TGIF! Another gorgeous Friday! When I need a smile, all I have to do do is look at these photos taken in the Maremma region of Italy in June of the this year! A Sunday quickly turned into a photographic event. A sea of yellow surrounded us from all directions. I sight that will never be forgotten. Happy Friday!
Archive for July, 2011
As you can see, I am on a gelato kick once again. Another sweltering day here in New England and we are suffering form the heat and humidity! During our recent return to Italy, my husband frequently enjoyed Staciatella Gelato, here is a recipe to try at home!
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Place milk in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a simmer, whisking often. Whisk sugar, yolks, and salt in a medium bowl until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return to saucepan; stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and a thermometer registers 170°F-175°F, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain into a medium bowl. Stir in cream. Chill custard until cold, at least 2 hours.
Stir chocolate and oil in a small sauce-pan over low heat until melted; let cool.
Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Slowly add all but 1 tsp. melted chocolate during the last 30 seconds of churning (chocolate will form small chips). Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle remaining chocolate over gelato in zigzag lines. Serve immediately.
We are in the midst of summer’s heat and some days there is no way to escape. I always come back to thinking about my favorite Italian Gelato! Much better than out American version of ice cream, although a close second. Ice cream brings me back to my childhood, walking a across the street to the small neighborhood store to get a .25 cent ice cream on a stick. After my first excursion to Italy nine years ago I am hooked on gelato. You see gelato is a much more flavorful, somewhat softer, less heavy and sweet, than our ice cream. Tantalizing flavors await the palate. Pistachio, pear, marscapone, chocolate, rosemary, lampone, Nutella just to name a few!
Gelato is different from some ice cream because it has a lower butterfat content. Gelato typically contains 4–8% butterfat, versus 14% for ice cream in the United States. Gelato has a higher sugar content than ice cream. Dairy based gelato contains 16–24% sugar and water and fruit based sorbet contains 24–30% sugar. Most ice cream in the United States contains 12-16% sugar. The sugar content in gelato is precisely balanced with the water content to act as an anti-freeze to prevent the gelato from freezing solid. Types of sugar used include sucrose, dextrose, and invert sugar to control apparent sweetness. Typically, gelato and Italian sorbet contain a stabilizing base. Egg yolks are used in yellow custard-based gelato flavors, including zabaione and creme caramel. Non-fat milk solids are also added to gelato. ~ Wikipedia
Have you ever had the luxury of eating Gelato? What is your favorite flavor?
Summer has been fantastic so far this year. The weather is perfect. Last night, I sat out on the steps just before dark admiring the quietness, the smell of the grass and my bounty of fresh sweet basil that I had just picked. I wish every evening could contain the sweetness and simplicity of a summer night.