Recently, I had the opportunity to check out a gelato-making class in the city, courtesy of Vimbly. Vimbly is a service that curates all the fun things to do in New York City into one site so you don't have to waste time researching and matching up schedules. It's pretty neat. Activities range from learning how to make sushi, to taking a Muay Thai class.
I chose to take a gelato-making class because, well, I've been kind of obsessed with gelato lately. Although I've made ice cream at home, I never looked into how to make gelato. The base recipe that we used at Mia Chef Gelateria was southern-Italian style, which didn't require eggs. It was a combination of heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, skim milk powder, dextrose, and "Mia's Spice" which was a secret flavoring mix. We added cocoa powder, and peppermint oil to create various flavors.
Turns out, making gelato is not much different from making ice cream - the major differences are that gelato is churned slower, which introduces less air than ice cream. Gelato also has less fat since it uses whole milk rather than all heavy cream. The other "difference" in making authentic gelato according to the chef instructor is to use a gelato machine, which can range from $100 to the $20k commercial machine that we used in class. The heavy-duty commercial machine is a "smart" machine that controls temperature so the gelato mixture stays creamy and doesn't turn into a solid block of ice. Also, the chef instructor told us that the sign of a quality gelato is the "stripes" or lines that are visible throughout a tray of freshly churned gelato (see top left photo) - which, can only be achieved with the $20k machine as the gelato is extruded from a grill/grate. I'm not quite sure if I believe that, but I'll definitely be looking out for those lines at the next gelateria I visit.
Overall, the class was enjoyable - how can I say no to free gelato? The chef was very knowledgeable and shared a lot of gelato-making history and tidbits. Normally, I wouldn't pay for a class on gelato-making but now, I know how simple it is to make at home. We even got to take home four pints of gelato - can't beat that!
With all that said, I will definitely be using Vimbly again, as the site is easy to search and navigate. The Vimbly staff is super-friendly and attentive, as well. Next time, however I'll have to book an activity that's more out of my comfort zone... like rock-climbing. Or intro to firearms. ;)
Vimbly is offering a $5 discount for Sweets by Sillianah's NYC readers to try something new in the city. Let me know what you decide to try! Use code: SWEETSBYLIL4413-VBY
Disclosure: Vimbly provided me with a complimentary gelato-making class in exchange for me to review their service. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.