I wasn’t a gelato lover until we went to Italy years ago. I just didn’t see what the big deal was – until I had the REAL thing. While we were there, we ate it twice (sometimes three times) a day. Of course, I wasn’t vegan then. But even if I went back to Italy today, I don’t think I could stop myself from having at least one little dish of gelato. And this is why I could never live there. I would have a serious problem.
When I stumbled on Nancy’s recipe for vegan, gluten-free gelato on The Sensitive Pantry blog (which has a ton of great gluten/dairy/egg-free recipes!), I figured it was too good to be true. But I tried it anyway.
I so wanted to love this recipe. But, to me, it has this weird canned coconut milk aftertaste. HOWEVER, I think it’s just me. Because Hubs loved it (he said it’s a win) and my friend, Amanda, liked it too. So, I would say go for it and see what you think. If you’re vegan and/or gluten-free and you’re missing gelato, this might be the ticket.
YIELDS ABOUT 2 CUPS
(If you have a medium to large ice cream maker, you can double the recipe. I have the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker attachment for my mixer and a double recipe would have definitely fit.)
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk*
2½ oz. prepared coffee
⅓ cup dutch processed unsweetened cocoa
3 oz. (about ⅓ cup) vegan chocolate chips*
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. arrowroot powder
½ cup unrefined sugar
pinch of sea salt
OPTIONAL: ½ cup coconut milk beverage (the kind in the carton)
Nancy included a note about coconut milk: “They are not all created equal. First, use coconut milk – NOT coconut cream or light coconut milk. Go for one of the better brands. I’ve used Thai Kitchen, but would like to try Chaokoh or Roland Organic. Look for one that doesn’t separate when standing.” As you can see in the photo above, I used A Taste of Thai brand. Maybe another brand wouldn’t have the same aftertaste (that apparently only I can taste). I used Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips.
Reserve one cup of the canned coconut milk. Whisk together the remaining coconut milk, vanilla, coffee, salt and arrowroot. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the reserved cup of coconut milk, unrefined sugar and cocoa. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Take care not to burn the mixture.
Stir in the coconut milk/coffee mixture and chocolate chips. Bring back to a simmer, stirring frequently. Turn down the heat and stir for a few minutes until liquid thickens slightly.
Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. Transfer mixture to a glass or ceramic container and refrigerate for a few hours, until cold.
Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. I tasted it as it was in the process of freezing and noticed the aftertaste, so I thought I’d try to cut it with some coconut milk beverage (I used ½ cup). It didn’t really solve my problem, but it didn’t hurt either – the gelato is really creamy and didn’t freeze into an impossible-to-scoop rock. I added the coconut milk beverage about half way through the freezing cycle. When the cycle is complete, the gelato will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Eat as is, or transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze until it firms up.
Above: This is straight out of the ice cream maker.
Above: This is after 24 hours in the freezer. I left it out on the counter for about 15-20 minutes before I snapped this shot, so that’s why it’s melty.
If you give it a try, let me know what you think. And if you have a vegan, gluten-free gelato recipe that you love, please share!