Caramel Gelato

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This is my first attempt at making something from Morgan Morano’s The Art of Making Gelato.  Morano worked in a gelato shop in Florence and then opened Morano Gelato in Hanover, NH which Forbes magazine in the July 5, 2011 issue called the best gelato in America.  She had 2 shops in New Hampshire when Covid hit in 2020, and the public health restrictions killed her business.

A question for most people is how gelato is different from American ice cream.  She mentions 3 differences: lower butterfat, higher density, and serving at a warmer temperature so that it melts more easily in the mouth.  The lower butterfat is clear.  This recipe uses about 25% heavy cream and 75% whole milk.  I am not sure about the density, although I will note that this recipe includes some solids, notably milk powder and tapioca starch, and I understand that lower cost American ice cream deliberately churns air into the ice cream as it freezes.

As a simple product, it will benefit from high quality and fresh ingredients.  I used some old Kraft caramels for the caramel sauce, and I think it would be better with fresher and higher quality caramels.  I garnished it with Ghirardelli caramel, which is a very good product.

This makes about 1 quart of gelato.  She recommends eating it soon after it is made since she thinks it is best fresh.

2 oz. (56 g.) milk powder (I use Nido whole-fat powder)

6 oz. (150 g.) granulated sugar

0.7 oz. (20 g.) Tapioca flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

7.4 oz. (210 g.) heavy cream

24.15 oz. (685 g.) whole milk

1 oz. (28 g.) light corn syrup (I used Karo)

3.5 oz. (100 g.) caramel sauce (I made from Kraft caramels as discussed below)

Put in a large saucepan the milk powder, granulated sugar and tapioca flour and mix well with a whisk.  Add the heavy cream and milk and whisk until smooth.  Add the corn syrup and caramel sauce and mix.  (The caramel sauce will likely only slightly mix while the mixture is cool.

Heat the saucepan on medium-high heat, whisking with increasing frequency as the mixture heats up, taking care that it does not burn.  Cook for around 8-10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Whisk vigorously and remove from the heat.

Put the mixture in an non-reactive bowl and cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap which is directly in contact with the top of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming.  Cool on the counter for 30-45 minutes, and then in the refrigerator for about 4 hours to completely chill.

Freeze the mixture following the directions of your ice cream machine.  (Mine has a gelato setting.)

Store the frozen gelato in the freezer with plastic wrap or parchment paper in contact with the top of the gelato.

To make the caramel sauce:

3 Tbs. whole milk or cream

4 oz. (113 g.) of caramels (I used Kraft.  She recommends Red Kite)

Put the milk and caramels in a small saucepan and cook slowly at moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the caramels melt into the milk to form a smooth sauce.


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