Recipe | Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Gelato

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Gelato on Spoon
This is the recipe that finally made me realize that our freezer does not get as cold as it should.

All last summer, I was on a Zoku kick and I made popsicles at least once a week, if not more. It was our first summer in North Carolina and it was hot. I had never been much of a popsicle person, but in that hot weather, suddenly they were all I wanted to eat. In my popsicle making frenzy, I noticed that the Zoku was taking much, much longer than it should have to freeze my popsicles. So naturally, I blamed the Zoku.

In December, I got my ice cream maker. I’ve used it a few times and each time, the ice cream turned out a little bit soupy. I blamed the ice cream maker. So when I made this Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Gelato, it was the same story–it just barely set in the ice cream maker, so I decided to Google it and see what was going on. There were virtually no bad reviews for it and the few bad reviews there were had comments saying, “Your freezer probably isn’t cold enough!”

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Gelato
Oh. So that’s why the Zoku doesn’t work well and that’s why none of my ice cream sets. And that’s why all the cardboard boxes in the freezer are slightly soggy. And probably why there’s no rush of cold air when we open the freezer door. So suddenly it all makes sense–our freezer is the problem.

Anyway, I hope you’ll excuse the soupy looking gelato in these photos. After making my Fat Elvis Ice Cream, my husband kept bugging to make something like that again, so I came up with the chocolate, caramel, and pretzel combination. We’re both big fans of desserts that are both salty and sweet. And who doesn’t love caramel and chocolate together?! Soupy or not, this gelato is crazy good.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Gelato

Prep Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Rich chocolate gelato swirled with ribbons of caramel and pretzel pieces. Chocolate base from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. pretzels, broken into small pieces, divided
  • 3/4 c. caramel sauce, divided (I like making my own--this recipe from Martha Stewart is perfect)

Instructions

  1. Combine milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 170 degrees. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Next, whisk in chopped chocolate until mixture is smooth and chocolate has melted.
  2. Add egg yolks to a medium heat-proof bowl and whisk until smooth. Slowly add sugar, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Gradually add milk and chocolate mixture to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return contents of bowl to saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches a temperature of 185 degrees and custard coats the back of spoon. (Don't allow the mixture to boil!)
  3. Place a mesh strainer on top of a second heat-proof bowl. Pour custard mixture through strainer and cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes. Once mixture has cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  4. Freeze gelato according to manufacturers instructions. Add 1/2 cup of caramel and 1/2 cup of pretzels in last 5 minutes of the churning process or fold in after churning has completed. (Personally, I prefer folding the add-ins after churning has stopped, especially something like caramel, which has a tendency to disappear.)
  5. Transfer gelato to a sealed container and freeze at least 2 hours before serving. Top with remaining pretzel pieces and caramel sauce.

Notes

Prep time includes time spent chilling custard.

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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

    • Kiersten Frase says

      We used to get ice cream at a place that had a flavor with chocolate malt ice cream, Milky Way bar pieces, and pretzels–completely random, but SO good. So this was kind of inspired by that ice cream.

  1. says

    Even a little soupy, it looks delicious! I SO need an ice cream maker. We certainly do have some HOT summers in NC! I just realized we probably live less than an hour from one another! For a couple more months anyway…

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Everyone needs an ice cream maker! I’m sure there will be a lot of deals on them coming up soon since it’s almost summer, so it’s probably a good time to get one. I got mine from the Steamy Kitchen store when they had one of the $50 off $100 promos.

      I’m in Wake Forest, just north of Raleigh. Are you moving out of state?

  2. says

    Pretzels with chocolate is one of the happiest combinations in the world. Caramel puts it over the top. I am bookmarking this for ice cream season! (I eat ice cream in all seasons, but for some reason the machine mostly comes into use in summer.) Bummer about your freezer! Will you be getting a new one?

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I’m hoping the issue with the freezer is just dust on the coils or something that’s easily fixed. My husband is going to attempt to figure it out & if that doesn’t work, I think it should still be under warranty because we moved in less than a year ago & it was new at the time. I’m a little bit embarrassed that it took me so long to realize it was the freezer that was the issue, though. :)

  3. says

    When I saw the title of this post, my jaw dropped. I LOVE gelato and this is just way too amazing. I will definitely be trying this! [:

  4. says

    Ummm…. seriously, I think I could eat the entire container in one sitting. My sister has one of those zuko makers and loves it for the kids. I wonder if you could do an alcoholic version??

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I think my instruction booklet for the Zoku says something about how the popsicles don’t freeze as well with alcohol in them. So I think you’d have to make them not very boozy for it to work right. I haven’t tried it!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I’d look for an eggless (or vegan) chocolate ice cream recipe and then add the caramel and pretzels to that. Gelato is custard-based, so there’s really no way around using egg yolks. Sorry!

  5. Josie Robinson says

    Hate to be a troll but have you ever heard of a themometer? I think they cost under 10 bucks and you will never be surprised again by a lot of rotting food! a dip of 10 degrees my fridge guys says is normal when you open the door and stand there looking at it. if it is over 30 it isn’t doing a good job and should be fixed or replaced under frozen fgood is also a health hazard some things will continue to degrade at underfrozen temps. The stuff looks fattening and delicous always that’s been a downfall for me.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      We didn’t have problems with rotting food, but we did have issues with some things being a little soft in the freezer. Luckily it’s fixed now! :)

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