This Greek yogurt gelato is fantastic, rich, and tangy, with just the slightest hint of lemon and a wonderfully thick, rich texture reminiscent of the yogurt itself.
'The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto' on Serious Eats
This Chocolate Stout Gelato from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto takes beer and ice cream to the next level by freezing them together. The chocolate base from Ciao Bella is spectacular on its own, especially when made with a dark chocolate, such as Le Noir Amer from Valrhona—creamy, light, and incredibly chocolaty. But when you add a cup of stout that has been simmered down to intensify its flavors and a scoop or two of malt powder, this gelato will send any chocolate and beer lover into fits of ice cream-derived delight.
Reading this recipe for Rum Raisin Gelato from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto reminded me just why this flavor has such resonance. Dark rum, derived from molasses has a wonderfully rich and complex sweetness that lends itself particularly well to desserts. Using the Ciao Bella method the raisins are steeped in rum for 12 hours to not only rehydrate and soften, but also infuse the raisins with all of that wonderful rum flavor. After the raisins have been soaked the leftover rum is incorporated into the gelato base lending a mellow notes of rum and raisins.
This recipe from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto adds just enough sugar to make these two bitter ingredients into a bittersweet apertif of a sorbetto, somewhere between a cocktail and dessert. When making the base be sure to taste since the amount of sugar you use depends on the sweetness of the grapefruit juice. Sweet Ruby Red grapefruits will require significantly less sugar than their white counterparts.
The solution to my temporary lack of an ice cream maker was simple and refreshing Blueberry Orange Basil Granita. The granita originated in Sicily and I've always thought of it as the Italian version of a slushie. I adapted this recipe from a basic template outlined in The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto. Blueberries and orange juice are pureed and then placed in a shallow pan in the freezer. The mixture is chilled for 3 to 4 hours, and stirred every half hour to break up the forming ice crystals. When finished the granita should be almost frozen and then scraped into light flakes of shaved ice.
This Gelato de Crema acts as a base for many of the gelato recipes in The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto, but frozen on its own, this is a wonderful introduction into the subtle differences between ice cream and gelato. Without the buttery richness of a base made entirely of cream, this custard allows the delicate flavors of milk, egg yolks, and sugar to come through. The sugar is kept to a minimum, giving the gelato a clean, austere sharp flavor with none of the cloying qualities of an overly sugared scoop of vanilla.