Makes a scant quart gelato or 6 to 12 fudge pops.
(Adapted from Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from A Life in Chocolate (Artisan, 2003) by Alice Medrich).
Sicilian gelato is light and refreshing. If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can make an icy granita or fudge pops with the same recipe.
To Make the Base
In medium saucepan bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer. Meanwhile, put the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch into a bowl and whisk in the remaining cup of milk. Scrape the cocoa mixture into the hot milk. Cook, stirring constantly and sweeping the sides and corners of the pot, until the mixture thickens and bubbles a little at the edges. Stir and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Scrape the mixture into a clean bowl and cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap. Chill without stirring, until very cold to the touch.
To Make the Gelato
Freeze according to the instructions with your ice cream maker. The mixture is thick to begin with and may take less time than average in the ice cream maker.
To Make Fudge Pops
Divide the chilled gelato base among the ice pop molds and freeze overnight. These will have a slightly icy texture. (If you have an ice cream maker and would like fudge pops with a creamier texture, make the gelato in the ice cream maker as directed, before dividing it among the pop molds.)
To Make Granita
Make the gelato base as directed, but pour it into a shallow baking dish (instead of a bowl) for faster cooling and freezing. Chill and then put the dish in the freezer. In about an hour, the mixture will begin to freeze along the sides of the pan. Using a fork, scrape the ice towards the center of the pan. Repeat this process every 20 minutes or so until all of the mixture is frozen and flaked.