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May 19, 2012 09:21 AM

Gelato - need

I can't find too much Gelato information on Chowhound, so I'm wondering if anyone makes Gelato vs. ice cream.

It seems to me from this book, that Gelato can be quite an art and there is a lot to know about it making it.
Making Artisan Gelato: 45 Recipes and Techniques for Crafting Flavor-Infused Gelato and Sorbet at Home

this book's reviews on Amazon,
The Perfect Scoop David Lebovitz

seem to me to be more about recipes with all their additions/fillers/toppings on a few recipes. IOW similar to a few pizza dough recipes and many toppings.

I have made ice cream in this ice cream maker and like it a lot.
I know that it says that it says Gelato, but am not sure if it is actually an ice cream maker dedicated to gelato, and wondering if anyone has had any experience with making gelato who want to give me some advice for beginners. I know there a lot of websites with advice, but I'd like to hear from anyone on chowhound who's done it!

Sorry, couldn't edit the title, should be: Gelato - Need Beginner Advice.

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  1. Re The Perfect Scoop (which is not specifically a gelato book): "seem to me to be more about recipes with all their additions/fillers/toppings on a few recipes. IOW similar to a few pizza dough recipes and many toppings."

    i don't feel this is an accurate description of the book. There are many recipes (and many interesting flavors), each individual, rather than few recipes with endless variations of mix-ins. A front section on technique feels pretty thorough to me.

    A few years ago, there was a Dessert Cookbook of the Month for a while, and TPS was pretty popular, so there are a number of reporrts from the book if you want to check them out:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      It seems that my searching skills on Chowhound are lacking. The link you provided also provides other links, thanks. I'm so glad there was a COTM on "The Perfect Scoop."

      My description of the book was perhaps lacking also based solely on my reading through Amazon's reviews even though most were favorable. and my interpretation reading excerpts inside his book on the Amazon site,
      But, alas, I only saw 4 or 5 entries under "Gelato" in the Index; so hoping to read anything further about it on the Chowhound link.


    2. The difference between gelato and ice cream has less to do with how they are made, but the ratio of ingredients in each type of frozen dessert.

      In other words, gelato is ice cream that contains less fat (ice cream tends to be 10% to 20% fat, while gelato is 8% or less). Many varieties are made with milk and some don’t contain egg yolks.

      A basic balanced cream-based gelato begins with a base. The simplest is a white base, which essentially is made of sugar and cream. Cocoa or egg yolks can be added, depending on the recipe.

      If making it at home, you certainly don't need any special equipment other than a good ice cream maker. Let it rest for a good 30 minutes on the counter before serving.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Gelato also has very little air whipped in, as opposed to ice cream which can be as much as 50% air. That's what gives gelato the luscious, almost elastic texture.

        1. re: biondanonima

          I'll be making with a home ice cream maker. I'm not sure how the 'whipped air' could be controlled.

          1. re: Rella

            I don't think it can, unless you have a very sophisticated machine, or one that is meant specifically for gelato rather than ice cream (like this: ) My cheapy Cuisinart ice cream maker doesn't actually beat in that much air, though, so you might find that whatever home ice cream maker you use does an adequate job.

            1. re: biondanonima

              Yes, I'm wondering about mine - just how sophisticated it is - I've only made ice cream recipes in it.

              1. re: Rella

                Well, it looks like it's labeled a gelato maker, so I guess that's something. The only way to know (approximately) how much air is being whipped in is to measure the volume of liquid ingredients you put in vs. the volume of the finished product. It would be nice if ice cream/gelato makers put this information on their machines, but I would assume various factors influence the amount of air that gets whipped in (like the density of the liquid itself, etc.), so I don't really know if there's a definitive way to say whether or not a machine is making gelato according to professional standards. It might be interesting to run an informal Chowhound test - have a bunch of people make the same basic ice cream recipe and process a specific amount in our various machines, then measure the volume of the resulting ice cream, being sure to note variables such as the processing time and the temperature of the mixture when it goes into the machine, etc. That way we'd at least have an idea of which machines tend to whip in more air than others.

          2. re: biondanonima

            You can control the amount of overrun in your ice cream or gelato on most standard ice cream machines by reducing the speed of your ice cream machine and/or chilling the bowl before starting the churning process.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              My ice cream maker is the type where you have to freeze the bowl before churning anyway, so that doesn't make a difference for me. Starting with a colder base might - Cook's Illustrated suggests freezing a portion of your base, then stirring it into the refrigerated portion until it melts (like an ice cube), thus lowering the temperature of the whole an extra 10 degrees or so beyond what your fridge can do. Maybe worth a shot.

              Anyway, my machine is also WAY too cheap to have a speed control, so there's no way to slow down the churn speed. Hopefully Rella's machine is better - if so, give it a go and let us know how it turns out!

              1. re: biondanonima

                I just ordered the "Making Artisan Gelato" book and will get it Wednesday. Friday I will have some extra cream.

                I now see that I do have Weinstein's Ultimate Ice Cream book which has quite a few 'gelato' recipes included.

                I've tried using ice cream recipes with a couple of other ice cream makers (Donvier and Cuisinart), but so far, ironically, on my Gelato Pro 4090, I've made no gelato recipes. Ice Cream seems a cinch, but Gelato seems soooo mysterious.

                Yep, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks, all.