Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gelato alle Fragole

Truth be known, I can make a Gelato out of anything and you can too.  The Gelateria (Ice cream shop),  in Italy follows this same concept with a vast selection of flavors and textures to try, sometimes several at a time.  I can never get enough.
Follow these basic rules for a 1 quart,  standard electric Ice cream machine. I have never used the hand crank version.  I think every household needs one of these as it makes a small amount.  Who wants a gallon of anything in the freezer anyway?  This will encourage you to make more Gelato and sorbets out of more fresh fruit.  I do this on a regular basis, even in Winter.  It doesn't matter if it comes out to be a little less than you expect out of this machine.  It's easy to do, that is what is important.  Use smaller containers when serving.  Remember, a sweet ending is designed to compliment a meal, not be the meal.  Although I must admit, It's hard to resist a second cup full.

Recipe for Strawberry Gelato:
4 cups Organic Strawberries (whole), cleaned of their tops
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
(I used  2 tablespoons of Limoncello, added directly into the ice cream  maker.  You can use lemon juice if you like or even leave it out).

2 cups whole, Organic Milk (if you wish to use low fat, Organic milk, that will be fine.  You will still get great flavor, just not the same consistency).

Make your sugar syrup.  Add your water and sugar in a pan on low heat.  Mix gently until all your sugar is melted and dissolved.  Set aside.  Heat your milk,  add your corn starch a little at a time until all is incorporated.  Bring up to a boil and turn the heat off.  Remove from heat.  Add your sugar syrup  into your milk mixture  stirring gently to combine.   Set aside to cool.  In the meantime, Place your four cups of strawberries into the food processor and process until a liquid consistency. 
 Pour through a metal strainer and discard any residue left in the strainer.  

Slowly pour your strawberry liquid into your milk mixture.  Keep adding your liquid until combined.  Your milk will now turn a pretty pink color.

  Pour into a container and place in your refrigerator for up to 3 hours.  It must be cold before you place it into your ice cream machine. 
Plug in your machine and turn it on.   Gently pour your mixture into the machine slowly.  It only takes 20-25 minutes for some delicious Strawberry Gelato. 

 Buon Appetito! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Baci Chocolate Gelato at Home~

This is the closest Gelato you will ever have at home  without going to a speciality ice cream shop. It's simple and easy to do at home. Why do we think Gelato is complicated to make?  Use this for your base to make any flavor your like.  In fact, leave out the cocoa powder and make Fior di latte.  The possibilities are endless.  Make any you like.   Good, quality ingredients yeild a fantastic result.  I found my husbands secret stash of Baci Perugina Chocolates from Perugia Italy.  These dark chocolate Italian kisses still come with a love note inside.  In the center of the chocolate you will find a large hazelnut. They are hard to resist out of the box.  Broken into pieces, you just need a few for a wonderful result.  This recipe yields slightly under a quart or 24 oz of gelato.
Ingredients:  One Ice cream maker.  I keep my insert in the freezer so it's always ready to go.
3 cups of Whole Milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder. (Look for one with the highest percentages of Cacao).
3 tablespoons of CORNSTARCH
4 Baci Perugina Chocolates (You may use as many you like. 4 per pint seems to be a nice balance)

In a bowl mix together your sugar, one cup of milk, cocoa, corn starch and set aside. 
In a saucepan heat 2 cups of milk until hot and bubbly around the edges. Be careful as you just want it to be just under the boiling point overall.  If you milk begins to smell or burn, start again.   Quickly but slowly (with your heat off),  whisk in your milk/sugar/cocoa/cornstarch  mix until combined.  Continue to mix well.    Turn your heat back to low and mix until your sugar and cocoa has dissolved.   This should take no more than 8 minutes. Taste to make sure your sugar has melted.  Pour into a container and chill overnight or for at least 6 hours in your refrigerator. 
At this point lay your chocolates across some wax or parchment paper.  Cover with another piece of  paper.  With a mallet, hammer or back of a glass, gently crush your Baci Chocolates.  Add to your mix.

Set out your ice cream machine with your chilled insert and turn on. 
Combine your broken chocolate pieces with your mix then gently pour your Gelato mix into your ice cream maker. In 20-25 minutes you wll have creamy Baci Gelato.
Pour your Gelato into a container and place in your freezer until ready to use.  It can be made up to 3 days in advance.  Remember, the longer it's in the freezer, the harder it will become. To prevent it from icing over the top, place a piece of wax paper between your gelato and cover.  Close your lid tightly.  You will have to set it out for 10 minutes before scooping out and serving.  Buon Appetito. 


Special Note:  The general rule for Gelato making is One cup milk / one tablespoon Cornstarch.  This will yeild your best, creamy result. You do not need eggs~  Enjoy!