I am breaking tradition here. Normally I would post a lovely French recipe to complement the book Dragonfly. I will save the madeleine recipe for my next French themed book. Right now I am just too excited about my newest purchase. I would like to introduce you to Florence.
Florence is a “The Smart Scoop”™ made by the Australia company, Breville. This versatile ice cream maker has 12 hardness settings to make sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato, and ice cream. I think Florence and I will be spending a lot of time together.
I named her Florence because the best gelato I have ever eaten was in the city of Florence, Italy. My favorite gelato shops in Florence were at Gelateria Edoardo and Carapina. I prefer it when the gelato comes straight from the freezer container. The prettier ones that are in the display cases sometimes add gelatin or another filler or can be made from a flavored powder. When you are in Italy always look for a sign that says “gelato artiginale” (artisanal gelato), “gelato biologico” ( organic gelato) or “produzione propria” (our own production.)
There are several differences between ice cream and gelato. Gelato has less fat in the base since it uses more milk than cream and has fewer egg yolks. It is churned at a much slower rate, incorporating less air. This makes the gelato denser than ice cream. A disadvantage is that gelato forms ice crystals much faster than ice cream does, and will quickly freeze into a block overnight, whereas ice cream will stay creamier. But my favorite distinction is that gelato makes me long to be sitting at an ancient fountain in a beautiful Italian town.