Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307464989 0307464989
Anyone can be a gelato maker with this recipe book for artisan gelato and homemade sorbetto. Besides easy recipes for Italian ice cream, F. W. Pearce and Danilo Zecchin provide information on gelato equipment, ingredients, mix-ins, toppings and serving suggestions.
Comparison of gelato and sorbetto
The 176-page recipe book is divided into four sections. The introduction describes the history of gelato making and the differences between ice cream, gelato and sorbetto. (Gelato is a frozen dessert with less fat and air than ice cream, but is smoother, denser and more flavorful than ice cream. Sorbetto is mostly fruit with sugar, water and flavorings, but no cream or fat.)
The Basics section explains how to make gelato with a chocolate base and a plain base of milk, cream, eggs and sugar.
Bourbon vanilla beans
Each chapter and recipe has an introduction. The Madagascar bourbon vanilla gelato recipe introduction, for example, explains that the flavor comes from pure vanilla extract and bourbon vanilla beans. (Bourbon is the former name of Reunion Island, east of Madagascar. Both islands produce whole vanilla beans.)
A sidebar and photo explain how to cut open vanilla pods and scrape out the seeds to flavor vanilla gelato.
Other sidebars discuss gelato ingredients. One explains fair trade chocolate and follows the sidebar with cacao nib gelato recipes. (Cacao nibs are fermented, dried, roasted and shelled cacao beans).
Some gelato recipes have variations, e.g., peanut butter gelato, chocolate peanut butter gelato and peanut butter with strawberry swirl gelato.
Iain Bagwell's color photos of gelato ingredients and gourmet gelato are so good that you want to eat the pages.
The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto discusses gelato equipment and the differences between gelato makers (hand crank, frozen canisters and compressor gelato makers). F. W. Pearce and Danilo Zecchin provide gelato recipes for kids, e.g., cookies and cream gelato, and adult Ciao Bella gelato recipes with alcohol, e.g., chocolate amaretto gelato.
Another chapter offers creative serving suggestions including gelato truffles, covered with chocolate ganache and gelato cake. A Sources section makes it easy to buy gelato makers and ingredients like cacao nibs and vanilla pods.
Sample gelato and sorbetto recipes
White chocolate gelato. Hazelnut (nocciola) gelato. Pistachio brownie gelato. Espresso gelato. Apple caramel crisp gelato. Banana with walnut praline gelato. Pumpkin and spice gelato. Malted milk ball gelato. Mint chocolate chip gelato. Irish cream gelato. Coconut sorbetto. Champagne sorbetto. Blackberry cabernet sorbetto.
- A Brief Introduction to Gelato
- The Ciao Bella Story
- Making Gelato at Home
- Two Recipes, Many Flavors
- Making Sorbetto at Home
- A Note on Ingredients
- The Basics
- Italian Classics
- American Favorites
- Fun flavors for kids
- Uniquely Ciao Bella
- Global inspirations
- Adults only
- Afternoon Refreshments & Amazing Endings
F.W. Pearce is the co-founder of Ciao Bella Gelato. Danilo Zecchin is executive chef and creator of the gelato flavors.