When he was 70, and some years into retirement, my dad got bored and opened a gelateria. He made spectacular ice-cream, although my mum made great ice-cream herself in her little home kitchen. Her speciality was a fior di latte base with bits in – nuts, candied fruit – while his was chestnut chocolate. Sadly, those days are gone, melted into memory.
Chocolate ice-cream is often disappointing, but not this. It’s easy, needs no specialist equipment and has extra chocolate pieces in it. Take a 397g can of condensed milk and put it in a big bowl, with 500ml of double cream and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Whisk to soft peaks and then add 50g of good cocoa powder. Whisk some more: it should hold its own on a spoon.
Add 100g of chopped chocolate truffles; you want something yielding – not hard chocolate, but not so soft you can’t gently chop it. Monty Bojangles Choccy Scoffy (Waitrose, £3.50 for 135g) is spot-on perfect for this. Other variations are available, so you can be adventurous.
Fold the chopped chocolate into the creamy mixture, dollop into a container and freeze. It’s absolutely perfect after about three hours in the freezer – and also keeps happily for at least a week.
If you like nuts, you can also chase 100g of hazelnuts around a dry frying pan on a gentle heat, with 2 tbsp of icing sugar, to gently caramelise, chop and add (when cooled) to the mixture at the same time as the truffles.