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White Chocolate, Basil, and Strawberry Gelato


White Chocolate, Basil, and Strawberry Gelato

This soft pink strawberry gelato transforms two quintessential summer ingredients, strawberries and basil, into a silky smooth treat with a delicate, sweet flavor.

White Chocolate, Strawberry and Basil Gelato //

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Strawberry and basil have to be two of the most delicious symbols of summer. And—good news!—they go together wonderfully. Although basil is a ubiquitous companion to tomatoes and pasta, it’s also a great flavor to use in desserts. The aromatic, herbal flavor of basil goes especially well with berries, to balance out their sweetness. In my book, strawberries and basil are simply the best together—in fact, I have a hard time serving a strawberry-based dessert without garnishing it with basil anymore.

I make most of my gelati using a Sicilian-Style Gelato Base, which uses a bit of cornstarch as a thickening agent instead of the usual egg yolks. The process of making the basic custard is the same except for one simple extra step: melting the chopped chocolate into the hot milk and cream mixture in the first step. In this White Chocolate, Basil, and Strawberry Gelato, the white chocolate adds body and a sublime creaminess to the treat, which means you can skip the one remaining egg yolk that’s usually whisked into the Sicilian-Style Gelato Base, too.

White Chocolate, Strawberry and Basil Gelato //

Helpful Tips for Making White Chocolate, Basil, and Strawberry Gelato

Use the Best Quality of Ingredients You Can Afford

The choice of ingredients you use to make gelato matters. Top-quality ingredients deliver the best flavor, aroma, and texture. Here are a few tips about the ingredients you’ll need to make this strawberry gelato:

  • White Chocolate: You may know white chocolate isn’t, in fact, chocolate. It is rather a confection made with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids. To be called white chocolate, the confection must contain at least 20% cocoa butter. For the best texture and flavor in baking and ice cream, use white chocolate that contains at least 28% cocoa butter. I recommend the following brands:
  • Strawberries: Of course, fresh summer strawberries produce the most striking berry flavor in gelato. Make sure to use bright red, juicy, sweet berries in this recipe—the ones that would provide you the most pleasure if you were to eat them straight from the basket.
  • Basil: Nowadays, you can easily find several varieties of basil, offering a wide range of aromas. In this recipe, Genovese basil works best because it has a round, sweet flavor that complements strawberries to perfection. Beware of varieties with anise or licorice undertones because such flavors would overpower the other delicate, sweet ingredients used in the gelato.

White Chocolate, Strawberry and Basil Gelato //

Plan Ahead

As with all gelato flavors, you should start the cherry ripple gelato-making process a day in advance. Both the cherry puree and the gelato base need to be refrigerated to cool completely before being combined and churned together. Gelato custard must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.

Bring Strawberry Gelato Back to Room Temp Before Serving

Always remember to bring this blush pink strawberry gelato to room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving. That will not only make it easier to serve—gelato’s lower fat content means it freezes rock hard—but also soften it to a consistency closer to what you would enjoy at a gelati bar, waking up the flavors and giving it the luxurious texture that is so easy to fall in love with.


Never made gelato before? Curious about what makes gelato different from ice cream? Check out my colorful masterclass! In it, you’ll find out what makes gelato different from ice cream, how to make a versatile gelato base you can turn into various 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.

This masterclass was previously hosted behind a paywall on an educational site where thousands of students rated it 5 STARS! It’s now available to all gelato lovers worldwide, absolutely free. Watch Now!

More Delicious Homemade Gelato Recipes

Love gelato? Then you need to give these creative, homemade gelato recipes a try.

Rhubarb Gelato // Sweet Corn Gelato // Mandorla e Arancia Gelato // Almond and Orange Gelato //

White Chocolate, Strawberry and Basil Gelato //

White Chocolate, Basil, and Strawberry Gelato

This soft pink strawberry gelato transforms two quintessential summer ingredients, strawberries and basil, into a silky smooth treat with a delicate, sweet flavor.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Cooling + Freezing Time:4 hours
Servings 1 quart (4 cups/1L)


For the White Chocolate Gelato Base

For the Strawberry Basil Puree

  • 20 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh Genovese (sweet) basil leaves (about 16 large leaves), minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • For the White Chocolate Gelato Base: Measure out the milk, then scoop out 2 tbsp (30 ml) and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Pour the remaining milk in a medium saucepan, then add the heavy cream, white chocolate, and sugar. Set over medium heat and whisk constantly until the white chocolate and sugar are fully melted and incorporated. Remove from the heat temporarily.
  • Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved milk. Pour into the saucepan and whisk to combine. Return the mixture over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes. (The mixture will thicken slightly.)
  • Pour the custard into an airtight container. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
    The white chocolate gelato base must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.
  • For the Strawberry and Basil Puree: In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and water, and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft and broken down and the juices are thick. Remove from the heat, then puree using a stand blender, a stick blender, or a food processor. Stir in the basil and lemon juice, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely cool.
  • To churn the gelato: Strain the strawberry puree and discard the basil leaves. Measure out 2 cups (500 ml) of strawberry and basil puree to use in the gelato. (Save the remaining puree, if any, to spoon over the churned gelato as a coulis, or add to a smoothie.)
  • Whisk the strawberry and basil puree into the cold gelato base. Strain again to make sure the gelato is silky smooth. Pour the white chocolate, strawberry and basil gelato custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is thick and icy but still easily spoonable.
  • STORAGE: Transfer the strawberry gelato to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about two hours.
    Strawberry gelato is at its creamiest and best if enjoyed within 2 weeks. Past that, some ice crystals will inevitably start forming (especially if the gelato is kept in the freezer section of a regular fridge, as opposed to a chest freezer) and the texture won't be quite as smooth. The gelato will still be perfectly edible for up to 2 months, but my advice is: enjoy it as quickly as possible after churning.
  • SERVING: Always take strawberry gelato out to room temperature 20 minutes before serving to make it easier to scoop. This will also allow you to enjoy the treat at its ideal temperature and texture.
  • MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: Substitute lactose-free milk or oat milk for the regular milk, and lactose-free heavy cream or soy cream for the regular heavy cream.

Did you make this?

Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.

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Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling + Freezing Time: 4 hours


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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe. Just made it for the second time.

    I am interested to hear what you would recommend pairing this with for a dessert – other than on its own…


    • Hi Chris! I love serving this gelato with something super chocolatey such as brownies or a chocolate torte. I find that the gelato adds a welcome touch of freshness to robust flavors, and a sprinkle of sophistication too! ✨😉