Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits for Casual Friday

What comes to mind when you think of summertime?  This year we all might talk about the extreme heat, but normally you might discuss vacations to the beach, barbecues in the backyard and all the great foods that we associate with summer.

Those foods just might include ribs and chicken on the grill, steamed lobster, fresh sweet local corn, dill potato salad, a big juicy watermelon and ice cream or gelato.  There is no comparison to homemade ice cream or gelato, so if you haven’t made a batch of your own yet, now is the time to start.

These frozen concoctions are incredibly simple to make.  Gelato is probably the easiest as it generally does not require making a custard base.  This particular recipe does have you thicken the milk with cornstarch.  The results are a beautifully rich, silky and decadent chocolate gelato.

Rich, luscious and silky smooth!

I chose a Vietnamese cinnamon that I thought went well with the bittersweet chocolate.  I really liked the prominent cinnamon presence, but if you are hesitant about a strong cinnamon flavor, you might want to cut the amount back a little bit or use regular cinnamon that you purchase at the grocery store.

Use Scharffen Berger chocolate.  It’s all about the chocolate in this recipe, so be sure to invest in a good one.  The original recipe called for crushed toffee candy (like a Heath bar), but I substituted crushed pieces from a Valor Dark Chocolate with Truffle and Almond bar.  If there was ever to be a real death by chocolate, this just might be it!

I may have them both. Shhh...don't tell!

Here are some other Chocolate Gelato recipes you might like to try:

Decadent Dark Chocolate Gelato from Educated Palate

Chocolate Gelato from Eddy Van Damme

Chocolate Gelato from Saveur

If you do not have an ice cream maker, I suggest this Pure Indulgence model by Cuisinart.  It is my favorite. :)

Enjoy your weekend!

Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits

Yield: 3 cups


1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used Vietnamese)
Pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk, divided
5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Scharffen Berger bittersweet)
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup coarsely crushed toffee candy (such as Skor, Heath bar, or Almond Roca) (I used Valor Dark Chocolate with Truffle and Almond)


Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in heavy medium saucepan until blended. Gradually add 1/4 cup milk, whisking until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in remaining 1 3/4 cups milk. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and comes to boil, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minute longer, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until melted and smooth.

Transfer gelato base to medium bowl. Mix in cream. Place bowl over large bowl filled with ice and water and cool, stirring often, about 30 minutes.

Process gelato base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, adding toffee during last minute of churning. Transfer to container; cover. Freeze at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan
Bon Appetit - June 2006

17 Responses to “Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato with Toffee Bits for Casual Friday”

  1. 1

    Cristina — July 22, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    Mmmm…I’ve been on a super chocolate craving these weeks. I’m going to have to try this and grab this introduction for gelato. I bet the Vietnamese cinnamon makes all the difference too. I’ll have to find that variety.

    How have you and Mr. Bunky been? Hope the summer heat is being gentle/kind to you out there. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

  2. 2

    Nelly Rodriguez — July 22, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    Yum, a perfect summer treat! Ice Cream is on my rewards list for when I lose these first 10 pounds! :)

  3. 3

    Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup! — July 22, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    The chocolate, cinnamon and toffee combo sounds decadent! I would have eaten both bowls 😉

  4. 4

    Susan in the Boonies — July 22, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Toffee bits. Mmmmm….

    Must. Not. Fixate.

  5. 5

    Kimmy @ Lighter and Local — July 22, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    This gelato seriously combines all of my favorite things. I’ve been looking for my next frozen treat to make and an excuse to get the ice cream maker out… I believe I have found it!

  6. 6

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — July 22, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    On a day like today, I could really use a scoop (or a whole gallon) of this decadent gelato!

  7. 7

    Maria — July 22, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    I need a scoop of this ASAP!

  8. 8

    Mrs. Jen B — July 23, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    Well, it’s official: I need an ice cream maker. Like, NEED one. Because this? Is too good not to be enjoyed! :) Gorgeous, I can practically taste it just looking at the photos and reading your words.

  9. 9

    Heidi @ Food Doodles — July 23, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    Chocolate and cinnamon sounds like such a good combination, I can’t believe I’ve never had it before. And I love the addition of toffee bits. This gelato really sounds, and looks amazing!

  10. 10

    Jamie — July 25, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    This is gorgeous gelato! I always add cinnamon to chocolate desserts and think it is the perfect complement. Perfect recipe. Now to make room in my freezer…

  11. 11

    Monet — July 25, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    Chocolate, cinnamon and toffee…this sounds just heavenly! Especially since it is 105 degrees outside right now! Thank you for sharing another summer treat with me today. Your culinary creativity inspires me in my own baking endeavors. I hope you had a good Monday. Smiles and love this week!

  12. 12

    redkathy — July 26, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    Oh this is amazing gelato Gwen! I still don’t have an ice cream maker and as such have resorted to granita, the next best thing!

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

      Hi Kathy,

      Granita is good too and a bit lighter. I probably need to make it more often.


  13. 13

    Ronnie Campbell — July 27, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    i DID IT! Broke down and ordered a Cuisinart so I can make this and the lovely lavender honey ice cream. Thanks, Gwen, for the recommendation. I can’t wait to start making home-made ice cream!

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

      That’s great news Ronnie! You will not be sorry with the new addition to your kitchen. Homemade ice cream is incredible! :)

  14. 14

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors — July 27, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    What an amazing gelato Gewn – you are evil for making me want to throw all my resolutions in the wind and bury my face in a bowl of this lovely!

    BTW, will you be going to the foodbuzz conference in Nov?

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

      Hi Devaki,

      What resolutions?! I have tossed mine all away lately, too. It’s so hard…

      I will not be attending the Foodbuzz conference, but I may go to IFBC in New Orleans. How about you?


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