Archive | Gelato RSS feed for this section

Dulce de Leche Gelato

27 Apr

Not to like ice cream is to show oneself uninterested in foods.

~ Joseph Epstein

All the swirly scoops of Dulce de Leche Gelato

Honestly, there are no words.

In a recent post about my love affair with dulce de leche I described a rather embarrassing moment in my lifetime, and an all-time low in the world of gluttony.

For some odd reason, I find myself there again.

To set the record straight for any of you who may be confused, I love chocolate and caramel. Really – it’s the perfect marriage between creamy, chewy, milky and just thinking about it I am salivating. Writing this post is really hard because I just want to be eating chocolate caramel right now. Ugh.

Back to the point. When The Husband and I were recently in Argentina we made it a point to eat at all the famous ice cream places. There were Freddo and Persico (two of the big chains) and a much lesser known but wildly superior Chungo. We discovered this little known gem on our second to last night in Buenos Aires (how we waited that long to try that place is something I will never understand) and it was on that very momentous night that I had the most perfect dulce de leche gelato EVER. So much so that we went back the next day to purchase a 1/2 kilo “to go” so that we could eat it in the taxi on the way to the airport (a poorly thought out idea, considering I would be sitting on an airplane for 11 hours with nothing but gobs of gelato in my belly!).

When I started this blog I decided that dulce de leche ice cream or gelato would have to be one of my first few posts.

The rationale: I am going through withdrawal.

I also promised myself  not repeat recipes throughout the course of this blog because there are so many incredible ice cream combinations to be had, but I will most certainly be making a variety of dulce de leche products.

The rationale: I cannot live without it.

I realize that in re-reading this blog post I sound a little nutty, but it’s the truth. I love dulce de leche.

So, as you saw in my post last week, I made the dulce de leche, the base for this recipe. You will see how it is incorporated below.

Delicious.

Dulce de Leche Gelato

From Ciao Bella Cookbook

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

4 large egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup dulce de leche (store-bought or you can make your own very easily here)

Method

In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk and the cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring or whisking occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges. If you are using a thermometer the mixture should reach a temperature of 170 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. A word to the wise about this – you really need to whisk a lot, not only so that the sugar dissolves, but also because you really want to whip the yolks to make them slightly frothy and creamy.

Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. You need to pour the milk mixture little by little so that it does not heat the egg yolks too quickly and create scrambled eggs. NO ONE wants scrambled eggs gelato!

Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon or spatula (and you can run your finger across the spoon and it leaves a clean path where your finger was). If using a thermometer the custard should reach a temperature of 185 degrees F. Whatever you do, do not bring this to a boil.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. It’s important to strain the mixture because inevitably a few clumps of egg will be at the bottom, and you don’t want clumpy, egg gelato!

To cool the custard quickly, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl with the custard in it; stir the custard until cooled. Once it’s completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least four hours or overnight (I recommend overnight!).

Churning...

Here comes the dulce part!

Once the mixture is totally cooled, place half of the mixture in a blender and add 1/2 cup of the dulce de leche. Blend until smooth, then whisk into the remaining base.

Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (for me it was approximately 25 minutes).

In a small saucepan over low heat, gently warm the remaining 1/2 cup dulce de leche. Just after churning the custard, transfer a few scoops of the gelato into the container you’re freezing it in, and drizzle a few tablespoons of the dulce de leche over it.

Dulce de leche drizzled in the ice cream container

Repeat layering with the remaining gelato and dulce de leche, then freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. (The gelato layering and drizzling is not an exact science, you cannot mess this up, so don’t worry. The goal is to make sure you swirl dulce de leche into the gelato. Each bite will be slightly different, and that’s OK!)

When I made this amazing treat, the gelato was so extremely soft  and creamy that it needed to freeze over night.

The Verdict: YUMMERS!

I should note here that what made this treat truly extra special was the drizzle of chocolate ganache on top.

Like I said, something about caramel and chocolate really is to die for, and I could not resist adding that ganache to this ice cream. It was heavenly together.

I strongly recommend that you do the same!

Advertisements

Screme!

24 Apr

What’s your favorite flavor? ~ Me

Who do you love more, your mom or your dad? How can I answer that? ~ Screme Gelato Bar Owner

5,000 Flavors!

It’s been three days in a row that I’ve eaten at Screme Gelato Bar. (But who’s counting?)

I remember when I was a little kid my mom used to tell me that too much of a good thing was bad. Sure, that may be the case for silly childhood obsessions but it’s certainly not the case for gelato, ice cream, sorbet…you get the point!

As many of you know, I need my daily fix of sweets. Some people say they need something sweet after dinner to round out the meal.

That is not me.

I need something sweet each day to live. Seriously, I cannot remember a day in my life in which I passed up a dessert, refused something sweet, or went without ice cream or cake.  For many of you this may sound like a familiar story, and you’re sitting there reading this blog post shaking your head and thinking “Yes!  I am not alone!”

Look no further. You have found your partner in crime:  Screme Gelato Bar

My delicious passion fruit sorbet!

Today I had a lovely conversation with the owner of Screme Gelato Bar. Our meeting started out with a taste of six (I know because I couldn’t hold all those spoons at once) different sorbets and gelatos until I finally decided on passion fruit. For a chocolate lover that seemed a bit strange, but any of you who taste the passion fruit sorbet you’ll understand why. The flavor is incredible, spot on. Perfect.

I asked the owner how he got into the ice cream business. Naturally I assumed he was a frozen treat aficionado just like me.

False.

I nearly fell off my chair when he told me that he didn’t really even like ice cream (that is, until he tried Aldo gelato in Israel). I couldn’t believe my ears! Here is a man who owns two gelato bars in NYC (with more coming soon!), has created over 5,000 (yes, five thousand!) different gelato and sorbet recipes,  and he is not even that obsessed with ice cream. Something seemed wrong!

Rewind a few years. The owner of Screme told me that while living in Israel, his wife used to take his kids out for ice cream daily (I love her already!) when he finally told her that perhaps this wasn’t the most healthy habit for the kids. The wife said “don’t knock it ’till you try it”, so the owner found himself swinging by an Israeli gelato bar, Aldo, and realized that his wife was on to something. (Lesson learned:  the wife is always right!). After he tried Aldo’s gelato he was addicted and decided to bring this business to NYC in the form of Screme Gealto Bar. I promise, after visiting Screme, you’ll be addicted too!

Fast forward three years. Screme, which can be found in two locations on the UWS (Broadway between 69th and 70th AND 94th and Amsterdam) boast fresh new flavors daily. And don’t even get me started on the customer service. It’s incredible! Each employee allows you to taste as many flavors as you want. Think of it this way, everybody loves something free. Taste as many samples as you want, and Screme promises that you’ll be hooked. So, for two minutes the employees actually become your best friend, by letting you taste whatever you want, and allowing for a “screme break in your life.” It’s really perfect.

Now, if your mouth isn’t watering yet, take a look at this video. You’ll see how Screme makes their incredible creations, and you’ll find yourself running to get your very own.

A signature component of the Screme gelato is fresh ingredients and flavors. If you are eating the pistacio gelato, you’re eating real pistacios imported from Italy, not syrup. If you try the mango sorbet, you get to taste little bits of crushed mangoes, not syrup. If you’re eating the Margarita, you are tasting real tequilla, limes, and a hint of sea salt. Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have tried their Cap’n Crunch Gelato you’ll be able to close your eyes and really feel like you’re eating a creamy and delicious bowl of that favorite childhood cereal. It’s the real deal. And let me tell you, you can really taste the difference. Once you taste the magical frozen treat, you’ll never go back to the synthetic flavors, it’s impossible. You’re dealing with the Rolls Royce of Gelato here, trust me!

A full sensory experience!

And if that’s not enough, you really get a full sensory experience at Screme. First, you see these mountains of fresh gelato and sorbet that actually scream your name (ha, get it, scream!) If that’s not enough, you get unlimited tastes of the gelato and sorbet. Finally, you smell fresh, home-made waffles cooking and you’ll find yourself ordering a waffle a-la-mode. There is nothing better.

The Verdict:  Run, don’t walk to Screme. They’re open now (and kosher for Passover!). And if that’s not enough, it’s the first nice day here in NYC since 2010, so get yourself a treat from Screme and you’ll be on cloud nine!

Reconnaissance: Gelato!

12 Apr

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream. ~ Unknown

The Colors of Gelato

Loyal followers, I am in Miami this weekend sans ice cream maker (it doesn’t quite fit in a carry on) and to be honest, I feel naked. You know, I’ve come to rely so heavily on the ice cream maker and poof, it’s gone for a few days and I just don’t know how to function! I’m having withdrawal. There, I said it.

For some reason, I feel like I am in a 12 step program this weekend. The first step is:

We admit we are powerless over alcohol ice cream—that our lives have become unmanageable.

Ladies and Gentlemen – I am starting a very long path to recovery! (I promise it won’t happen while writing this blog, that’s for sure!)

But I digress…

It’s pretty clear that while on vacation it’s impossible to make ice cream . No matter how hard I try, I can’t travel with an ice cream maker. So instead I decided that while traveling it’s important to do a little reconnaissance for the blog. You know, a little field work to taste new flavors, see what the “locals” are eating, and get new ideas for you, my fellow eaters. I will consider my vacations “research” and see what my competition is!

Anyhow, there I was soaking up the beautiful sun and really enjoying the company of great girlfriends. Yet, before heading to the airport I wanted needed to get some ice cream.  While pondering where to go a nicely tan, shall we say mildly shriveled and perfectly toasted topless older gentleman crossed my path at the beach yelling “ice cream, get your ice cream.” I thought that my prayers had been answered!  He came over to my beach chair to show me his ice cream selection, and you know what it was? Klondike bars and frozen snickers. FAIL! I think he must of seen the look of disappointment on my face when he said “ma’am this ‘aint ice cream; ice cream is sweet cream at subarctic temperatures.” Ding ding ding!! That my friends, is my new mantra.

At that very moment, we left the beach on our quest to find real ice cream. We asked another overly tan gentleman (do you sense a theme here?) where we could find some good frozen treats and he pointed us in the direction of DolceVita Gelato. As we headed in towards the store the man yelled behind us “eat at your own risk.” Really? I should have known then…

DolceVita in Miami

A block later we arrived at the aforementioned shop. Upon entering, I felt that the pressure was on! Would this gelato live up to the famous gelato shops in NYC or the outstanding ice cream parlors in Argentina? Better yet, what if the mere taste of the gelato were to make me second guess this entire blog, out of fear that my ice cream concoctions will never live up to this famed frozen treat?

To quell my fears I tasted 5 different flavors: cookies and cream, dulce de leche with chocolate chips, mint chip, tiramisu and super sweet (yes, that was the name) dulce de leche. Honestly, after each one I thought really, each time hoping the flavors would get better, but they didn’t. They were pretty bland, and some of them even tasted stale (can ice cream taste stale?).

Dulce de Leche and Mint Chip Gelato

But, I felt it was against every principle I stand for to refuse a gelato. So I ordered 1/2 dulce de leche and 1/2 mint chip and dug in. If I were a critically acclaimed ice cream judge (I wish!) I’d give it a 4. Honestly, nothing to write home about and really quite a waste of a few hundred calories.

Oh well, as they say on 365scoops, there’s always next time!

Speaking of next time. Stay tuned for chocolate ice cream with marshmallow fluff and fudge chunks (it’s 100% kosher for passover!!).

Happy eating.