An ice cream monster, that is. The other day after making that sorbet I was reminded of how easy homemade frozen treats can be. Feeling all proud of myself for tackling and succeeding at sorbet, I wanted to tackle something else I hadn't before-Gelato. Thanks to The Chocolate Gourmand, I had a little of an idea about what gelato was and what its make-up consisted of. I know now that one of the differences between ice cream and gelato is the milk and cream. Gelato is not made from cream like ice cream is. Gelato is made from milk, so it's more dense, since that cream isn't there to pull in air bubble and expand the ice cream. So in essence, I figured gelato should be that much more flavorful! One of my problems with homemade ice cream is the "coat factor". I can make a really luscious ice cream, but I hate the fact that all that cream feels heavy on the tongue.
Not so with gelato. :-) After seeing an extremely decadent recipe at Ice Cream Ireland, I was craving cinnamon. (Go, check out Ice Cream Ireland, I know you want to!) While I was out yesterday, I picked up some Organic Valley whole milk and half & half. If I was going to make gelato- I wanted the best milk money can buy. After coming home I went to find a recipe online, and couldn't find one. So once again, I had to kind of extract things from other gelato recipes I found. I started with egg yolks, corn syrup and sugar. From my ice cream experience, adding a touch of corn syrup helps keep the texture smooth, but you could leave it out if you avoid corn syrup. Once that was all mixed up I added in my milks and then placed the mixture on top of a double boiler. I cooked it to 180, stirring constantly, before chilling in a water bath and adding vanilla and sea salt. After it was completely cool, I poured it into my ice cream maker and away it went.
The gelato took a little longer than my ice creams to bulk up, but it was so creamy and wonderful! When I thought there was about five minutes left, I dumped in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, which was actually 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Cassia and 1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese Cinnamon. I dumped the whole mixture into a Rubbermaid container that I use only for ice cream and tossed it in the freezer for a few hours. It was perfect. Really perfect. It was full if cinnamon flavor, it had a nice creamy texture (as much as homemade can give you, I guess) and it didn't have that "coat factor". In fact, it was so good, that I am eagerly awaiting my freezer container's return to frozen state so that I can make more gelato. Really, I daresay that ice cream may be a thing of the past. Homemade gelato is fantastic. And did I mention it can be flavored with just about anything? My recipe for Cinnamon Gelato is ready and waiting for anyone who has a craving.