon.
Hydrocolloids are a rather complicated and very interesting topic, we will deepen later in a further article.
Inuline is a natural fiber, a complex carbohydrate found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
It is not absorbed in the intestine and has a positive effect on health.
In gelato is mainly used in sorbets: in addition to improving nutritional values, thanks to its anti-freezing function it allows to lower the total quantity of sugars; in balancing sheet it goes in other solids column (remember my article on balancing a gelato recipe).
It also improves the viscosity of the mix, the texture of gelato and also overrun (the capacity to incorporate air bubbles - air is an important ingredient of gelato).
I always use inuline in sorbet, but also in vegan recipes or in special recipes in which I want a lower content of sugar.
Commercial inuline powder is usually obtained from agave or chicory; here are two link to buy online: on ebay or on amazon.
I suggest eating the gelato immediately after production (just leave 1 hour in the freezer), but if you store in freezer for a long time, leave a room temperature for 10' before serving it.
Freezers that are used in gelato shops usually work at -12/-15 °C, while your freezer reach -22°C or a lower temperature.
So if you leave out the freezer for few minutes, you'll be able to have the right texture and to bring out all the flavours.