Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits for Casual Friday

What comes to mind when you think of summertime?  This year we all might talk about the extreme heat, but normally you might discuss vacations to the beach, barbecues in the backyard and all the great foods that we associate with summer.

Those foods just might include ribs and chicken on the grill, steamed lobster, fresh sweet local corn, dill potato salad, a big juicy watermelon and ice cream or gelato.  There is no comparison to homemade ice cream or gelato, so if you haven’t made a batch of your own yet, now is the time to start.

These frozen concoctions are incredibly simple to make.  Gelato is probably the easiest as it generally does not require making a custard base.  This particular recipe does have you thicken the milk with cornstarch.  The results are a beautifully rich, silky and decadent chocolate gelato.

Rich, luscious and silky smooth!

I chose a Vietnamese cinnamon that I thought went well with the bittersweet chocolate.  I really liked the prominent cinnamon presence, but if you are hesitant about a strong cinnamon flavor, you might want to cut the amount back a little bit or use regular cinnamon that you purchase at the grocery store.

Use Scharffen Berger chocolate.  It’s all about the chocolate in this recipe, so be sure to invest in a good one.  The original recipe called for crushed toffee candy (like a Heath bar), but I substituted crushed pieces from a Valor Dark Chocolate with Truffle and Almond bar.  If there was ever to be a real death by chocolate, this just might be it!

I may have them both. Shhh...don't tell!

Here are some other Chocolate Gelato recipes you might like to try:

Decadent Dark Chocolate Gelato from Educated Palate

Chocolate Gelato from Eddy Van Damme

Chocolate Gelato from Saveur

If you do not have an ice cream maker, I suggest this Pure Indulgence model by Cuisinart.  It is my favorite. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!

Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits


1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used Vietnamese)

Pinch of salt

2 cups whole milk, divided

5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Scharffen Berger bittersweet)

1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup coarsely crushed toffee candy (such as Skor, Heath bar, or Almond Roca) (I used Valor Dark Chocolate with Truffle and Almond)


Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in heavy medium saucepan until blended. Gradually add 1/4 cup milk, whisking until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in remaining 1 3/4 cups milk. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and comes to boil, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minute longer, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until melted and smooth.

Transfer gelato base to medium bowl. Mix in cream. Place bowl over large bowl filled with ice and water and cool, stirring often, about 30 minutes.

Process gelato base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, adding toffee during last minute of churning. Transfer to container; cover. Freeze at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Bon Appetit - June 2006