When I was in Italy, I just couldn’t get enough Gelato! I don’t care what time it was, or how cold it was, it was always time for gelato, but when I’ve tried it in the states (with very few exceptions) it just didn’t taste right. The flavor might have been there, but the texture was wrong, it was never quite right.
Over the years I have attempted to make my own, always blaming the fact that it didn’t come out right on my ice cream maker, because everyone knows you can’t make gelato in an ice cream maker…..sheeeesh Well I finally broke down and bought a gelato maker, I researched it quite a bit and from what I read the best value for the dollar was the DeLonghi GM6000 Gelato maker.
Gelato is made differently than Ice cream, it’s denser and creamier, and the flavors are more intense than regular ice cream. The reason for this is due to a very important ingredient – air. American ice cream can contain up to 50% air. This results in a lighter airier texture. However, when making gelato, air is prevented from blending into the mixture. This creates the denser and more intense flavors that gelato is so popularly known for. Well at least that’s what the review said….
So now I had the right equipment, I should be able to make gelato like I had in Italy…..sigh. The problem I now had was finding a good recipe, and trust me that was not an easy task! There are quite a few recipes out there, but most of them use cream not milk, I know that’s wrong. To keep the intensity of the flavors, traditional gelato is made using more milk than cream (not to say that you can’t add some cream) . I also found recipes with eggs, and I do love a good custard style ice cream, but this was Gelato folks, not ice cream…..sigh
Then by chance I stumble upon a fairly authentic recipe by Giuliano Hazan, it was getting rave reviews and if I couldn’t trust Giuliano who could I trust? The recipe was simple and straight forward, no extra ingredients or work. No custard to prepare, nothing to chill for 4 hours first, just me a food processor and my Gelato Maker. Life was good!
I have to admit that the flavor was astounding, the preparation couldn’t have been easier, but it was more like a sorbet than gelato……..so close! Now I think it’s an easy fix, while the texture wasn’t bad I think the fact that it was made with mostly water, let ice crystals build up and it wasn’t as creamy as it should have been. So next time I make gelato I will use the same recipe, except try using milk instead of water, I’ll keep the cream at the same amount and see what happens.
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Remove the stems and leaves from the strawberries and rinse in cold water.
- Place the strawberries, lemon juice and the sugar in a food processor and process until liquefied.
- Add the water and run the food processor until all the mixture is smooth.
- Whip the cream with a wire whisk until it begins to thicken slightly and becomes the consistency of buttermilk.
- Mix the cream and strawberry mixture in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Ask Chef Dennis
lately it seems the questions I get asked the most are about photography. What camera should I use, what’s the best camera to use, what camera do you use? My friend and blog designer Melissa from Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach, said it best when I recently posted a review of camera’s that some bloggers were using , “The best camera for food photography is the one you own. It’s the person using the camera that makes the photo!!” That certainly does make a lot of sense, and I have been advising friends that before they run out and spend a lot of money on a new camera, to make sure they’re getting the most out of the camera they already own. Even with a point and shoot, you can get some great images, if you follow the rules you would for a DSLR.
1. Use a tripod! I know you think you can hand hold the camera and it won’t shake, but using a tripod gives you more than just assurance that the camera is stable, it allows you to use a slower shutter speed, so you can get a better exposure or change the depth of field if that’s what you want. (don’t forget to get a cable release too for your camera, using a tripod is great but if you get shake when you push the shutter release it’s not doing you much good)
2. Use available light when ever possible, learn to use light to your advantage. Do you bounce light onto your images, do you diffuse light when its too strong? So many questions about light, and I certainly don’t have all the answers. The best book to jump start your photography is Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin, you can find it on Amazon for $16. It’s a steal, pick it up before you buy a new camera!
The hardest question to answer is what to buy when you finally decide to get a new camera….now that’s a hard question, and I think the biggest part of that question is what do you want to spend. People ask me why I bought a Canon 7d, its very simple, I couldn’t afford a 5D Mark II….lol, you know what they say about boys and their toys….sigh
But seriously the 7d is a great camera and I’m very happy with it, but could I do the same thing with a less expensive camera if I followed all the rules? Absolutely. I have been using canon’s since my move to the digital age and think any one of their models you choose will make a big impact on your imagery. Think about used camera’s too! You remember the part about boys and their toys, right? Well look for camera clubs, meet up groups and see if anyone just bought a new camera, chances are they are selling their old one. It’s a good place to start, and If you have any independent camera shops check them out too!
The last piece of advice I will give about photography is to use some type of software to correct any issues in your images. Try the Adobe site, you can try any of their photo software programs for free for 30 days. There are some good free programs as well, they may not have all the bells and whistles but most will take care of most issues.
That’s it for today my friends, the old chef needs to get to bed, work has finally calmed down, my fiscal year is closed, my printer is working again, and I start my classes this week. Keep your fingers crossed, I could use a week without problems….sigh
While I’m thinking about it are any of you going to the foodbuzz festival in San Francisco, It looks like I will be going and hope to see some of you there, so let me know if your planning on attending.
Till next time!