Continuing on in my Ice Cream Making Series.... Gelato
I have been a gelato devotee since the first time I tasted it…. as an ice cream lover… it isn’t rocket science that I would love it…. but what exactly is gelato?
Gelato is an Italian version of ice cream… the primary difference is that gelato has a lower butterfat content. For example… I have a basic gelato “base” recipe that uses 2 cups whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream.... my “base” ice cream recipe uses the reverse… 1 cup whole milk to 2 cups heavy cream….
Gelato is creamier and softer than ice cream… it just melts easily in your mouth… and because of that… the flavors seem enhanced…. If you haven’t tried gelato… you really need to… the Italians knew what they were doing when they made this.
As far as making gelato… it’s not hard… you have a few extra steps in there… you cook the milk/cream mixture with sugar then chill it before putting it into the ice cream maker. … which brings me to the next thing… the ice cream maker… there are recipes out there for making gelato without the ice cream maker… I even posted one last year .. a Peach Gelato…. they’re good… no doubt… but gelato is unbelievable made with an ice cream maker.. no comparison whatsoever… and I wouldn’t lie to you… if I thought they were equal I’d tell you.. they just simply are not.
This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis… she took the basic gelato recipe (it’s a pretty common base) and flavored it with Nutella…. The result… absolutely fabulous… genius.. true genius… she suggests toasting hazelnuts and crushing them to use as a garnish… a terrific idea… I omitted it, however… we have nut issues.
If you’re having a dinner party this summer and want to dazzle your guests … make this gelato… serve it in a fancy glass… add a gourmet cookie… you will be the star for sure….
But a word of warning… people do have nut allergies … so even though they don’t show.. the Nutella contains hazelnuts… be sure no one has an allergy…. AND people have digestive issues with nut pieces as well… so before you sprinkle anything with nuts… be sure everyone can have them.
This is just fabulous… you really need to try it.
Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato
All you need:
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar, plus ¼ cup
4 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup Nutella
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed, for garnish (optional)
All you need to do:
(I used my standing mixer)… beat the egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar for about 4-5 minutes until the eggs are thick and pale yellow.
Combine the milk, cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved… stir constantly (about 5 minutes).
Pour ½ cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks and use a whisk to mix completely then pour it back into the saucepan…. Don’t whisk it… stir it… the whisk is just a good tool to use to get it mixed well.
Cook over very low heat until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 7-10 minutes). I stirred this constantly.
Place a strainer over a medium to large bowl. Suggestion: I used a batter bowl with a spout this will make it easier to pour into the ice cream maker after it was chilled.
After straining the warm mixture into the bowl, add the vanilla extract and Nutella. Stir until the Nutella dissolves…. Be sure to mix it well….. I used a whisk to stir it to get all the chocolate off the bottom of the bowl… the mixture will look like a light colored chocolate milk.
Chill in the refrigerator for several hours. Note: My mixture developed a little skin on the top… I whisked it into the mixture as well as I could.. there were some dark flecks… but after freezing in the ice cream maker, they disappeared.
After mixture is completely chilled… pour into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you have the same Cuisinart ICE-20 model as I do… flip the machine on and pour the mixture through the spout. Allow the machine to freeze for 30 minutes. The gelato will have the same consistency as soft serve ice cream… scoop the gelato into a freezer container and freeze.
The gelato should freeze hard but it will be a bit softer than ice cream freezes.
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