Gelato, Italian Ice cream, or is it?

For the lovers of all things frozen and dairy, Gelato and Ice cream are very different. The two might look the same, but they have very distinct differences, for instance, Gelato is creamy, smooth and silky while ice cream is fluffy and light and not as dense as Gelato. The base ingredients also differ slightly, they both use milk and sugar, but ice-cream uses more cream and incorporates egg yolks. Think about that when you next eat an ice-cream at a baseball game or surfing contest.


Although Gelato is the word used for ice cream in Italy, it differs in ingredients, temperature and process. It starts similarly with a custard-like base, but uses more milk, leading to a more fluid consistency. Gelato is churned slowly, slower than ice cream, which mixes less air into the desert, making it dense, and due to the slightly higher serving temperature, it stays soft and silky. Gelato uses less fat in its recipe, so the main flavour takes the lead.

  • 2 cups milk (2% or 3% fat)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn-starch / cornflour
  • a pinch of salt

Take 1/4 cup cold milk, from the 2 cups listed in the ingredients, and dissolve the corn-starch in it. Heat the rest of the milk and add the sugar, stirring well. When the milk starts boiling, turn down the heat and add the corn-starch mixture and stir until a custard forms. Once this has cooled to room temperature, add a pinch of salt and whisk until the texture is smooth. Pour this mixture into a container and place in the freezer, removing it a few times to beat it to stop the formation of ice crystals.

Ice Cream

This frozen dessert calls for cream, sugar, milk and egg yolks, egg yolks result in more luxurious ice cream. These ingredients are combined and cooked together, making a creamy custard. The custard once cooled, is churned at a medium to high speed, to incorporate air, which increases the volume of the dessert. Ice cream, smooth, light and creamy, is served cold so that it can be scooped up and held together, some may argue that this numbs the mouth and dulls the flavour.

  • Four egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence

Whisk eggs and sugar together in a medium saucepan until combined well. In another pan, bring the milk to a simmer over low – medium heat, without stirring. Now slowly pour the warm milk to the egg and sugar mixture while stirring. Place this back on the weather, removing it just before it reaches a boil.

Pour this custard into a container and let it chill in the fridge. When this custard base is well chilled (a couple of hours or more), stir in the heavy cream and the and vanilla essence, then beat energetically to incorporate air. Pour this mixture into a container and place it in the freezer.