I road-tested Almond Breeze Chocolate a while ago. This is highly unusual for me as I generally either make my own almond milk or simply buy the Almond Breeze unsweetened plain variety. I like to add my own flavouring as whim takes me. But
sometimes late at night when I’m feeling lazy, it’s a godsend. Plus it’s chocolate and I am never not in the mood for chocolate. It is sweetened with raw sugar, and it is quite sweet, so I usually mix it with some plain unsweetened almond milk to suit my tastes.
I started cooking with it, of course, and it is fantastic in muffins, cakes, pancakes, and creamy desserts. My favourite way to use it is to make a classic pastry cream, or custard. For anyone who can’t have dairy, it makes a fantastic chocolate custard!
When your custard is made, it’s a simple hop, skip and a jump to gelato, isn’t it? Indeed, yes.
I made gelato.
Actually, I’ve made this gelato a number of times already. I love it because it is seems lighter than gelato made with dairy milk. If you have a lactose intolerance or allergy to dairy, it also means you have a great tasting gelato you can enjoy without fear.
Sure, it’s technically winter here now and you might think it is a little chilly for gelato but … chocolate and almond gelato … it’s downright transseasonal, isn’t it? Plus there’s that whole warm winter pudding with cold gelato combination that is so irresistable in winter 🙂
There is, of course, a little irony in my posting a gelato recipe now given I had a devil of a time taking photos on what turned out to be the gloomiest, dreariest day of the week. But that is the danger and excitement of food blogging and photography when natural lighting is your thing. Please forgive the unimpressive photos. This gelato deserves a much more creative and sun-kissed styling. Perhaps I will redo the photos next time, if the weather is willing.
I do rave about Almond Breeze a lot on the Chocolate Chilli Mango Facebook page and on Twitter. I really like it as it is extremely convenient and doesn’t contain a lot of the unwanted added extras like sunflower oil, and other ingredients that are so often added to non-dairy milks. It’s the next best thing if I don’t have time to make my own or I
want need almond milk now and cannot wait to soak my almonds overnight and make it.
A few weeks ago, I attended a Blog the Breeze event, hosted by Almond Breeze Australia, with some amazing local health and wellness bloggers here in Melbourne. It was a great opportunity to find out more about Almond Breeze (I really want a good unsweetened chocolate version … and vanilla) as well as mix it with some truly fantastic and inspiring bloggers. Guess who was the odd one out? I felt a bit like the devilish corruptor amongst all these pure and healthy angels. Me with my multiple personality blog 😉
The best part, for me, was discovering some wonderful women doing amazing work and sharing a whole range of healthy food and lifestyle resources … and they all come at it from different perspectives. One thing we all share is a passion for finding a balanced, healthy life and the food we eat and enjoy is a large part of that. Plus, a great sense of fun. We made up some fabulous almond milk smoothies on the day and you can find the recipes here and here.
I love to scatter crushed crunchy Italian torrone over the top of the gelato and swirl it through for serving. This recipe also doubles as a lovely dairy free pastry cream or custard. It is brilliant served with fruit, to accompany a dessert, or to fill tarts, layer cakes, or eclairs.
This is the chocolate almond milk I used in the recipe to follow. Of course, you can start with plain almond milk and simply add more cacao or chocolate and sugar to the recipe to get the same result.
This is a traditional style Italian gelato, made without cream. It is best served as soon as it is churned on the same day. For this reason the quantity made in this recipe is fairly small, enough to serve six people (or two to three hungry ones!)
The amount of sugar in the recipe is quite low because the chocolate almond milk is already very sweet. The extra sugar is there simply to balance the additional cacao, which gives the gelato added chocolate intensity. Coconut sugar is fantastic as it has a lovely toffee caramel flavour.
If making this recipe to use as a custard, include the cornflour. If making gelato, you can leave out the cornflour (I do). Without the cornflour the custard will not thicken as it does with the cornflour included, but this won't matter for the gelato. You can leave it in, of course. It is up to you.
- 76 grams egg yolks (4 large)
- 20 grams granulated coconut palm sugar
- 10 grams cornflour (omit for the gelato)
- 25 grams unsweetened cacao (I used Valrhona)
- 600 millilitres Almond Breeze Chocolate
- 15 millilitres Amaretto di Saronno liqueur
- 50 grams chopped torrone classico (crunchy Italian nougat)
Place the egg yolks, coconut sugar, cacao into a mixing bowl. If you are making the recipe to use as a pastry cream filling, add the cornflour. Leave out the cornflour if making the gelato.
Place the chocolate almond milk into a saucepan and place over a low to medium heat.
Add about 15 millilitres of the almond milk to the egg and cacao mixture and whisk together until smooth and creamy.
Bring the almond milk to simmering point. Remove from the heat and add it to the egg yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream as you whisk the mixture. Transfer the custard to the saucepan and cook over a low heat until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon or spatula.
Do not whisk the custard as it cooks. Use a spatula to stir it.
If you are making the custard for the gelato, the mixture will not thicken much at all (there is no cornflour to thicken it).
Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. If you would like to add some liqueur, add it now and stir through. Place the bowl in an iced water bath and stir until cooled. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
If making the gelato, refrigerate the custard for two to three hours before churning in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's directions.
I like to crush up some crunchy Italian torrone and swirl it through the gelato for crunch and an extra almond boost!
Scoop into bowls or gelato cones, top with more crush torrone and serve.
If using as a pastry cream filling or custard dessert, refrigerate until ready to use.
This custard will pipe easily as a filling for tarts, eclairs, and other pastries.
It is also lovely served with fresh or poached fruits or as part of a more elaborate dairy free dessert.