Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Scream, I Scream, We all Scream for... Gelato!!!

Why not Ice Cream? Oh Man, Gelato is SO much better! It's not just the "Italian Version" of Ice Cream. American Ice Cream, is defined as a frozen dairy product containing at least 10% Milk fat, while Gelato usually has less (7% or less). This is why the flavor of Gelato is more intense than mere Ice Cream. Fat coats the tongue and inhibits the taste buds.

Gelato is also served 10 degrees warmer, so it melts immediately over the tongue giving the burst of flavor Gelato is known for. Cold inhibits the tongues ability to taste, thus diminishing the flavor of Ice Cream.

Most Ice Cream is based on egg custard, unless it's Pennsylvania style. Gelato is sometimes bound by eggs, but can also be bound by cornstarch or contain no binders at all. Thus giving a purer flavor. It actually more closely resembles Ice Milk that anything else.

Gelato is made in a slightly different machine. An Ice Cream maker's "dasher" is designed to incorporate air into the finished product, up to half the volume of Ice Cream can be air. This gives is a "lightness". Air has no flavor, thus it diminishes the flavor of Ice Cream cause 45% of it is air. Gelato doesn't contain air, maybe 2% tops. It seems a little more "dense" but it's ALL flavor baby!!!

I give you this simple formula---

Less Fat + 10 Degrees -Air = Intensley Rich, Creamy Flavor = Gelato

This recipe is a little different. It's a Cinnamon flavored Ricotta Gelato, with a touch of Goat Cheese for a tang. The texture is not as smooth as is normally found, but that could also be because I do not really have access to much more than Ricotta from a tub in the MegaMart.

Gelato di Ricotta Cannella
2 cups Goat Milk
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Orange Blossom Honey (clover or vetch will work too)
4 broken Cinnamon Sticks
1/2 Mexican Vanilla Bean; Scraped of Caviar
1 1/4 oz fresh Goat Cheese (Montrachet, Chevre)
10 1/2 oz Ricotta Cheese (preferably goat, but cow will work)
Pinch of Salt

Combine Goat Milk, Sugar, Honey, Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean and Goat Cheese in a medium saucepan; heat, whisking frequently, over medium heat just to a bare simmer. (The French have a term for this, but I cant remember what it is right now, its late. Right before simmering is achieved, the surface of the liquid will kind of quiver, THAT is what you are looking for)

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Stir in ricotta cheese and pinch salt.

Pass mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.

Prepare and ice bath

Chill in an ice bath or in refrigerator until very cold.

Drag out the Ice Cream maker (they do actually make home Gelato machines)

Turn the icecream maker on, then slowly pour the chilled mixture into the machine. (Mine takes about 20 minutes for Gelato, 25-30 for Ice Cream)

Transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer to harden, about 2 hours or over night.

I have 2 options for serving, one of which will hopefully be a successful Alchemic surprise, but I am waiting on UPS...

Sorry to keep you in suspense.... ;)
OK, it has been completed, you can check it out here - Blood Orange Coulis


Bob said...

Suspense is fine. But you should find some way to send me some of that while I'm waiting. ;)

Spryte said...

That looks delicious!!