Use a Freezer that Works
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!"
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.
It's Delicious, Soupy or Not
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.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup pretzels broken into small pieces, divided
- ¾ cup caramel sauce divided (I like making my own—this recipe from Martha Stewart is perfect)
- Combine milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 170°F. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Next, whisk in chopped chocolate until mixture is smooth and chocolate has melted.
- 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°F and custard coats the back of spoon. (Don't allow the mixture to boil!)
- 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.
- Freeze gelato according to manufacturers instructions. Add ½ cup of caramel and ½ 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.)
- Transfer gelato to a sealed container and freeze at least 2 hours before serving. Top with remaining pretzel pieces and caramel sauce.