Monday, May 31, 2010

Cookbook Review - The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto

Nocciola (Hazelnut) Gelato
I was happy to get a copy of The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto, because perfecting cold things like ice cream, gelato, and sorbet are on my to-do list for the year.

The recipes in the book span from the predictable and expected to the creative, the type where you want to make them just to taste what it might be like (black sesame!?). I chose to try the nocciola (hazelnut) gelato because I have a big bag of Oregon hazelnuts in my freezer that I'm always looking for a recipe for, and I wanted something that was a little more "authentic." It was a few extra steps to prep the hazelnuts, but the end result had so much flavor, I'd say it was worth it. There are two base recipes in the book for gelato (regular and chocolate) and this was a good example of the plain base.

Mango Sorbetto
I also wanted to play around with a sorbetto recipe, because I hadn't yet tried anything non-creamy in my ice-cream maker. Mangoes looked terrific at the store, so mango it was! The sorbet(to) was full of fruit flavor, which makes sense since it was simply mangoes and simple syrup.

I'm still learning how long to leave mixtures in the ice-cream maker before putting them in the regular freezer for a few hours, and I think I've decided that stopping around 25 minutes where everything is still a bit soft, and not as much has hardened on the sides, is the best strategy. That is what I did with the gelato and it was still soft and creamy a few hours later from the freezer.

I'm sure you'll see more recipes from this book throughout the summer. I was very happy with the simplicity of the plain base, and there is so much room to be creative with it! I also want to try granita, which there was a chart for at the end of the book.

If the name sounds familiar, Ciao Bella is pretty standard in grocery stores these days. But you can't beat the taste of making it at home (plus it is cheaper in the end!).

Categories: ice-cream, Hazelnut, Mango


Benthe said...

Yummy, homemade icecream!

Unknown said...

Looks tasty! Perfect treat for a hot day like today