This dark chocolate gelato is for true chocoholics: a spoonful provides the strongest hit of cocoa you’ll ever taste, short of biting into a square of dark chocolate.
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Dark chocolate is my go-to weeknight dessert: I end most meals with a square of 70% chocolate. I eat it slowly, let it melt on my tongue, and enjoy its luxurious texture. I find dark chocolate to be the perfect palate cleanser: a single square of this bittersweet treat leaves me in an uplifted mood.
A few years ago, I had the idea of transforming my favorite dark chocolate square into a rich, indulgent dark chocolate gelato. The resulting dark chocolate gelato is everything a square of dark chocolate is: it’s rich, silky smooth, and indulgent—with the bonus of being refreshing, too. Dark chocolate gelato is an impressive dessert to serve to company, and by far the most popular gelato flavor I make.
The secret to this chocolate gelato is the use of dark cocoa powder. Also called Dutch-processed cocoa powder, this ingredient gives a rich, earthy flavor to chocolate gelato, but also provides a gorgeous, deep, dark brown color. I recommend using Valrhona’s cocoa powder, which is incredibly rich and smooth. It’s pricey, but one package will last you a long time and push your favorite chocolate desserts from good to exceptional.
For the best flavor and texture, I suggest combining oat milk with coconut cream. Oat milk has a smooth, subtle flavor that is very close to that of dairy milk, whereas coconut cream delivers an unbelievably rich texture. Coconut milk and coconut cream both have quite a strong flavor, so using only coconut cream and combining it with oat milk creates the perfect balance.
Having said that, here’s how to substitute the original ingredients to make this vegan chocolate gelato:
Be aware that the terms “coconut milk” and “coconut cream” are sometimes used interchangeably. To make sure you’re buying real coconut cream, choose a product with at least 20% fat content. The label of quality coconut cream products will always clearly indicate the fat content.
If you don’t mind an underlying coconut flavor (it marries really well with the taste of dark chocolate!), you can use a combination of coconut milk and cream. Alternatively, you can use other plant-based milks and cream, keeping the same milk-to-cream ratio for the best texture. Always make sure the vegan products you choose can withstand being heated and boiled to avoid the chocolate gelato turning grainy. Products labeled with the word “Barista” are sure picks: it means they can withstand high heat.
Never made gelato before? Curious about what makes gelato different from ice cream? Check out my detailed video class: How to Make Gelato: Tips and Recipes to Make the Delightful Italian Frozen Treat. In it, you’ll find out what makes gelato different from ice cream, how to make a versatile gelato base you can turn into a variety of flavors, and all my secrets and tips to churn and serve outstanding gelato. I even share how to make dairy-free vegan gelato! In short, it’s a very thorough, colorful class that will quickly turn you into a gelato master. Watch Now!
Love gelato? Then you need to give these classic, homemade gelato recipes a try.
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