Taste & Tipple is 3 years old and this is my 300th blog post! Holy cannoli.
This recipe and post felt like a great way to celebrate this milestone for a few reasons. First, I love ice cream and had a leftover bag of cranberries after Thanksgiving that I wanted to put to work and thought this cranberry gelato would be the perfect way to mitigate food waste AND mark the occasion. Second, the process of making this gelato was a great metaphor for the last three years.
I didn’t post anything last week because I was struggling with this gelato recipe and wanted a fancy dessert to toast 300 posts. Everything was going swimmingly up until the churn portion of the process. I consulted multiple cranberry gelato recipes and they all said the same thing: make cranberry jam (without cream or eggs), chill it in the fridge, blitz it in a blender with cream, and “follow manufacturer instructions” to freeze in your ice cream maker.
So I take my blitzed cranberry base and pop it into the ice cream maker attachment of my Kitchenaid mixer (yes, the bowl is frozen), and I set it to “stir” – as per manufacturer instructions. So, it churns for 15 minutes and there is absolutely no perceivable change in texture, the cranberry mixture is still very much liquid and not at all thick and creamy.
I let it churn for a another 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, still WATERY gelato. At this point I had to employ the “phone a friend” option. I called my friend who is a pastry chef, as she was grocery shopping, and asked her what I did wrong. Apparently, nothing. She advised I pop the entire freezer bowl back into the freezer for 20 minutes to try to thicken it up before churning again.
Did that, then churned again for another 20 minutes – no change. At this point, I just decided to call it and put the mixture into an airtight glass loaf pan and hope for the best.
While the gelato leaves a bit to be desired on the texture front, the flavour is fantastic. I bought sugar cones from the grocery store and dipped them in melted white chocolate and then into a shallow bowl of black sesame seeds. The flavour combination is *chef’s kiss*.
If you do try this recipe and you get a nice churn going, I’d love to know what you did differently – share the wealth in the comments below!
So, the gelato ordeal was a good reminder that even though I’ve been doing this for 3 years, things still don’t always go as planned, don’t be afraid to ask for help, or change tack as needed.
Even though I didn’t make a single dollar off the blog for the first 2.5 years, I kept showing up because it fulfilled me even if I wasn’t getting paid for the effort. Getting recognized and having opportunities to work with brands I love is a great perk but at the end of the day, I’m going to keep sharing my recipes, stories, and lifestyle content because it brings me joy to share my passions.
The most important thing I’ve learned over the past 300 posts is that consistency is king. My audience will continue to grow, my photography will continue to improve, my writing will become more engaging, all as long as I keep putting in the work and creating. So, let this be a friendly reminder that it’s never too late to pursue your passions – even if you have no desire to monetize them!
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups 18% table cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- ½ white chocolate bar finely chopped
- 3 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 8 sugar cones store-bought
For the cranberry gelato, combine cranberries, sugar and water in a deep saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for 10 to 15 minutes or until cranberries are soft and sauce is thick and jammy. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Add cream, vanilla and salt to cranberry mixture and use an immersion blender, or transfer to an upright blender, to purée until smooth. Place blender jug in fridge for at least 30 minutes until mixture is well-chilled.
Freeze puréed mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a chilled container and freeze for up to 3 days. If firm, let soften at room temperature for 30 minute.
Scoop into cups or prepared white chocolate and sesame cones. Serve and enjoy!
Add finely chopped white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on 50% power. Stir well and repeat as needed until chocolate is melted.
Place black sesame seeds into a small bowl.
Dip the top of the sugar cones into melted white chocolate and then dip into black sesame seeds. Pop into the fridge on a parchment-lined baking sheet to harden for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Cranberry gelato recipe slightly adapted from: Mackenzie, Jennifer. “Apple Fritters with Cranberry Gelato.” Food & Drink, Holiday 2013.