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*July 2011 COTM, BATALI II: Gelato & Sorbetto

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapter Gelato & Sorbetto in Molto Gusto.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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    A very chocolatey dessert with a pudding consistency. Don't make this if you expect a chocolate mousse-type dessert--or DO make this, but expect something unctuous, spoonable, and like a childhood pudding that has moved into the adult realm because of the bittersweet chocolate. 1 cup cocoa powder (I used Callebaut) 1/2 cup flour, 2 cups sugar and 4 and 1/2 cups whole milk are whisked together and brought slowly to a boil. Then 12 ounces of grated semisweet chocolate (I used Trader Joe's) 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon are added and stirred until the chocolate is melted. The resulting pudding is poured into ten 6-ounce ramekins and cooled, covered, and chilled. Five TBS of toasted pine nuts are sprinkled over the ramekins before serving. The instructions also suggest serving with a good dollop of unsweetened whipped-cream.

    I followed the instructions regarding the unsweetened whipped cream--heck; I followed all the instructions just as given and the result was delicious. Not for the faint-of-chocolate, because the result is quite bittersweet but so tasty. We finished off the last of the Cabernet with it . . . I did end up with extra pudding (oh darn) which I poured into four little dishes.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Goblin

      Sounds delicious! Which of the two books is this from? (sorry, I haven't cracked the cover of my two books, but I will!)


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Dairy Queen, I blushingly have to admit that this recipe is from neither: I mistakenly purchased Batali's Molto Italiano thinking it was Molto Gusto! Caitlin tactfully brought this to my attention this morning. I'd change the review to the correct thread (Caitlin found that for me) if I knew how to do so! Sorry, all you Chowhounds. If you DID want the recipe anyway, I think my instructions above are enough to make it.

        1. re: Goblin

          I'm not really chasing you around the boards, but I happened to see your post. Here's the dessert thread from Batali's month in 2008. Just put your pudding report at the end on the thread...

          1. re: Gio

            Thanks for chasing me; I copied and added my review to the correct thread!

            1. re: Goblin

              Well, thank you for reporting on it anyway. It sounds delicious. Well at least there are Molto Gusto threads for you to report on! Also, assuming you haven't beaten the book up, you could return it, although it sounds like you ought to keep it!


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Thanks for the kind comment, Dairy Queen! I was pretty embarrassed at my confusion of books but people were very nice about it. I AM going to keep Molto Italiano because I like it a lot--it's the first Mario Batali book I've even had-- but yesterday I just received my copy of Molto Gusto and I'm really looking forward to trying the "correct recipes." ;-)

                That's what's so fun about the COTM forum--I am trying out cookbooks and authors that I might not not have otherwise encountered on my shelves. It's really great and I love reading people's reviews.

    2. Strawberry Gelato p. 229 Molto Gusto

      Strawberries are in season here and since I've had more than my share of Dorie's Mozzarella, Tomato and Strawberry salad, I thought I should do something else with my surfeit of strawberries. Milk, heavy cream, sugar and nonfat dry milk powder are brought to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Some of the warm mixture is added to a mixture of egg yolks and sugar, once tempered the eggs go into the pan with milk and cream. Next one adds sweetened condensed milk and the mixture is heated until 185 F, then strained, cooled and refrigerated overnight. Macerate chopped strawberries in sugar, a touch of salt and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Drain the strawberries, add to the custard and mix with an immersion blender then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze at least 3 hours.

      This had a smooth and creamy texture right from the freezer. It was a lovely soft pink color that wasn't intensely strawberry tasting, but more like strawberries and cream. A nice treat on a steamy summer

      1 Reply
      1. re: BigSal

        "...more like strawberries and cream." *OK*!

      2. Milk Chocolate Chip Gelato page 231 Molto Gusto

        I think it's unusual on these boards to prefer milk chocolate over dark. But to me, the *bitter* stuff sort of defeats the purpose of chocolate, I think few agree!
        Anyway--this milk chocolate recipe is rich and sweet, and smooth and rich, and sweet and milky. Got it :-) ?
        My old $49.95 ordinary Cuisinart ice cream maker produces different results with each treat I try, this one worked well. After mixing cream and milk, salt and sugar, corn syrup and melted (Ghirardelli) milk chocolate, egg yolks and (Hershey's) cocoa, you fuss and temper a bit, and cook just to 185º F and then chill it overnight. Process it in the ice cream maker, then freeze.
        The recipe calls for chocolate chips or chopped chocolate to be added -- I grated a little semisweet into it, using a microplane grater, it pretty much disappeared. The book has a way to make lovely-sounding ganache chips, though, a melt-in-your-mouth alternative to the sometimes hard waxy little things.
        Everyone's food looks/sounds so great this month--I'm waiting for a pizza pan and some Mario-recommended flour to arrive. So meanwhile I made dessert first.

        2 Replies
        1. re: blue room

          That is the good life! Starting with dessert. Your gelato looks lovely, and the glassware is elegant.

          1. re: blue room

            Sounds like the perfect treat for the Mr. He's definitely a milk chocolate guy. Thanks for sharing the smooth, rich, sweet and milky recipe. What's not to like?

          2. Sweet Corn Gelato - Molto Gusto, p. 236

            Years ago, I had corn ice cream as an accompaniment to a blackberry corn cake in a restaurant and I recall liking it, so as corn is coming into season, I thought I'd give this recipe a go. And it is really quite delicious.

            The kernels are cut from ears of corn, and the kernels and broken cobs are steeped in scalded milk for 45 minutes, after which time the cobs are removed, the milk is blended to break up the kernels, then strained. Three ears of corn are called for; I was making a half recipe, and used two ears of candy-sweet white corn (which the recipe prefers) from the farmers' market. Really, this corn was almost too sweet for savory eating, so perfect for dessert, I guess. A custard is made in the usual way with the strained milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks, and salt, and strained, chilled over an ice bath, refrigerated overnight, and frozen in an ice cream maker.

            What does it taste like? It has tons of corn flavor, but is unmistakably dessert (in other words, doesn't really produce cognitive dissonance, but is kind of intriguing on the tongue). It's dense and creamy, really nice texture. I liked the sound of pairing it with the blackberry sauce in the corn copetta recipe on p. 241, which is simmered with thyme sprigs, but great blackberries aren't abundant now. Great blueberries are, however, so I made the blueberry-cassis sauce from "The Perfect Scoop," by David Lebovitz.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Oh I've been curious about this. And the corn has been SO good this year, sweet and poppin'--
              thanks for posting this corn accounting!
              I'll bet even fresh strawberries would go well.
              "...tons of corn flavor, but is unmistakably dessert..." Yes, intriguing for sure.

              1. Crème Fraîche Gelato p. 228 Molto Gusto
                This is the first recipe in the Gelato & Sorbetto chapter so I figured it was his favorite ;-).

                You need some crème fraîche to begin this -- I made my own, asked for and got Chowhound help with it, mid-recipe. It was fun to learn to make it and I can't wait to use it in savory gravies and things like that. Back to the gelato --
                The crème fraîche is simply cream and buttermilk--lots of cream and a little buttermilk. Add time and temperature and it gets thick, slightly tangy, and slightly nutty.
                Add equal volume milk and some sweetness to this and the result, predictably, is pretty bland. It's dull in a good way, though--like the sweet milk in the bottom of the bowl when the cereal's gone, or quality white chocolate that melts in your mouth.
                I probably wouldn't make this again, opting for stronger flavors, *unless* I wanted something to go with a really spicy fancy cookie/dessert, something like that.

                1. Hazelnut Straciatella Gelato - Molto Gusto, p. 232

                  This stuff is absolutely amazing. Sooo delicious. So full of flavor. Now, hazelnut may be my all-time favorite gelato flavor, so this recipe seemed the obvious way to use up the milk and cream left from making the corn gelato, and I figured the outcome had to be good (especially with chocolate "streaks" in the mix). I have to say, though, that this has so much more hazelnut flavor than the ones I've had at gelato shops.

                  The recipe begins with roasting skin-on hazelnuts for around half an hour, until the skins are dark brown and the nuts are deep gold, and grinding them while they are still hot. The headnote says, "The secret to the deep hazelnut flavor of this gelato is slow-roasting th nuts until they are dark golden brown and deliciously aromatic," and I have to believe it made all the difference between this gelato and the examples I've had elsewhere.

                  The ground hazelnuts are steeped in scalded milk, strained, and the milk is made into a custard with cream, sugar, egg yolks, and salt (which I forgot). I wanted to make the ice cream the same day, so after the ice-bath chilling and a bit of time in the fridge, I stuck the custard in the freezer for 20 minutes or so before putting it in the ice cream maker.

                  The straciatella is made by putting the churned gelato in a chilled bowl and drizzling melted (and partially cooled) bittersweet chocolate into it, stirring as you do so. The chocolate firms up when it hits the ice cream, making the streaks, though the ice cream softened up a lot from the stirring. Then it all goes into the freezer per normal procedure.

                  A lot of chocolate is called for - 8 oz. for 1 quart of gelato; I made a half recipe and used just a bit less than 3.5 oz. (I noted that David Lebovitz calls for 5 oz. per 1 quart in his straciatella instructions.) I would use less chocolate next time because, as much as I love chocolate, I felt that after a bit I was left with too much chocolate flavor on the tongue and it somewhat overwhelmed the more delicate hazelnut. Or I might make it without the chocolate, too, as it is so very full of wonderful hazelnut flavor.