Here are a couple of great gelato recipes that you should check out for the holidays this year. As I said before, I think gelato is going to be America’s next food craze and you should introduce your friends and family to gelato this Holiday season. Why give another fruitcake, or bring a pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving dinner.
Everyone will love your homemade gelato and will appreciate that you put in the effort to make it yourself. Gelato makes the perfect low-budget holiday gift. Just put your gelato in a tupperware container, wrap it with a bow and include a card (with the gelato recipe of course). I give homemade gelato to all of my friends. Many look forward all explanation of gelato pod year to receiving my gelato. I go the extra mile and use an elegant glass container instead of tupperware. My friends get a heart felt gift, they get to keep and use the container it came in, and they can try to duplicate it because I include the gelato recipes. Lots of my friends have gotten into gelato making after receiving a gift from me.
Try these gelato recipes (from Bon Appetit magazine) this holiday season:
Cinnamon, Chocolate & Toffee Gelato – Absolutely Perfect with Hot Chocolate!
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups whole milk, divided
- 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup coarsely crushed toffee candy (such as Skor, Heath bar, or Almond Roca)
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.
Zagablione Gelato – Try this one with a little Egg Nog
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons imported dry Marsala
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk yolks and sugar in medium bowl until thick, about 2 minutes. Heat milk and cream in medium saucepan over medium heat until mixture bubbles at edges. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture; return to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until custard leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across and temperature registers 170°F, about 6 minutes. Immediately pour custard through sieve set over another medium bowl. Stir Marsala, rum, and vanilla into custard. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Ice Cream Vs Gelato – What’s the Difference?
Some think that “gelato” is just the Italian term for what we Americans know as “ice cream”. While they are both frozen dairy desserts, there are enough differences between them to make a clear culinary distinction from one another. The differences mainly stem from the ingredients and processing methods.
Ice cream includes much more fat (or butterfat) than gelato. By lawful definition, ice cream includes a minimum of 10% fat, and can have up to 18%, defined by its higher cream content. Gelato recipes call for milk (low-fat to whole), and generally use little or no cream, making the fat content between 3% to 8%.
Egg yolks are used in higher quantity in gelato; more so in the custard based variety, such as chocolate or caramel flavors. Eggs aid in thickening the milk base for frozen desserts.
Gelato is typically known for using fresh and high quality ingredients, as opposed to its similar frozen dessert counterpart, in which artificial ingredients, such as syrups, can be found along with other preservatives. This is one of the reasons that gelato is best consumed within a day or two of a freshly made batch.
Sugar content also plays a role in the differences between these frozen desserts. Ordinarily there is less sugar in gelato; as low as 16% in gelato and as much as 21% in ice cream, according to wikipedia.org. Some culinary experts even go as far as to balance the sugar and water content to prevent the gelato from freezing solid to maintain the traditional creamy consistency.
Flavor & Consistency
Gelato is churned at a much slower speed with the goal of introducing as little air as possible into the mix. This creates a density that is associated with creamy rich gelato. Ice cream, on the other hand, aims to be light and fluffy, and incorporates 50% or more air whipped into it by using faster mixing speeds, thus creating a higher volume of the frozen dessert. Special gelato equipment is necessary to create the desired low air infused, or whipped affect. These special machines are usually only available at the professional level and may be the reason why so many gelaterias are popping up all over the country.
While the serving temperatures of both frozen desserts are under the freezing mark, gelato is presented at 5°F and ice cream at -10°F; a 15° difference. The higher temperature is one of the contributing factors in the soft consistency of gelato, which is a lot like soft-serve, causing the melting rate to be much faster than traditional ice cream. The lower fat content of gelato is another reason it melts more quickly than ice cream.
Gelato is gaining popularity among the frozen dessert aficionados due to the richness in flavor that is achieved by using high quality and fresh ingredients and slow-churn processing. Therefore, it is typically made in small artisan batches, as opposed to ice cream, which can easily be made in larger quantities.
Ice cream can be stored frozen for months, while gelato is best consumed within days in order to preserve freshness and its gelato print on demand company famed creamy consistency. Those with and without trained palates can tell if gelato is past its prime if noticeable ice crystals have formed, or if the intensity of the flavor has diminished to a bland state.
Now that you’re aware of the technical differences between ice cream and gelato, it would be fun to do some real life sampling to put your new knowledge to the test!
Mariela Perez-Simons is the President of Perez-Simons Web Studios, based in Greensboro, NC, which provides web design, internet marketing, SEO, & social media services to small to mid-size organizations and businesses.