Vanilla Gelato and Affogato

Vanilla Gelato and Affogato

This week I had a strong craving for Affogato, a simple but delicious Italian dessert that is made by pouring a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of vanilla gelato. Naturally, to make this I needed vanilla gelato. So, this was as good a time as ever to break out my ice cream machine, which I had not used for a while, and make the gelato myself. As I have mentioned before, there are a couple of styles of gelato. There is Sicilian style, which is made without eggs or cream, just a base of milk with corn starch and sugar (called crema rinforzata). And there is Northern Italian style which is made from an egg based custard made with either milk only or a combination of milk and cream. The style I prefer is usually tied to the flavor. With fruit or nuts like pistacchio, it is definitely the Sicilian, which really highlights the flavor of those ingredients, but when making vanilla I prefer a custard based gelato. Note: If you prefer, you can replace 1 cup of the milk in the following recipe with 1 cup of cream. Vanilla Gelato Recipe Prep time: 45 min | Total time: 45 min Makes About 1 Quart 3 cups whole milk 3/4 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 4 egg yolks Stir the milk and sugar together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the vanilla bean. Heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and steep for 15 minutes, then remove the vanilla bean. In a medium bowl, whisk...
Stracciatella Gelato

Stracciatella Gelato

Stracciatella Gelato is kind of like American chocolate chip ice cream, except completely different. Instead of the chips and sometimes chunks you find in American product, Stracciattella has fine bits of chocolate throughout, which results in a smooth texture with just the slightest crunch in every bite. This is achieved by drizzling in a thin stream of melted chocolate during the final stages of churning, which hardens on contact and gets broken up as it churns. My two previous gelato recipes, chocolate and pistachio, were Sicilian style gelato, which has no egg or cream and is thickened with a crema rinforzata made from milk, sugar and cornstarch. Here, for a little variety, I went with a Northern Italian style vanilla gelato, made with an egg based custard. Stracciatella Gelato Recipe Prep time: 45 min | Total time: 45 min Makes About 1 Quart 2 cups whole milk 3/4 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 4 egg yolks 1 cup heavy cream 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped Stir the milk and sugar together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the vanilla bean. Heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and steep for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks and transfer the mixture back to the sauce pan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, 8 – 10 minutes and remove custard from heat. Pour the cream into a large bowl and place a mesh strainer on top. Pour the...