June 5, 2009

Candy Cap Gelato

Candy Cap Gelato

Gelato is the truly ethereal version of ice cream that originates in Italy. Most important to a gelato is to start with a good base and to finish with low-speed churning that incorporates as little air as possible.

There are two standard gelato bases, white and yellow. The white base is made without eggs, the yellow with. Precise proportions vary from maker to maker, however. Here is the white gelato base I use.

White Gelato Base
1½ cup/12 oz./340g whole milk
1½ cup/12 oz./340g heavy cream
½ cup/3.5 oz./100g granulated sugar
½ cup/6 oz./170g honey or glucose

Mix together in a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to 176-180°F/80-82°C, stirring frequently. Infuse with flavorings for 30 minutes, covered. Strain into a stainless steel bowl in an ice bath, then refrigerate overnight. Process in a gelato or ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Glucose tastes neutral, honey tastes like honey. If the flavoring you intend to use will be masked by or conflict with honey, use glucose.

If you aren't familiar with candy cap mushrooms, read my first post on this mushroom. To make candy cap gelato, I used about ¼ ounce/7 grams dried candy cap mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon to infuse my white gelato base made with honey.

On the palate, it begins with a slightly fungal honey nose, then the candy caps spring to life. This year there is a strong maple syrup-butterscotch blend. The taste of honey lingers on the palate. The deep, rich flavor of the candy caps really shines in gelato.

16 comments:

  1. looks absolutely delicious and very unique. Do you have a preference for the glucose or honey?

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  2. Thanks! I prefer the honey except when I'm doing something really delicate, like vanilla. You could use all sugar, but the texture is better with honey or glucose.

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  3. The new photo of you is much, much better than the previous one. And I ought to know, since I took the photo and I am your father.

    The gelato was truly delicious.

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  4. Thanks, both for the photo, which does look much better, and for taste testing the gelato. See, I told you mushroom gelato would taste good.

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  5. This gelato sounds fantastic. I must try it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  6. You're welcome. It really is quite good.

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  7. Your instructions a little vague on the mushrooms--do you soak and just use the liquor or use the entire mushroom?

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  8. An infusion is made by allowing the liquid, in this case gelato base, to absorb the flavor of something, in this case mushrooms. Infusions are always strained. So, make the base, add the dried mushrooms and cinnamon to the base, let it sit until you're satisfied with the strength of the flavor (remembering to take into account the gelato will be cold), then strain and freeze.

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  9. Did you finely chop up the dried mushrooms for the infusion? Grind? What do you recommend? And, simply add them to the base, correct? Thank you! I've got candy caps ready to use!

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  10. I didn't chop the mushrooms because they were really quite small. It certainly wouldn't hurt to chop them, but the smaller the pieces the more likely you are to end up with bits of mushroom in the gelato. Hope you enjoy it!

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  11. could you use agave syrup or maple syrup instead of glucose? Can you cut the amount of sugar/other sweetener for less sweet gelato ( I haven't tried it, but often desserts I find too sweet)? thanks for the great recipe and letting me know your thoughts on this!

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  12. Glucose or honey are used for texture as well as sweetness. Maple
    syrup if Grade B could be used if you want a maple flavor. Agave syrup
    won't give the right texture and I don't like the flavor, so I
    wouldn't use it. In this recipe maple syrup would mask the flavor of
    the mushrooms. As for levels of sweetness, be careful when you cut
    back on sugar because sugar lowers the freezing point, keeping gelato
    from being too hard.

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  13. Great! thanks for the information and tips, I will follow your advice. do you mean any sugar lowers the freezing point ( including honey, since it is a kind of sugar?)

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  14. Looks great! I hope it isn't as sweet as your regular ice cream. I want to try making one of these - I just hope the sweetness of that Gelato will be enough for me to handle at least. It's tough having both sweet and sensitive teeth at the same time.

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