A question about a recipe: Caramelized Balsamic Gelato

I have a question about the recipe "Caramelized Balsamic Gelato" from Pastry Ninja. OK, when I caramelize the sugar, do I stir it? Then, when I add the vinegar, it explodes & the sugar turns to a taffy consistancy. I stirred it over the heat to get a smoother, almost molasses texture but as soon as I put the pot in the ice water, the mixture starts to get hard. When I add it to the egg mixture it almosts solidifies, I have to use an imersion mixer to get it blended up or I just get a blob of the sugar/balsamic on the bottom of the custard. It tastes great when it's done but I just feel like I must be doing something wrong.

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Recipe question for: Caramelized Balsamic Gelato

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Pastry Ninja
Pastry Ninja September 19, 2011

This is a really tricky recipe...

The trick is to get the sugar to the point where it just begins to fall over the edge of golden. The first sign of golden color is you "GO" button on adding your vinegar. Add your vinegar and hit the water for just a minor moment (1 second maybe 2) The sugar should be fairly thick but not rock hard. If it does go hard quickly you can actually add a bit of fat (heavy cream or even butter) to relax it just a bit before adding, much like making butterscotch. Another key is to agitate the sugar while it's cooking as little as possible and be very vigilant about brushing down the sides of the pot to prevent crystallization and setting.

Worst case, where its like a rock once it hits the cool custard is still not terrible. What you can do here is stir until most of it dissolves... not 100% of it will and it can take time but it will impart the flavor you need. Hopefully it doesn't happen but it can be fixed most of the time.

This is one of the trickiest recipes I've ever come across and it really relies on messing it up a few times to get your timing just right... It took me more than a few times to get the whole lot where it needs to be :p The timing of the sugar depends a lot on the ambient temp, humidity, altitude...

Hopefully these little notes can help solve the issues this recipe makes for itself! Let me know how it goes! Thanks for checking out my recipe!

-Pastry Ninja (Cam)

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Pastry Ninja
Pastry Ninja September 19, 2011

*accidental double answer* not sure how that happened... sorry!

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Michele Kramer D'Amico
Michele Kramer D'Amico September 19, 2011

Well that was quick, thanks. It really is delicious when it's done & saves me the drive up to O Chame.

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