Sunday, 25 July 2010

I scream, you scream, we all scream for... gelato!

Ever since I bought my ice cream machine, I've spread my obsession with it all around, making friends and colleagues drool along the way with my descriptions. So the time had come to invite some of them over to my place, to have a cooking and ice cream-making day. As my partner was away getting in touch with his 3-year-old self in Disneyland, I decided to make this a day for the girls, and after some drinks in the pub on Friday I polled everyone and the popular choices were mushroom risotto, a salad (for which I chose and enforced my favourite Roasted butternut squash salad – needless to say no one complained!) and strawberry ice cream.

Although I love strawberry sorbet, I usually won't choose strawberry ice cream if there's anything else on offer, and therefore I had never made any before, so I thought it was a great opportunity to try a recipe by ice cream icon David Lebovitz. My Italian friend did the shopping and brought some wonderfully ripe strawberries along, maybe a bit too old to eat but 100% perfect for ice cream. While frantically making all the food I almost forgot to put half the ingredients in the ice cream machine, but at the end it was all a success, and the gelato had a very fresh and light flavour, since by using just milk it didn't carry the usual heaviness of cream.

We took the food and ice cream to the garden and had a great day discussing food and what we each like to cook from our countries now that we live in Britain (with the group comprising of one Italian, one Brazilian, one Japanese and one Greek, some interesting combinations came up!), and even more, how much it annoys us that the simple ingredients you can find everywhere in each of our home countries need a special trip and a much deeper pocket when you're in the UK (real Italian savoiardi, Japanese sticky rice, Brazilian fresh fruit and Greek pita breads – not these concoctions they sell in the supermarkets here, but REAL Greek pita breads), if they are to be found at all (I haven't found the real Greek pitas in London yet, if anyone knows any place that sells them please please tell me!).

A day later, I find myself with some leftover mascarpone, and a challenge. I don't feel like tiramisú, but what about tiramisú ice cream? Here we go. A bit of internet scouting, and a few minutes later I'm getting somewhere with an experimental recipe, since I had never thought I could make ice cream out of mascarpone. I love tiramisú ice cream, and this one, although heavier than the gelato that I usually prefer, was absolutely yummilicious. Only thing is, I added quite bit of Baileys, so this is actually a Baileys-tiramisú ice cream. If you love Baileys, you will love this, if not, use a bit less... By the way, I barely managed to take some pictures before I devoured it all (I only made a small dose to try it, I'm not that big a piggy!)

The strawberry ice cream was a lot more, so I had some more today, and I discovered that drizzling it with melted dark chocolate (which solidifies after it hits the ice cream!) makes it even yummier... Drool...and let's hope the good weather continues!

Strawberry gelato
Source: Adapted from David Lebovitz

Makes about 900ml

  • 500g ripe strawberries
  • 100g golden granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 370ml full fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp kirsch

Clean the strawberries, shake them around in a bowl with the sugar and honey and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Pour the whole contents of the bowl in a blender and liquidise. Pass through a thin sieve, squishing out all the flesh with a spoon and scraping around until only the seeds are left. A lot of recipes skip this step and put the strawberries whole, but I think it's really worth going the extra mile, as seedless gelatos are so much smoother and melt-in-the-mouth than the ones containing seeds.

In a big bowl mix together the milk, lemon juice and kirsch, adding the strawberry purée. Pour into your ice cream machine, or if you don't have one put in a freezable container (preferably metal) and freeze for 1 hour, then take out, squash with a fork and refreeze, repeating the process every half an hour or so.

Tiramisú ice cream
Source: Adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Makes about 900ml

  • 450g mascarpone
  • 125ml double cream
  • 125ml full fat milk
  • 130g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 60ml Kahlua
  • 45ml Baileys

For the chocolate ripple

  • 100g sugar
  • 80ml water
  • ½ cup strongly brewed espresso
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl blend together the mascarpone, milk, cream, sugar, salt, Kahlua and Baileys. Chill the mixture in the fridge while you make the chocolate ripple.

In a saucepan mix together all the ingredients for the ripple over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and covers the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, cool, and then chill in the fridge.

Pour the ice cream mix into your ice cream machine, and when it's done, drizzle the chocolate ripple between layers of ice cream when you're transferring it into its freezable container. If you don't have an ice cream machine put the ice cream mix in a freezable container (preferably metal) and drizzle the chocolate ripple also in layers, freeze for 1 hour, then take out, squash with a fork and refreeze, repeating the process every half an hour or so.


Memória said...

Those gelati look yummy and so refreshing!! I especially like the tiramisù ice cream!! I just do not know how I could make it without the alcohol. I guess I could use honey in place of it. What do you suggest? Anyway, they both look amazing.

P.S. I love your background/profile and your name! I told myself that if I had ever had a daughter, I would name her Venezia for Venice, my favorite place to be.

Venetia said...

Hi Memória! And what a lovely name as well! You know the funniest thing is although I'm named after it, I've never been to Venice :o(. Every time I try to plan it, something happens, and I would love to so much...

Anyway, I think you could substitute the Kahlua and Baileys with some more of the chocolate ripple from the recipe and/or some coffee essence (here in the UK they sell something called Camp coffee essence, but I'm sure there must be something similar in the States!) As the amount of alcohol in the recipe is high, you could substitute some of it with milk and some of it with the chocolate ripple or coffee essence. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

(oh...and I love your Supplì photos...reminded me of the ones my friend's mom made me in Rome, the most amazing thing ever... I'll try to find some time to make the recipe and tell you how it went!)

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