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Gelato Tips & Techniques


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#1 dumpling

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:26 PM

I made some gelato the other day- taste was lovely. I used dark chocolate bits and glazed walnuts and some vanilla beans for flavor. The only problem was a little icyness.

I heated the milk and cream and then mixed it into the eggs and cooked it on medium high over water for several minutes maybe about ten.

I'm wondering if I cooked it too long.

Any thoughts?

#2 mjc

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 06:17 AM

I would think that, the icyness probably has more to do with either your recipe or freezing process rather than cooking of your custard. You usually want to cook your custard to about 185F, after cooking it should be smooth and thickened.

Whenever my ice creams come out a little icy its usually do to the freezing, for example while its it the ice cream machine i add something to the custard (alcohol, chips) that lowers the temperature and melts some of the custard. So I would suggest that you always make sure that all of the ingredients you add to the machine are cold. I usually refridgerate the base of my ice cream over night. You should also keep anything you plan to add to it cold.
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#3 dumpling

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 08:42 PM

well the recipe calls for freezing the custard for an hour or two until its frozen about an inch away from the side of the pan. Then to take it out and mix in the chocolate bits and stir it up(At that point it's kind of part frozen part soupy). Then stick it back in and freeze until set.

#4 Jason Perlow

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 08:44 PM

Did you refrigerate the custard first for a few hours? That will allow it to freeze quicker without it forming ice crystals. Also, did you use enough sugar?
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#5 mjc

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 09:13 PM

well the recipe calls for freezing the custard for an hour or two until its frozen about an inch away from the side of the pan. Then to take it out and mix in the chocolate bits and stir it up(At that point it's kind of part frozen part soupy). Then stick it back in and freeze until set.

so your not using a machine?
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#6 dumpling

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 09:38 PM

well the recipe calls for freezing the custard for an hour or two until its frozen about an inch away from the side of the pan.  Then to take it out and mix in the chocolate bits and stir it up(At that point it's kind of part frozen part soupy).  Then stick it back in and freeze until set.

so your not using a machine?

Nope no machine. I thought perhaps that might be a part of it.

#7 dumpling

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 09:44 PM

Did you refrigerate the custard first for a few hours? That will allow it to freeze quicker without it forming ice crystals. Also, did you use enough sugar?

For as long as they said until it was frozen about an inch away from the sides-about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

The sugar about 3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cup of milk and 2/3 cup of heavy cream and 2 1/2 oz of chocolate bits and a few walnuts.

#8 nightscotsman

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 07:43 AM

You will never get a smooth texture without ice crystals without using some kind of fast-freezing ice cream maker. The inexpensive home models that have the inner canister you put in the freezer work quite well for small batches. The faster the freeze, the smoother the finished product. Also, it is important to agitate as it freezes to break up the forming ice crystals.

#9 Michael M

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:52 PM

1) Though I posted this in the general food thread, I might get a different view here: what is being measured when someone says gelato is X% butterfat? The butterfat as a percentage of the total volume of the gelato by weight? Volume?

2) I'm trying to get the smooth, gooey texture in my fruit (non-dairy) gelati. I've tried cornstarch as a thickener, but they're not there yet. Egg whites, gelatine and simply a higher sugar content are other options. Ideas here?

3) In Italy, many of the gelati, dairy or fruit/nut only, had a shiny sheen to it, though I did notice that the better products had less of this. What is it? This was true in northern as well as middle Italy, where their gelato styles are a bit different.

Thanks!

#10 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 01:58 PM

Just bumping this topic back up to see if anyone can help Michael M.?

#11 Carrot Top

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 02:17 PM

I don't have answers to this, but do have a suggestion (though possibly you have already tried it...)

There are a number of websites that sell professional gelato machines (and lots of 'mixes' that go with them, too...). Some of these have 'help' sites or at least a contact e-mail. Surely they would have these answers...

Good luck! Gelato, mmmm, yummy! :smile:

#12 andiesenji

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 02:40 PM

The smooth gooey texture is difficult to get without dairy.
Some recipes call for gelatine or "fish glue" -

The more the product is beaten, the more air that is whipped into it, the smoother it will be.
Beating whipped egg whites into the mixture also give a smoother texture.

What source are you using for recipes?
This site has a few: Italian recipes

This is an explanation of the differences: Italian frozen desserts

I have made both the Lemon Ice in lemon cups and the peach granita at this site
They are both excellent. The peach granita uses gelatin.
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#13 Michael M

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 05:32 PM

Thanks. I just made a trip up north where there were still sour cherries, so will be continuing the experimentation with gelatine as well as egg whites (leftover from the yolks used in milk gelati, of course!).

#14 stscam

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 06:52 AM

One of the ways to achieve a smooth, creamy non dairy gelato (sorbetto) is to finely control the amount and types of sugar used. By substituting powdered glucose and sometimes powdered dextrose or invert sugar, you should be able to get the texture and mouth feel you want. Boiron, a French supplier of fruit purees, has receipes on their website. Go here to see them. Patisfrance also has a similar set of recipes. Boiron usually adds 10% sugar to their purees, so you should do the same. Just puree the fruit to the desired state, then stir in 10% of the weight in granulated sugar.

Let us know how your sour cherry turns out.
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#15 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 12:14 AM

One of my bosses was making orange blossom gelato the other day and right after it stopped spinning he tasted it and exclaimed, "Taste this right now, it is perfect, but it will be ruined after an hour of subsequent freezing because it will crystallize." I mentioned that I had a hunch that the use of sodium alginate would help to stabilize the mixture and that I happened to have a kilo of it at my house and he wants me to try and fix the gelato. Only problem is, I don't really have a benchmark measurement to go by and I was wondering if anyone here has experimented with this and could tell me how much alginate to how much gelato mixture. Thank you in advance to any replies.
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#16 merstar

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 01:17 AM

I know this won't help you now, but the mixture needs to "bloom" at least 24 hours in the refrigerator, (so the proteins can relax or something to that effect), before adding to the ice cream maker. Otherwise, ice crystals will form. Hope you can fix it with the sodium alginate!

#17 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 10:14 AM

we do allow the mixture to sit chilled for many hours.
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#18 Steve Klc

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 07:11 AM

Lee--yes, various alginates and carraggenates have been in ice cream and sorbet stabilizers for decades--depends on the brand and blend, along with gelatin, carob bean flour, 0% milk powder, dextrose etc. as well, depends whether you want to stabilize fat in addition to water. Depending on the formulation, measurements are typically 2-6g per kg. (I use Sevarome stabilizers.)
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#19 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 08:06 AM

thanks...I will try these ratios and see how they turn out.
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#20 jbehmoaras

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:37 AM

So how did the ratios turn out
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#21 FWED

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 10:34 AM

The figure that we were given, for ice cream and sorbet stabilizers, (at the 3 day Ice Cream and Sorbet class presented at the World Pastry Forum by Sebastien Canonne of the French Pastry School) was .3% of the total weight of the mix. That would be 3gm in a 1Kg mix.

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#22 chiantiglace

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 10:37 AM

I would use guar gum. It has a natural sense to keep water from crystallizing during the freezing and thaw-refreezing.
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#23 jbehmoaras

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 11:01 AM

I dont know too much about gums, with guar, xanthan, and whatever elese in the market, I'm just starting to learn about it ... Could you maybe elaborate a little more on the different gums and their different properties and when they might best be used?

How about using methylcellulose?

Edited by jbehmoaras, 11 July 2006 - 11:07 AM.

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#24 chiantiglace

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 11:59 AM

guar gum dissolves rapidly in cold water, which is useful for this particular need. It creates a more viscous liquid, kind of like xanthan gum. Guar gum does not, on the other hand, form a gel like its counter part locust bean gum. What makes guar better than locust bean gum for this instance is it is more soluble and a better emulsifier. This is due to a greater amount of galactose branch points.

(galactose present in many forms. Galactose is a monosaccharide that is less sweet than glucose. It is converted from Galactan through the process of hydrolysis. Galactose is use for food energy (stores) for the plants these gums are extracted from. .....Galactose plus Glucose = Lactose).

Guar gum is typically not affected by pH, but will be affected with pH extremes. like Locust bean gum, it retards crystallization during thaw-freeze circumstances. Apparently it does not intend to do this as Locust Bean Gum. But I am guessing theprocedure is the same. Locust bean gum forms a gel to protect its food stores. This gel infact blocks crystallization from forming which enables the product to freeze consistently and smoothly.

Edited by chiantiglace, 11 July 2006 - 12:00 PM.

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#25 jbehmoaras

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 12:43 PM

could you advise when guar gum would be more suitable than using xanthan gum
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#26 chiantiglace

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 02:45 PM

could you advise when guar gum would be more suitable than using xanthan gum

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products being frozen/thawed.
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#27 Khadija

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 02:37 PM

In my decade or so of adult life, I've developed into a fairly serious hobby home cook and occasional bread baker. But I've mostly avoided making sweets. However, in the past year, I've become obsessed with them: I made fruit pies like crazy in the summer, and the holidays involved a cookie extravaganza. In the fall, I began baking "personalized" cakes, as gifts for friends on their birthdays. The cakes were meant to express what I think is interesting and beautiful about the person in question. For one friend, who had a local micro brew tasting party, I made a bitter caramel cake, to pay homage to his layered, round, warm masculinity, and also to complement his favourite milk stout.

Throughout my experiments, what I've wanted most is to make gelato. I'm absolutely obsessed with the stuff: it's such an ingenious platform for exploring flavour, in a really pure, unadulterated way! My main obstacle was lack of (expensive) equipment. But, now, thanks to my wonderful and amazingly indulgent boyfriend, I am the proud owner of the "Gelato" by Lello ice cream maker.

As a New Year's resolution of sorts, I've decided to combine my gelato making education with my personalized cake making. As I learn to make gelato, I am going to try to develop flavours dedicated to my loved ones. Sometimes, I will make other things, like cakes, to accompany the gelato. This weekend, my dear friend" J" is celebrating her 30th birthday. I am pretty sure that I want to use a really wonderful Milk Oolong as the star. In a way, it resembles a no-nonsense black tea. But it also has an unmistakably direct, assertive, ultra natural nutty sweetness. It's so interesting, because it isn't actually sweet -- it doesn't taste like it has a drop of sugar in it -- but it still manages to say something about the natural sweetness of its flavours. It just screams "J" to me. I'd like to document the process here on egullet, and, for the first time in my seven or so years on egullet, actually post photos.

This project is all about celebrating the way my love and respect for flavours and people collide. The people in question include not only my friends and family, but also the people who produce the ingredients that go into the things I make, and all the food obsessed people (you!) who I'm lucky to have share their wisdom with me. Would anyone care to join me?

Edited by Khadija, 11 January 2010 - 02:49 PM.


#28 Khadija

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:19 PM

Thanks, Lisa. I've read through that thread, as well as all the other gelato and ice cream making threads I could find on egullet. It's always possible that I missed some, though.

I should probably say something about what I mean by "gelato." I think of it as ice cream that has a low fat to milk ratio, contains a minimal amount of air and ice crystals, and is served and held at a higher temperature than North American ice creams. It's an extremely good vehicle for very intensely concentrated flavours: the flavour is infused into the milk, and other things that might interfere with the flavour (fat, air, ice) are minimized.

I want to learn how to make this kind of thing, at home. And I want to start by mastering plain milk flavoured gelato (fior di latte?). In fact, the next thing I plan to do, after J's party, is have a "milk flavour" gelato tasting, featuring different milks. So, I should say in advance that, although I like reading recipes, and I think I have a lot to learn from them, I'm not especially interested in collecting a lot of gelato recipes. I want to understand how the process of gelato making works. That said, I am interested in trying very good "formulas" for minimalist flavoured (or plain milk flavoured) gelatos.

One of the obstacles I've found is that, while there are a reasonable number of resources available about home ice cream making, there's far less information about home gelato making. I'm in the process of making decisions about which books I should buy, to start with. There is a really useful annotated bibliography of frozen dessert books somewhere here on egullet, and I'm using it. Until I get the books, I've found the internet has some recipes, usually for very specific flavours, but, like I said, that's not what I'm after. I've also tripped into ongoing discussions between experienced gelato makers and/or professionals. I'll continue to pay attention to these. But advice geared toward someone in my modest shoes is much appreciated.

I know that I'm going to have to experiment, too. I've done a bit, and so far come up with some very delicious ice cream. No gelato yet.

Edited by Khadija, 11 January 2010 - 04:27 PM.


#29 Khadija

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 08:25 AM

I have an update on the plan for J's birthday dessert. My current idea is to make Milk Oolong infused madeleines and milk oolong ice cream/gelato. I'll serve the ice cream and cookies with little cups of the milk oolong tea. I could use some advice on the following:

1. I haven't made madeleines, much less tea infused ones. The party is on Saturday, and I'll have (make) time to experiment tomorrow night, Thursday night, and Friday. If I can't get the madelines right, I can make a very good white butter "birthday" cake, which could be infused with tea. But I like the madeleines concept. So, does anyone have any input on the learning curve for mastering madeleines? What resources are must reads? (I'm working on the requisite egullet thread research, and I've started looking at a Cook's Illustrated recipe, and I'll read through the section in my copy of the CIA baking book.)

2. My inclination is to emphasize a pure milk oolong flavour, unadulterated by little else. The gelato will involve milk (and maybe a bit of cream) and a minimal amount of sugar. And the madelines (or cake) will include the usual suspects: flour, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, extra leavening agent. I am leaning against the addition of any extra flavour, like vanilla or citrus zest. Do others agree? Should I be more open to try to enhance or complement the flavour of the tea, with additions?

Any input at all will be very much appreciated!

Edited by Khadija, 12 January 2010 - 08:36 AM.


#30 paulraphael

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 10:23 AM

Something to consider is that the most traditional gelatos (at least the ones made in the style that you describe) are intended to be eaten very shortly after being made. They don't have much stability, and will get icy fast. So unless you're planning to make these for people the day they'll eat them, it's going to take some ingenuity; you'll have to use ingredients beyond milk and sugar and flavorings.

Some things to familiarize youreself with are nonfat dried milk, alterntive sugars (glucose, fructose, either solid or in syrups), and starches, gums, or other stabilizers (cornstarch is traditional in Southern Italy; ingredients like gelatin, xanthan gum, and locust bean gum work in much smaller quantities and i think work better). You can also buy a prepackaged stabilizer mix ... this is what most pastry chefs do, but I like to know my exact recipe so I'm not bound to a manufactured product.

You need to decide if you'll incorporate egg custard or not. If not, you'll have to rely more on these other ingredients for texture and stability. Also, the lower the milkfat percentage you want, the more you'll have to worry about texture and stability.

Your machine calls itself a gelato machine, so it's probably designed to incorporate very little air. That will help.