Thursday, April 8, 2010
Sassy Strawberry - Strawberry Gelato with Buttery Salty Caramel Sauce
Sassy Strawberry is my name for this combination of fresh strawberry gelato drizzled with ooey gooey buttery salty caramel sauce. The inspiration for this creation came from a recent SteamKitchen.Com post on Salted Carmel Covered Strawberries. I wanted to put a Triple Scoop spin on this great post. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Jaden and her husband, Scott, along with her FoodBloggerForum.com partners, Diane and Todd, from WhiteOnRiceCouple.com at the Food Blog Forum Seminar on Saturday March 27th, 2010.
I had fantastic time at the event. I had no idea what to expect; I went into it with an open mind and I left with a spirit that anything is possible. I enjoyed meeting some bloggers who I have been following and other bloggers whose posts I am just starting to read. It was a fun day of learning and networking. I feel fortunate to be part of a community that shares so openly and is very supportive of each other's creativity.
One of the bloggers who I recently started following writes about Italian food and that they are partial to gelato over ice cream. I love them both; but there is something about being in Italy and having gelato at its birthplace that may convince you there is no other better frozen treat. I do agree that once you experience a food or dessert in its birthplace it hard to beat. Since we can't all travel to Italy this very minute maybe we can bring a bit of it into our homes.
Gelato is very similar to ice cream and is created slightly differently in the various regions of Italy. At it's core, it has less fat content (that means we can eat more!) and denser than ice cream. Gelato is usually served from a freezer that is a bit warmer than than a traditional ice cream freezer. It makes the gelato easier to serve and also allows you to enjoy the flavors better because your taste buds aren't as numb as when eating hard packed ice cream.
1 cup of freshed reduced and pureed strawberries
1 1/2 cup of whole milk
1 1/2 of cup of heavy cream
1 cup of sugar
I pureed one pound of strawberries and placed into a pot. Next, I added the sugar, letting the puree reduce by half over medium heat. This will evaporate most of the water and leave you with a concentrated strawberry flavor. Removing the water will give your gelato a smoother texture; otherwise, the excess water would freeze and make your gelato icy.
Combine one cup of the pureed strawberry reduction with your milk and cream. Let the gelato base refrigerate for 4 hours. Place in your ice cream/gelato maker and follow your machine instructions. Once the gelato has reached the desired texture, place in freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 4 hours.
Salted Butter Carmel Sauce, adapted from Smitten Kitchen:
1 cup sugar
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup of heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tsp of sea salt
In a 3- or 4-quart pot over medium high heat, pour the sugar and stir until a golden brown color. Then add the butter, let everything melt and stir constantly. Remove from heat and add your salt and cream. Stir ingredients together and return to heat -- make sure all the solids have dissolved and the caramel sauce is nice and smooth. Poor caramel into a heat-safe container; let cool then store in the refrigerator.
Before consuming the gelato, let it sit out for 5-10 minutes so that it softens up. During that time you can warm up the caramel for a minute in the microwave. Scoop the gelato into bowls and drizzle (or slather) with the Salted Butter Carmel Sauce. Enjoy!
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