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I recently attempted to make this gelato recipe which required procuring some special ingredients (liquid glucose and powdered dextrose). I had high hopes for a very silky-smooth, creamy gelato. I followed the instructions closely, except I did not cool the mixture over an ice bath (I let it come to room temperature then put it in the fridge). But the result after churning and freezing was a very icy mixture that resembled more of a sorbet. The flavor was good but texture obviously off. I assumed this stemmed from the 100ml of brewed espresso which has a rather high water content, but this doesn’t seem to be too different from other coffee-flavored ice cream recipes. Any ideas of where I went wrong?

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That recipe has a pretty low butterfat content and no real stabilizers, plus a lot of water. Commercial gelato is usually made with low butterfat also but with a lot of stabilizer, sometimes several different kinds. Although gelatin isn't usually used, you can think of how it affects liquid, and stabilizers sort of do the same to compensate for the lack of butterfat. Gelato is also not usually frozen hard, but rather served at a warmer temperature because it generally doesn't freeze well.

I made gelato once by starting with a commercial mix that had stabilizers included, and it came out great. But most of the home recipes I see for gelato either turn out like yours did, or they're really just ice cream recipes with lots of whipping cream but they're calling it gelato -- which they can do, because unlike ice cream, gelato has no regulation as to what percentage of butterfat is required.

If you really want to make gelato, I'd suggest trying to buy a commercial mix, or experiment with stabilizers such as xanthan gum powder.

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