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Test Kitchen tips: Homemade gelato

June 22, 2012 |  8:00 am

Homemade gelatoHave you ever wanted to make your own homemade gelato, but didn't think it was possible without the proper equipment? Well, it can be done with nothing more than some bowls, a whisk ... and a little arm power.

Sheri Jennings contributed a great story on homemade gelatos, including recipes for making a variety of them -- chocolate, lemon, strawberry and even Parmesan -- using basic equipment. Try one, or a few, this weekend. They make a great weekend project.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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-- Noelle Carter
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Photo credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Chocolate gelato

Total time: 40 minutes plus cooling time and about 1 1/2 hours freezing time

Servings: 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons skim milk powder

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

3 1/2 ounces chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa

1 1/2 pounds ice

1 pound rock salt

1. Prepare the chocolate base: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, honey, milk powder and cocoa powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a strong simmer, about 7 to 8 minutes. While the mixture is heating, add the chocolate to melt. Remove from heat and set aside for 3 hours, or up to 2 days refrigerated.

2. Place the cooled base in a medium aluminum bowl.

3. Place the bowl over a larger bowl of ice and salt and whip the base with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture; it will be a soft ice cream consistency.

4. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2  hours before serving.

Each of 8 servings: 203 calories; 3 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 8 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 7 mg cholesterol; 27 grams sugar; 35 mg sodium.

Parmesan gelato

Total time: 30 minutes plus cooling time and 1 1/2 hours freezing time

Servings: 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

4 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup finely grated Parmesan

1 1/2 pounds ice

1 pound rock salt

1. Prepare the milk base: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and heavy cream. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a strong simmer, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 3 hours, or up to 2 days refrigerated.

2. In a medium aluminum bowl, combine the cooled milk base with the sugar and Parmesan cheese.

3. Place the bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip the mixture with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

4. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each of 8 servings: 241 calories; 8 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 12 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 40 mg cholesterol; 25 grams sugar; 214 mg sodium.

Strawberry gelato (water-based)

Total time: 20 minutes plus about 1 1/2 hours freezing time

Servings: 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

1 pound cleaned strawberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 pounds ice

1 pound rock salt

1. In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar and water. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

2. Place the strawberry mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

3. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each serving: 116 calories; 0 protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 28 grams sugar; 1 mg sodium.

Lemon gelato (water-based)

Total time: 20 minutes plus 1 1/2 hours freezing time

Servings: 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

1 cup lemon juice, from about 6 lemons

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups water

1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) diced apple (about 1 apple), cut into 1/4-to-1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 pounds ice

1 pound rock salt

1. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, sugar, water and diced apple. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

2. Place the lemon mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

3. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each serving: 124 calories; 0 protein; 33 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 10 grams sugar; 1 mg sodium.

Strawberry gelato (milk-based)

Total time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time and 1 1/2 hours freezing time

Servings: 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons skim milk powder

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 cups sugar, divided

2 to 3 cups cleaned strawberries (fresh or frozen)

1 1/2 pounds ice

1 pound rock salt

1. Prepare the milk base: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, milk powder, heavy cream and 1 cup sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a strong simmer, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 3 hours, or up to 2 days refrigerated.

2. In a blender, combine the cooled milk base with the strawberries and remaining three-fourths cup sugar. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

3. Place the strawberry mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

4. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each serving: 243 calories; 2 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 49 grams sugar; 48 mg sodium.

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