Caramelized Balsamic Gelato

By • July 1, 2010 • 3 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe comes from my need to try and copy dishes I've tried and really liked. Having no recipe to begin with it takes a lot of experimentation but thats where the fun comes in! This particular recipe is my latest (and I think greatest) attempt to copy Berkeley's O Chame restaurant Balsamic Vinegar Ice Cream! I think this recipe is interesting because of the method in its madness. Many (almost all) ice cream/gelato recipes that I have used involve the production of a sweet base to which other flavor is added later. This recipe differs in its addition of sweetness and flavor via a cooked caramel syrup to a simple egg and cream (unsweetened) light custard. - pastryninjaPastry Ninja

Food52 Review: Pastryninja is a true master of the culinary martial arts. This creamy and rich custard-based ice cream has a wonderful caramel flavor, but with a sneak attack of tart balsamic. Be sure to use a high-quality balsamic that you love. Try serving a small scoop with some seasonal fruit. - biffbourgeoisStephanie Bourgeois

Makes about a quart

Cream Custard Base

  • 6 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1.75 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  1. In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, heat cream and whole milk to a slight scald. Set aside.
  2. Crack and separate egg yolks into a large metal bowl. Beat slightly to break up and set aside.
  3. Temper a small amount of hot cream into eggs to even the temperature and prevent burning. Add remaining cream very slowly in 3 or 4 portions, stirring the entire time for even blending.
  4. Place your bowl over a large sauce pot of just simmering water to cook. Cook 8 to 12 minutes until the custard begins to thicken, scraping and skimming the bottom and sides with a rubber spatula to prevent burning and "scrambled eggs." The desired consistency will cling lightly to the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with your finger (on the spatula.) Remove from heat.
  5. Strain the cooked custard to remove any lumps. Cover with plastic wrap in contact with the surface and set aside.

Balsamic Caramel Sugar

  • 1.5 cups Superfine Sugar
  • 4.5 tablespoons Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  1. In a small to medium sauce pot over medium high heat, heat sugar to melting, washing down the sides with water with a pastry brush as needed to prevent crystals forming.
  2. Cook until the sugar begins to turn a medium golden brown. Working as quickly as you can, swirl once and add your vinegar all at once. Swirl again to mix and douse the bottom of the pot in icy water to stop cooking.
  3. Slowly pour the caramel into the cream base, stirring to prevent overheating. Continue stirring until all of the caramel has disolved and you have a nice even light coffee color.
  4. Strain your completed custard one final time and place in the fridge near the back overnight for cold hydration.
  5. Pour chilled custard into your ice cream or gelato machine and churn on low speed for 10 to 15 minutes until it looks like soft serve. Pour into a freezer safe container and chill to set 4-6 hours.
  6. Enjoy!
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Tags: balsamic, custard, Desserts, gelato, savory

Comments (3) Questions (1)

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about 2 years ago PEACHESandCREAM

I used to eat at O Chame just for this ice cream and I can't wait to try to recreate that juicy bitterness in our new ice cream maker, especially now that I live in Austin,tx. :(
Thanks Pastry Ninja!

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

I just purchased an ice cream machine and am was wondering what to make with it -- found the answer! Congrats on the EP!!

Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks great. I have some sour cherry balsamic vinegar that I can just taste in this!