I’ve never had gelato before. And since I don’t think I’ll be making a trip to Italy or Europe anytime before the summer ends, in my mind, the logical thing was to try making it myself. I’m not sure how good of an idea it really is but I figured I’m game since we have an ice cream maker (a total steal of a $6 end-of-the-year clearance at Target a couple years ago). But I couldn’t decide on if I wanted to make chocolate gelato or try something more unusual like tea-flavored. At my husband’s insistence I combined the flavors and thus Chocolate Irish Breakfast Tea gelato was born.
For the base chocolate gelato, I used the Gelato Siciliano recipe. But, I added an extra step at the beginning. I brought two cups of whole milk to a simmer, removed it from the heat, and added tea infusers equal to 4 tablespoons of Adagio Teas‘ Irish Breakfast Tea. I let the milk and tea steep for one hour then followed the Gelato Siciliano recipe.
I did a quick taste-test after steeping the milk with the tea and it definitely tasted like tea but it needed the sugar that would be coming. A couple tea-related notes. First, I made sure to shake the tea infusers, full of dry tea, carefully to get any loose or small pieces out before going into the milk to steep. Also, after steeping, I spooned out the larger pieces of loose tea that had gotten into the milk.
The end of day one for the recipe was super easy and the gelato mix was smooth and frothy.
Day two is comprised of running the refrigerated mix through the ice cream maker. Apparently you’re supposed to have the maker running and then pour the mix in. I didn’t realize that so it went in half and half with the maker running. Oops? After about 20 minutes it was thick but still had a lot of liquid. Eventually we just let it run until it shut itself off. I was a little disappointed that it was still kind of watery and the gelato wasn’t very smooth. The liquid mix was completely smooth so I’m unsure why the difference.
Of course, the 90 degree day didn’t help with the softness of the gelato so it was practically melted just in the process of serving it. The chocolate flavor was really deep with maybe the slightest hint of the tea but it certainly wasn’t pronounced. If anything, the tea strengthened the chocolate flavor. But as my husband pointed out, even with the whole milk, it was more like chocolate water ice than anything creamy.