I wanted to introduce my niece Jessie who earns her living making gelato! How fun is that? Well, she did go to culinary school at Johnson & Whales in Rhode Island and she was the head pastry chef for her childhood friend Stephanie Izzard (winner of Top Chef!) at a restaurant called Scylla’s (it was on Damen St. in Chicago but is now closed). I’m not even really sure how she ended up just making gelato, but she is now selling it to some of the hottest restaurants in Chicago like Uncommon Ground, Goose Island Brewery, Broadway Cellars and Gruppo di Amici.
The name of her company is called Black Dog Gelato. So I am lucky enough to try her new flavors out whenever there is a family party. She makes dozens of exotic flavors such as salted peanut, balsamic, chai and vanilla malted. The best part is if you are having a party, or a wedding, you can hire her company to cater the party, complete with gelato, toppings, sauce and service. She actually had gelato at her own wedding reception a few weeks ago and it was a huge hit!
I keep saying how awesome it would be to work with her for a whole day and see how she comes up with the different flavors and how it all works. When that happens, I will definitely take lots of pictures!
Have any of you tried making gelato at home? I did find an easy recipe at Epicurious.com I don’t have an ice cream maker so sadly I have not tried it. Although I did see there is an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer, so I’ll have to ask for that for Christmas!!
This serves 6
2-1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt (a pinch)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum (found in health food stores such as Fruitful Yield or Whole Foods)
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Combine dry ingredients (sugar, cocoa, salt, guar gum) and mix thoroughly. Put milk in a saucepan and whisk in the dry ingredients a little at a time. Mixture should be smooth. Heat over medium heat with frequent stirring (or whisking) until mixture comes to a full boil, and then take it off the heat.
Add chocolate chips and let the mixture stand for two minutes to melt the chips. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Place the pan in a cold-water bath to cool, and then transfer to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly.
Transfer the mixture to a small ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.
That sounds pretty tasty!!