Need I say more?
Probably not, but I love a good story, and I love to tell them even more.
Every time I hear the word chocolate, I can't help but think back to my Daniel's potty training days. And trust me here. This isn't e-w-w-w at all.
Daniel was an extremely picky eater as a toddler. A sufferer of "silent reflux" from the time he was born, he built up a great aversion to food, because... well... it just hurt to eat. So, being the first-time mom I was, wanting nothing more than to fill up my child, I resorted to whatever I could get in him. Carbs, carbs, and more carbs became his diet in his toddler days. John and I tried desperately to break him of the cravings and found ourselves, many times, having to hide our own "sneakings" of different foods - especially all things sweet.
One night the family was down in the den, and while Daniel was not looking I quickly tiptoed up to the kitchen and slid my fork under the foil covering my just-made chocolate cake, hoping to grab a couple of bites without getting caught. No sooner than I got the second fork-full in my mouth, here comes Daniel, "Mommy, I gotta go potty. Mommy..." We had been working so hard trying to perfect this, I ran behind him hoping for the best, as I choked down the cake.
He boosted himself onto the pot, I squatted down next to him, and tried to talk him through being patient. We sang a song. We giggled. We read a book. And then he slowly got closer to my face, those precious brown eyes sweetly looking at me... I thought an, "I love you, Mommy," or a butterfly kiss, which we were known to do, was following. But, no. Instead I got a...
"Mommy. Is that chocolate?"
Rats. Caught red-handed. But, oh my goodness, was it worth it. I laughed so hard, I fell over. And our family has laughed tons since, recounting that moment over and over.
If you like a rich chocolate, you will love this recipe. It's not a traditional chocolate ice cream at all. It's different. It's good. Really good. And... as a plus to those who might care to know, it's a non-dairy option.
By the way, now that I've tried this original version, I'm throwing around some mix-in ideas. I'm thinking a little toasted coconut and toasted sliced almonds might make a great frozen Almond Joy-like treat. Love those things, by the way!!
So, here's to Daniel's chocolate story. Funnily, he's not even a chocolate fan to speak of. But Luke and I don't mind. It just leaves more for us!
Creamy Chocolate Gelato
makes one quart
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural
- about 3 1/2 cups original almond milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp. salt
~ Put cocoa in medium bowl and whisk in enough milk (about 2/3 cup) to make a smooth
paste. Stir in vanilla.
~ Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in remaining milk.
Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or spatula, until
mixture begins to barely simmer around edges.
~ Stirring constantly and scraping the sides and corners of the pan to prevent scorching, let
the mixture simmer for 2 1/2 to 3/ minutes to fully cook the cornstarch.
~ Scrape the hot mixture into the bowl with the cocoa mixture. Whisk until well blended.
Let cool, undisturbed, about 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3
~ Pour the gelato mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to
Recipe slightly adapted from Eating Well, January/February 2011