Vanilla Latte Stracciatella Gelato. It rolls trippingly from the tongue, doesn’t it? I have to be honest. I used the legit Italian word “stracciatella” mainly because it’s significantly more fun to say repeatedly than “chocolate flakes” which is what it really is. Give it a try and really draw it out- Strrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrracciatellllllllaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Come on, admit it. That felt pretty good, right? Well, as great as it feels to say Vanilla Latte Stracciatella Gelato, it feels even better to eat it. My 15 year old took a bite and exclaimed, “THIS TASTES LIKE A VANILLA LATTE WITH CHOCOLATE IN IT.” From that boy, this is the highest praise he can heap on a food. My boy loves coffee and chocolate.
So the ‘vanilla latte’ portion is self explanatory, and while I admit to using stracciatella in place of chocolate flakes for the sound of it, the word ‘gelato’ isn’t just in there for Italian window dressing. Gelato and ice cream are cozy relatives, but there are some important distinctions. Ice cream is churned longer, whipping more air into it in the process making it fluffier and a little milder in flavour. Gelato is churned for less time, is more dense, and is generally far more intense in flavour. In other words, this Vanilla Latte Stracciatella Gelato is one intense bite of vanilla bean laced coffee gelato that is shot through with impossibly delicate flakes of dark chocolate.
Can we please get back to my current favourite word for a minute? Strrrrracciatelllllaaaaaaah. I’m sorry. I’ll stop eventually. Stracciatella isn’t just little bitty pieces of chocolate. It’s a method. In a nutshell, you churn your gelato, pop it into a bowl nested into a bowl full of ice, and drizzle a thin stream of melted chocolate into the gelato as you stir vigorously. THIS is what makes those melt-on-the-tongue, tiny flakes of chocolate.
Don’t fret. It’s not hard. In fact, I have a dorky little video to show you how easy it is. Emphasis on the dorky.
Oh, and let me tell you something that should set your mind at ease. There’s no tempering of eggs… In fact, there are no eggs at all in this recipe. The thickening comes courtesy of cornstarch, making this a far less fussy recipe than most ice cream recipes. The cornstarch makes the beginning gelato base much like a pudding which -in turn- yields a creamy, velvety, eminently scoopable gelato.
- DEFINITELY whisk together the sugar and cornstarch before you even measure out your liquids. This is the key to a lump free gelato base. Only after the cornstarch is fully incorporated into the sugar can you whisk those liquids into the mix.
- Don’t hurry things along… Let the medium low temp do its job. The temptation will be to light that fire a little higher to make process go a little more quickly. Don’t do it. Patience will reward you with the silkiest gelato ever to exist.
- If you have espresso powder, you can use it, but there’s no need to mail order it just for this gelato. Most grocery stores sell little individual packets of dark roast instant coffee that works beautifully in this recipe for Vanilla Latte Stracciatella Gelato. In fact, two packets seem to measure out two tablespoons just right, making a box that has six envelopes of instant coffee the base for three full batches of this dreamy stuff.
- As for churning, you’re looking for a soft serve consistency. Pull it from your ice cream maker at that point.
- When it comes to melting chocolate, I prefer to melt it on medium strength in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds. I aim to have it just barely melted and liquid when I add it to the gelato base.
- If you want to protect the texture of your beautiful gelato, make sure you have a medium size mixing bowl nested in a larger bowl filled with ice. This will help keep your gelato from melting while you mix in the melted chocolate.
- You can drizzle in the melted chocolate with a spoon, or make our life easier and put it into a Wilton icing bag or ziploc bag. Snip the very tip of the bag off and squeeze the chocolate into the gelato while mixing vigorously.
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Vanilla Latte Stracciatella GelatoRate Recipe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise, seeds scraped from the insides
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 4 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate chopped
- Whisk the granulated sugar and cornstarch together thoroughly in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. When it is evenly combined, use the whisk to add in the vanilla bean seeds. Whisk in the cream and milk until even, then add the vanilla bean itself. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and bubbles around the edges. Sprinkle the instant coffee granules over the top and whisk in until evenly coloured. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled completely through, at least 4 hours but probably closer to 8.
- Remove the vanilla bean pod from the mixture, give it a quick stir, and pour into your ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. If your ice cream maker doesn't have a gelato setting, simply pull the ice cream from the machine when it is soft serve consistency.
- While the gelato is turning, melt the chocolate gently in the microwave at half power, stirring after every 30 second burst. When it is fully liquid, transfer to a zipper top bag or an icing bag and zip the bag or twist tie the bag shut. You want the chocolate to remain fluid, but just barely be warm enough to be that way.
- Scrape the gelato into a medium mixing bowl set over a larger bowl full of ice. Snip the very tip of the zipper top or icing bag off and quickly drizzle the chocolate over the gelato while stirring or whisking vigorously. As the chocolate hits the gelato, it firms up quickly. The action of the spoon breaks it up into tiny flakes that are dispersed throughout the gelato. You can serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency. For a more traditional gelato texture, scrape the finished gelato into a container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
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I meant “like.”
Is there any reason why I couldn’t add the melted chocolate while the gelato is still churning in the ice cream maker? It seems Locke it would be so much easier!
Hi Valerie- You could most certainly add the melted chocolate while still in the ice cream maker, but I’ve found I get the more delicate strands of chocolate by adding it as shown in the video. You just get more “bold” chocolate strands when you add it in the ice cream maker. 😀
Thanks for your speedy reply! I am ready to start churning it,
It is so good! I substituted vanilla bean paste for the vanilla bean, and skim milk for the whole. I also used instant espresso. Drizzling the chocolate in at the end of churning worked out well; I just did it slowly to avoid the big chunks. Next time I would use a little more espresso powder because…..coffee! I am in love with this gelato
Thank you, Valerie! Happy day! 😀
Holly Tirone says
Thank you for the recipe! I just made this however it is not silky at all and wondering what I did wrong! I used a kitchenaide ice cream maker. Looking for any feedback
Did you thoroughly whisk together the sugar and cornstarch before adding to the liquid? And did you bring it to a boil over medium heat? Those are two common issues. 🙂
Holly Tirone says
Yes, only thing I can think of is I churned it after the 4 hours and didn’t wait overnight. I’m more or less the impatient type lol. I have made over 15 ice creams/gelatos over the past two years and this is the first to come out like this. Idk maybe I needed to wait and let it completely chill overnight. Ty for responding ?
How many servings does this yield? Or how much in general does this make?
It yields roughly a half gallon of ice cream. Translation: Not enough for me. 😀
Oh my word! This looks AMAZING!!!
Something to add to my “have to make list”….
Oh my…. ALL KINDS OF YES! This looks divine, my friend! Bravo!
Joan Hayes says
Mmmm, this looks divine, and I love the video tutorial, so fun! And “Straciatella” really is fun to say (especially when said in an Italian accent!) 😀 Thanks for the recipe!
Millie | Add A Little says
I love straciatella Rebecca – reminds me of holidays in Italy! I love the video too! 🙂
Happy Valley Chow says
That looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I need to buy myself an ice cream maker ASAP 🙂
LOVE THE VIDEO!!!
Great post and recipe. I love making gelato but usually add the eggs – going to have to try your version out! Love the video – didn’t realize you did video as well.
HAhahahaha. Um. This is my third attempt, I think. 😀 You’re so kind, Denise. I’ve done eggs before, too, but this cornstarch thickener yielded the silkiest gelato I’ve ever made, so I may be incorporating this more often!
This looks so good Rebecca! I love your cute little video!! You make it look easy 🙂
Mama Mia! This looks so incredibly decadent, and due to the delicious cold spell we are currently experiencing, we are all craving frozen and semi-frozen treats to indulge in. This will undoubtably go over very well, thank you, Rebecca!
Oh my, just watched your video…,huge kudos to you for not squirting the chocolate all over while holding the bag and the bowl at the same time!
Hey. I don’t waste chocolate. 😀 If it had gone anywhere other than the bowl, the video would’ve included me licking the chocolate from wherever it landed.
Amen to that! 😉 That’s an unwritten culinary commandment, no?
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
All over this flavour!! This looks fabulous!
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says
I saw your teaser on IG and had to see the post! LOVE everything about this gelato! Pinning!