As a kid growing up in the southern U.S., my memories of summertime include, among other things, catching lightning bugs (fireflies), splashing in sprinklers and running to meet the ice cream truck as it made regular rounds through our neighborhood. With music blaring and bells ringing, it was nearly impossible to miss.
And who can resist any sweet, frozen concoction that promises to help you beat the heat?
Recently, I found this recipe for chocolate gelato on eatingwell.com. It’s dairy-free and less fat than regular ice cream but my taste buds can’t tell the difference. And, with the long, hot days of summer already upon us (at least around here), I decided to give it a try.
My husband and I each enjoyed a cup of this cold, creamy treat with some pecans mixed in. We also added a few raspberries for some extra zing.
Well, let’s just say this little indulgence made me smile, recalling the summers of my childhood and leaving me with yet another simple pleasure for which to be thankful.
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural
2 14-ounce cans “lite” coconut milk (3 1/2 cups), divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1.Put cocoa in a medium bowl and whisk in enough coconut milk (about 2/3 cup) to make a smooth paste. Stir in vanilla.
2.Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the remaining coconut milk. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until the mixture begins to barely simmer around the edges. Then, stirring constantly and scraping the sides and corners of the pan to prevent scorching, let the mixture simmer for 21/2 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, for about 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.
3.Pour the gelato mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.