For the gelato: Scoop the softened gelato into a large mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dulce de leche and malted powder to taste, if using. Transfer to an airtight container and refreeze for 2 hours.
For the chunnel cakes: Mix together 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, orange zest, salt and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, olive oil and eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients, stirring to create a smooth, shiny batter. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a medium-size star tip, or a re-sealable freezer bag with a corner snipped off and fitted with the same. Transfer the filled bag to the refrigerator to chill until very cold, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Fill a wide, shallow pot or Dutch oven with 3 inches of vegetable oil, and heat the oil to 360 degrees F.
Working in batches, carefully pipe 3-inch coils of the batter into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 5 minutes. With a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the fried cakes to the bowl with the cinnamon sugar and coat with sugar on both sides.
For the sandwich build: Take one chunnel cake and place a scoop (about 1/3 cup) of the dulce de leche ice cream on top. Sandwich with another chunnel cake, and drizzle with some extra dulce de leche. Serve immediately or freeze for later.
Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro