Tag Archives: Gelato

Malt Ball Gelato

Malt Ball Gelato

Gelato. I think we’d all agree, it’s just plain some of the best stuff on planet earth. I discovered it about twelve years ago; I was in grad school and I did a study abroad for six weeks one summer in Austria. And though you might think of gelato being associated with Italy – its birthplace – don’t forget that all of Europe has embraced this creamy sweetness, and gelaterias exist all over.

malt balls

We had one by the little apartment building we were staying in, and I won’t say every day, but on most afternoons I would stop by and get a little cup of something (usually chocolate). This was still in my picky eating days, yet I adored this gelato stuff I’d just discovered. I found I sorely missed it once I returned home to the States, and it was a good month before I ate any American ice cream.

malt balls for gelato

So what made me adore gelato so much? How is it so different from our American ice cream? For starters, there’s less fat in gelato. Instead of an equal ratio of milk to cream, or even using more cream than milk, gelato uses more milk than cream. The other key difference is that gelato has less air incorporated into it during the churning process. In Europe they have specific gelato makers, which differ from ice cream makers in that they turn the custard slower, and they have devices that move the gelato in an up-and-down motion as well as it spinning around. It also churns for less time overall. And lastly, it is served at a warmer temperature than ice cream.

Malt Ball Gelato

The result is that gelato is denser and has a creamier mouthfeel. It just tastes more luxurious, more decadent, even though it’s actually lower calorie than ice cream. And at least to this American, it feels slightly exotic. International. So let’s Americanize it, shall we? Let’s class this gelato thing down! We’re putting malt balls in there – the quintessential movie theater treat for children. While we may outgrow the childhood movies, no adult truly loses their taste for the malt balls, I’m convinced.

Malt Ball Gelato

Which is probably why a bunch of otherwise mature and functional adults all loved this gelato! It’s the perfect gelato texture, but with that nostalgic flavor and crunch woven in. I loved it, and I feel quite certain you will too. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Homemade Cajun Seasoning}

Source: lightly adapted from The Scarpetta Cookbook by Scott Conant

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup plus 1 tbs granulated sugar
1 cup malted milk powder
1 tsp ground mace (sub in ground nutmeg if you can’t find mace)
6 large egg yolks
8 oz. chocolate covered malt candy (malt balls), cut in half and/or quartered

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, and ½ cup of the sugar. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, about a minute or 2, then add the malted milk powder and mace. Whisk to combine. Let the mixture continue to heat up until you see bubbles forming at the edges of the pot. Shut off the heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Slowly pour about ½ cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking all the while. This will temper the eggs so they do not scramble on you. Now pour the egg mixture, slowly, into the saucepan, whisking continuously. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture has thickened somewhat and can coat the back of a spoon. This takes around 7-10 minutes.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Place this mixing bowl into an ice bath and let it come up to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate the custard until very cold.
Turn on your ice cream maker and pour the custard in. Churn the gelato about 5 minutes less than your ice cream maker instructs for ice cream. In the last few minutes it’s churning, add the reserved chopped malt balls to incorporate. Transfer the gelato to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 2 hours to firm up somewhat before serving.