Up till tonight, I thought my absolute favorite gelato was fresh mint stracciatella. And that is a special summertime treat. But my friend Chu suggested I make a coconut gelato. Hmm, OK. I’m always up for something new.
I love words. And I love Mounds! Yet sometimes words fail me. What words could possibly describe Mounds gelato? A coconut-infused stracciatella with buzzed-up bits of moist coconut, the lovely addition of not one, but two different rums and a drizzle of dark chocolate?
With apologies to Julie Andrews and Mary Poppins, I give you supercali-hella-licious–because I do think I have a new favorite here, amici! Rich, creamy, cool and coconutty–everything you’d expect a homemade Mounds gelato to be.
1 ½ cups whole milk (Arethusa Farm these days—from Litchfield, CT–remains my very favorite, have you tried it yet?)
¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup Baker’s Angel Flake coconut (sweetened)
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon Malibu rum
1 tablespoon spiced rum (try Brinley Gold Shipwreck or use a dark rum)
¼ cup (2 oz.) dark chocolate (I ♥ Valrhona feves)
Heat milk, heavy cream, coconut and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, till small bubbles form at edge of pan. I used my Oxo Good Grips potato masher to press on the coconut throughout the process. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 1 hour. Discard vanilla bean.
Transfer milk/cream/coconut mixture to a food processor. Pulse to chop up the coconut. Add back to pan.
In a separate bowl, beat together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk till smooth. Temper egg mixture by slowly adding to milk/cream/coconut, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat and continue to whisk until mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Do not let it boil!
Strain through fine-mesh sieve into clean bowl. Of course, the coconut won’t pass through the sieve, so fold that right back into the bowl. Stir in salt, rums and almond extract. Let cool to room temperature. You can make an ice bath to speed up the process. Chill custard overnight or at least four hours.
Just before turning the chilled custard into your ice cream maker, place the custard and the dasher from your machine into the freezer for up to 10 minutes. And now, time to spin it up: process according to your ice cream machine’s directions
While your gelato processes, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave. When the gelato is almost finished (aim for 5 minutes before it’s time to turn off the machine), use your spatula to drizzle the melted chocolate S-L-O-W-L-Y, carefully and patiently in a fine stream. I try to zigzag back and forth to make a continuous line. The chocolate will harden in tiny bits and streaks that make the gelato uniquely stracciatella and not just ordinary chocolate chip!
Mounds of deliciousness await you, amici! Dig in! And stay cool!