Where to start with making chocolate ice cream…

It is widely accepted that chocolate flavour ice cream is one of the ‘must haves’ in an ice cream cabinet, whether you are a traditional seaside parlour or an in town gelateria.  However making chocolate ice cream can be tricky.  Chocolate ice cream was, of course, one of the original three Neapolitan flavours, and with vanilla and strawberry still form key flavours in cabinets across the UK today. However chocolate ice cream has come a long way since the standard Neapolitan chocolate of the 60s and 70s.  Antonelli’s National Technical Manager – Jonnathan Ireland (aka ‘Gelato Jonny’) finds that some novice ice cream makers are a little daunted about where to start with making chocolate ice cream or gelato.

“There are so many chocolate ingredients available that some people panic about which ones to buy and what processes to use” explains Gelato Jonny, “the key thing is to start simple and work up to more complex recipes where balancing the ingredients becomes more challenging once you are more confident”.  For those wishing to experiment with making chocolate ice cream we can offer specialist chocolate ice cream and gelato courses which we call ‘Chocolate unwrapped’.  See our Specialist Courses page for details on all our specialist ice cream training courses.

Keeping it simple when starting to make chocolate ice cream

Consistency in producing the same product repeatedly with a good flavour is key to achieving a delicious chocolate ice cream or gelato.  We recommend starting with a ready in the bag product to assist with making chocolate ice cream initially.  The MEC3 ‘Extra’ line is a great choice with options from milky to ruby to dark chocolate and some in between. To see the full range search for Chocolate Extra on our main website www.antonelli.co.uk.  Alternatively you could use a chocolate paste which you can also find on our main website.

Once you have selected the type of chocolate flavour you would like, ensure you make it in small batches.  Small batch processes help to preserve the integrity of the chocolate and allow you to achieve a consistent product.

Progression in making chocolate ice cream

Once you are confident with making a consistently good chocolate ice cream from a paste or ready in the bag product, then you might consider experimenting with using chocolate callets and powders.  It is a delicate balance of flavours and is generally harder to manage stock levels of ingredients. 

What chocolate ingredients might you select?

The ingredients you select really depends on how dark or bitter you would like your chocolate ice cream or gelato to be.  The percentage of cocoa indicates the bitterness of the chocolate.  We would recommend starting by using a cocoa powder or callet with around 54% cocoa, which will result in a milk chocolate base, which is probably the most popular.  If you increase the percentage of cocoa the chocolate ice cream will become darker, using the same ingredients but with a different balance.  You can actually use a blend of callets and powder.  To create a delicious chocolate ice cream or gelato using these ingredients you will need to use a pasteuriser as the callets and powders need heat to dissolve. 

For those looking for chocolate flavours suitable for vegans, diabetics or non dairy options we can also help with those.  You can book a One to One course , or just email training@antonelli.co.uk describing your requirements.  Alternatively you can call us on 0161 789 8808.

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