The first time I walked into a gelateria, I was blown away by the sheer number of flavors available. There were trays and trays of multi-colored gelatos and, unlike most ice cream stores, they weren’t the same flavors you’d find at the local 31 flavors. Hazelnut, pistachio, espresso, coconut, gianduja and champagne were just a few. The flavors were intense and the gelato was rich and smooth.
Making Artisan Gelato is a cookbook that is all about making gelato at home, teaching you how to recreate those flavors and textures in your own kitchen. Most of the recipes have a similar base of milk, cream, eggs/egg yolks, sugar and a flavoring agent. The trick with gelato is in how it is churned and just how much flavoring – whether it is fruit, nuts or something else – gets into the finished product. Each recipe is explained in detail, and is accompanied by suggestions for several variations. I think it’s partuclarly interesting when the nut-based gelatos (hazelnut, etc.) are explained, since they’re not flavors that you often find in ice creams or other frozen dessert (unless the nuts are chopped up and stirred in)
Helpfully, the book doesn’t just leave you with a list of recipes and call it a day. There is an extensive introduction that covers the equipment and techniques used for making gelato, detailing everything from how to make a base with quality dairy products to how to prepare each type of fruit that you might think of incorporating into your batch. There are step-by-step photos that guide you through the process, too. There is even a bit about the history of gelato, if you’re interested in exploring the origins of the frozen dessert in addition to eating it. The photos are beautiful and will really tempt you to make a batch for yourself.