What makes gelato different as apposed to ice cream? How does gelato get that soft, elastic texture and no meltdown compared to ice creams richer and creamier texture.
How Ice cream works
Basically it comes down to three small factors, fat, air and serving temperature. Due keep in mind all ice creams are mostly water and as water freezes, it forms hard crunchy ice crystals through added ingredients. There are many ways to keep ice cream soft, such as alcohol, starch, protein(eggs & milk) and stabilizers like guar gum plus carageenan.
Ice Cream Vs. Gelato
Gelato has less fat in the base and less air incorporated during the freezing process. American ice creams are heavy on cream with a fat content. Gelato by comparison uses more milk than cream, so lower fat content.
Ice cream is churned fast and hard to whip in plenty of air because of a higher amount of cream in the base. Gelato is churned at a much slower speed and introduces less air into the base. The texture is like whipping cream by hand rather than using a stand mixer and tastes more dense than ice cream.
How does gelato get a super soft almost elastic texture that looks like a swirl of whip cream? Well, Ice cream is best served at around 10°. Gelato cases are set to a warmer temperature but if you freeze gelato, it will turn rock solid like a brick. But when stored warm it’s the perfect soft and not soupy consistency. Most know if you store ice cream at a warm temperature it will soupy.