January 18, 2009

A Taste of Red: Strawberry Stracciatella Gelato


Bill Blass is supposed to have said, “Red is the ultimate cure for sadness”. If this so, then we are an extremely happy family right now. My kitchen has been taken over by the season’s fruits and vegetables and strawberries (and red winter carrots) rule here at the moment. Another three weeks and strawberries will start disappearing from the market to return only a year later.




I don’t remember liking strawberries very much. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they were so expensive when we were last in Goa or that I never saw them in the last four years (they weren’t available in Kochi). They are cheaper now and I do enjoy the sensation of biting into a sweet and juicy strawberry and am exploring different ways to eat them. Gelato (I won’t call it ice-cream because it has no cream in it) was an automatic choice as we’re always game for ice-cream. It’s January and very pleasant here but not really cold. In fact, out here its ice-cream weather all the year round!

As I was making the gelato it struck me that chocolate pairs excellently with strawberries and I also remembered a stracciatella gelato I had seen a while back at Angela’s blog, A Spoonful of Sugar. She used an ice-cream maker while I don’t have one and am not likely to buy one either. When I asked her she sent me the procedure to make stracciatella without the ice-cream maker (even though making it in an ice-cream maker would result in a better texture) and that’s how I did it.




But what is stracciatella?
In Italian, “stracciato” means “torn apart” and normally describes a soup into which egg is incorporated such that it forms shreds/ stracciatelle in the soup.

It also refers to thin bits of chocolate in gelato which is what this recipe is about. Stracciatella gelato is made by finely drizzling melted chocolate onto frozen ice-cream (usually vanilla). The chocolate solidifies into thin pieces when it hits the cold ice-cream. This is broken up by lightly stirring the ice-cream. The result is a smooth ice-cream/ gelato with the slightest crunch/ crackle of chocolate and a wonderful experience.


Ingredients:


3 cups finely chopped strawberries

½ cup granulated sugar (adjust as required)

¼ cup honey

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp salt

500ml milk (3% fat)

3 tsp custard powder/ cornstarch

1 tsp vanilla extract


For the stracciatella:

75gm semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

25gm milk chocolate, chopped

2 tsp oil



Method:


Put the chopped strawberries in a bowl and add the sugar, honey, lemon juice and salt. Mix well and refrigerate this for about 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile, boil the all the milk except half a cup. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium. To the half cup of cold milk, add the custard powder/ cornstarch and mix well to dissolve it. Add this to the boiling milk and keep stirring till the milk thickens to a custard consistency. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, while stirring the custard frequently to prevent a skin from forming.

Take the strawberry mixture out and puree it. Add the vanilla extract and the milk custard and blend well. Pour into a plastic or metal bowl, cover it and freeze.

Then follow Angela’s advice to me which follows.

“Pour it into a plastic freezer box , cover the surface with clingfilm, put a lid on and freeze. Thereafter re-mix with a fork every 30 minutes until it reaches the right consistency. The ice cream should be eaten within 3 weeks; before serving, remove it to the main body of the refrigerator for 20 minutes to soften.

When you think the ice-cream has almost reached the right texture, then melt your chocolate & oil together over hot water. Let it cool slightly and then quickly drizzle a little over the surface of the ice-cream. It should set on contact and then you need to quickly stir the chocolate into the ice-cream, breaking up any long strands of chocolate into small pieces. Keep repeating until the chocolate is used up. You may need to pop the ice-cream back in the freezer during this process if it starts to melt.”
It is important to drizzle the chocolate in a thin stream and this can be done using a fork. That would give you the perfect texture. I’m afraid my drizzling technique left a lot to be desired, and I did get a few slightly larger pieces of chocolate in my gelato but we enjoyed it all the same.

In fact, I made the gelato to serve after lunch but my husband and our daughter decided they were having it for dessert after breakfast! Of course, I joined them. Who can resist the lure of chocolate and ice-cream?
Never had dessert after breakfast? Try this gelato on a Sunday, it’s quite an experience.

Bee and Jai are colouring it “Red” at Click this month and the first picture in this post is my entry there.



35 comments:

Sunshinemom said...

I too would have loved to have it for 'breakfast dessert'! Looks so yummy - it is a sin to leave dessert for other courses if it is already done:)

Jayashree said...

This is such a do-able recipe, Aparna with no need for any fancy equipment. Would love to try this out some time.

Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said...

It looks gorgeous, Aparna! I'm so pleased that my directions worked out well for you, and also terribly jealous that you have such nice strawberries! I can't wait for strawberry season to roll round again...

Smitha said...

Wow, it is 24 carat pleasure to just look at the picture.. wonder what it would be pop into my mouth!!!

A_and_N said...

I'm not too fond of strawberries too for some reason. I should try this with some other berries. And gelato! I can even diet with it :D

Happy cook said...

Wowo beautiful and delicious.
Here we still have to wait till May for the strawberry season.

Navita said...

gorgeous!

m so going to try this..
hi first time here. u have a trove of gr8 pics n lovely recipes...

Simran said...

I want to go straight to kitchen and make this. But alas, I have done my share of dessert making and indulging this weekend :(

Ivy said...

I'm moving to Goa. Lucky girl living in place where it's always ice cream weather!! Your gelato sounds delicious.

Cham said...

We still get some stawberries here but not so sweet. Looks like a sweet breeze the gelato!

Priya said...

Will try once i'll get strawberries here..looks delicious, would really love to have them rite even its too cold here:(

Pavithra Kodical said...

Looks very inviting..Lovely pictures :)

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely and delicious.Love it Aparna,never ever tried the stracciatello.Lovely and love the breakfast dessert.I too will not be able to resist.:P

sowmya said...

wow..nice recipe and tempting picture..love the red click too..

SMN said...

Yummy Aparna.. perfect for the event bookmarked the recipe..

notyet100 said...

omg I AM diein here to hve tht,..;-)

Soma said...

Lovely shot Aparna.. Love the way it fades out..

That dessert looks gorgeous too... all things delicious in it. & I learned something new.

bee said...

thanks for your entry, dear aparna.

Bharti said...

It looks so delish...
I wish I had ice cream weather all round the year. Right now its sniffles weather :-( but I would want it on a Sunday- sniffles or not.

Ashwini Kenchanna said...

Looks yummy..lovely pics..Will definitely try...

Vaishali said...

This does look and sound absolutely delicious, Aparna. I don't think your gelato suffers one bit for not being made in an ice-cream maker. And the thought of those crackly strips of chocolate with the creamy, sweet-tart strawberries makes my tastebuds dance.
Very nice job indeed!

sra said...

" ... Dessert after breakfast" - L&LOL! (lots and lots of laughter).

karuna said...

look absolutely yummy. And i love the colour red!!!!

pigpigscorner said...

I just can't resist chocolate and strawberries! Looks yummy!

Cynthia said...

This is such an inviting post. It is like visiting you and sitting, having a chat and sharing a sweet treat. :)

PG said...

I like that shot of yours, of the strawberries.
I would have never dreamed of making straciatela myself or for that matter like this. I always thought you just add some thin chocolate flakes to it, that's it! :D
Lovely, lovely, lovely!

Passionate About Baking said...

Fab gelato...wow!!

anudivya said...

That is perfect! The picture is sooooo good. If interested, you could try sending it to the Click-Red event by Bee.

Jude said...

Strawberries were pretty expensive where I'm from, too. Always good to create new memories, though :)

Dershana said...

Lovely gelatto. The choclate bits would be adding such an interesting twist to the strawberry flavour!

Aparna said...

Gelato is definitely very doable. I make it a lot, in different flavours.
Appreciate all you comments.

Thanks again, Angela.

If only diets were made of such stuff, N. :(

Welcome here, Navita and thanks. Appreciate the compliments.

That's a very sweet thing to say, Cynthia.

When are you coming, Ivy?

As you can see, PG, its quite easy. :)

Thanks, Anudivya. I have sent in for CLICK.

Shreya said...

sinfully delicious! love the click for red...

Rajani said...

finally i see it! it looks heavenly - i really want a spoonful! nice shot for click too!!

Raaga said...

Funny... I was thinking of egg drop soup on Tuesday night... I had it years ago at a new year's lunch at Taj West End... and here you are with a technical name for just that :)

the pics are lovely and so is the gelato :) Add this to the menu if I visit you in season please :)

Bellini Valli said...

This was amazing Aparna. This time around I had to leave out the chocolate, but I will definitely be making it again once we have local sundrenched strawberries:D