From left: Lemon and Chilli Sorbet, Chocolate Gelato with salted butterscotch sauce
I absolutely LOVE receiving things in the mail, and this time it’s Queen Make-At-Home gelato kits!!
Summer has rolled around in a BIG way, and that’s just put me in the mood for ice cream – meaning that these kits have come at the perfect time. I received 3 gelato kits and 1 sorbet, and I wanted very much to do something special with them. I know that being someone who constantly craves variety and surprise, I simply could not just have your run of the mill gelato flavours. But what to make?
Well, the lemon was the easiest to figure out. Something that I absolutely love with my acid, is the burn of chilli. I just love how the citric acid in lemon makes my tastebuds ring like the bells of Notre Dame, and then the capsacin in the chilli just blaze right through, setting them all on fire. Of course, I didn’t want my gelato to make people reach for a glass of water, but I did want it to bite back. And so…
It was simple, really. Lemon sorbet churned with just a touch of good chilli jam. Is there anything more simple? The sorbet turned out refreshing, and yet tantalising at the same time! We had it topped off on lemon-juice-and-maple-syrup-soaked crepes. Because the chilli jam wasn’t knock-your-socks-off spicy, it provided a slight warmth in my throat following the first tang of refreshing lemon. A match made in heaven.
The chocolate gelato was just slightly harder to pair. I wanted something that wasn’t too traditional, but it was a little harder to match unconventional ingredients to a chocolate gelato – in my opinion – as the rich, luxurious texture and deep flavour of the chocolate will just dominate. Yes, it can definitely be argued that there are many different things that can be done with chocolate, but I think that chocolate gelato is a very different beast. You’re not just dealing with the texture, flavour and mouth feel of pure chocolate, but also of the frozen creaminess of the gelato. (And I already used the chilli idea for the lemon.)
But thinking about the creamy texture and luxurious flavour made me think, “Why not just push luxuriousness and decadence to the next level? Surely more of a good thing can’t be bad?”
The answer? Salted butterscotch sauce.
Butterscotch is a relatively simple thing to make. Supposedly you’re meant to use actual scotch in it, but I don’t happen to have it around the home. The recipe seems to work well enough, and can be used to top off any number of desserts.
Salted Butterscotch Sauce
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup cream
Coarse Salt/Sea Salt Flakes
In a shallow pan, melt the butter and whisk in the brown sugar. Once the mixture has come to a boil, add the cream in slowly and whisk to combine. Continue to cook the sauce over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Sauce will continue to thicken upon standing. Once cooled, fold in sea salt flakes, careful not to let them fully dissolve into the sauce. Alternatively, sprinkle the salt on just before serving.
I would strongly recommend a small serving of the ice cream and sauce. I’m a person who loves any amount of decadence and hedonism, but even I felt that this was a truly rich combination. Immensely satisfying in small amounts. And given that it’s so easy to make, you can have frozen desserts to last you through those 40C days to come!
What I really like about these kits are that they are so simple, and allow you to concentrate on adding your spin on it without having to worry about things like infusing a particular flavour into the ice cream custard. These flavours are just so basic that you can add any multitude of things to it, and just create your own!
Of course, with great creativity still comes things to look out for, and these are my top things to look out for when making these gelatos:
- Make sure that you add the liquid component slowly and in parts, whisking to combine before adding the rest. If you add all of the liquid at once, it can be hard to ensure that all the powder dissolves into the liquid to make a homogenous mixture, resulting in a wonky textured ice cream.
- Anything that you wish to churn into the ice cream should be somewhat fluid but still of a syrupy consistency. When I added the chilli jam to the first batch of ice cream, I added it straight out of the jar and all the jam just sunk to the bottom. Heating it gently and then allowing it to cool to room temperature helped to ensure that it would mix into the lemon sorbet entirely.
- If you want to swirl the butterscotch sauce into the gelato, you can, but make sure that the gelato has churned to a thick enough consistency, or the sauce will settle eventually into the bottom of the container.
- In the pre-cooling process before churning, DO NOT put the gelato straight into the insulated bowl of the churner and put that in the fridge. You will end up with rapidly frozen edges that will cause the paddle of the machine to not turn and following that, very disturbing noises from your ice cream machine.
- That being said, the pre-cooling process of putting the mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes really helps you get the thick ice cream consistency when you put it into the machine to churn. Otherwise, at the end of 40 minutes of churning you get a semi-frozen tasty soup and is wayyy too thin to swirl flavours through.
But the best part is that these mixtures are so forgiving. You don’t have to worry about overcooking or curdling a custard. Even when I wasn’t able to make a completely homogenised gelato/sorbet mix – I was too eager and put all the liquid component in at once – the gelato still froze to a creamy consistency and was delicious nonetheless.
What are your favourite delicious gelato combinations?