Gelato Messina’s Salted Caramel Gelato Recipe

Australia’s best gelato shop Gelato Messina in Sydney’s Darlinghust shares their best-selling salted caramel gelato recipe from their beautiful new cookbook Gelato Messina. This salted caramel gelato is silky smooth with an addictive sweet-salty balance.

Gelato Messina, by Nick Palumbo. Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.95

Makes: 1kg


650 g milk
120 g cream
145 g sugar
45 g skim milk powder
35 g dextrose
5 g stabiliser
4 g salt


1. Put the milk and cream in a double boiler over a medium heat.

2. Put the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir in 30 g water to make a slurry. Put the pan on the stove over a medium–high heat and let the sugar caramelise. There’s no need to stir, just let it do its thing. The sugar will start to bubble after 5 minutes or so and then 2 or 3 minutes later it will start to colour. When the caramel is a dark toffee brown, remove the pan from the stove — the sugar will be around 160°C to 180°C.

3. Meanwhile, put the remaining powders in a bowl and mix until combined. When the milk and cream hit 40°C, whisk in the powders and bring the mixture up to 65°C. Keep the mixture at 65°C for 30 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes.

4. When the caramel is ready, slowly, SLOWLY pour the caramel into your hot milk mixture. Make sure that the mixture in your double boiler is above 65°C, as the hotter the mixture, the less the temperature differential between the mix and the caramel, reducing the chance of getting splashed with hot caramel. Under no circumstances should you combine the caramel with cold mixture. You can add the caramel at any time while your mixture is sitting at above 65°C for the required 30 minutes. When you have added all the caramel, give it a good mix with a stick blender.

5. Transfer the mixture to a stainless steel bowl and place in an ice bath; chill to 40°C. Cover tightly with foil and put in the freezer, stirring every 10 minutes or so until the mixture drops to 4°C, then place in the fridge and let it age for 4 hours.

6. Turn on your gelato maker so it begins the freezing process.

7. Using a stick blender, blend the mixture for 1 minute, then pour into the gelato maker.

8. Once the mixture reaches –4°C, scoop out the gelato and transfer to a pre-cooled stainless steel bowl, cover tightly and immediately place in the freezer.

9. The gelato should be served within 2 to 3 hours after placing it in the freezer, or when it reaches –12°C. If it goes below –15°C or is left in the freezer overnight, the texture will be compromised. The serving temperature of the gelato should be around –11°C to –13°C.


November 15, 2013

Making Australia’s Best Gelato with Gelato Messina

Since Gelato Messina’s inception in Sydney’s Darlinghurst in 2002, there has been one clear goal: to set the benchmark for gelato in Australia. To do that, the team at Gelato Messina does not compromise on quality and their product is made fresh on the premises daily, offering a diverse range of over 40 flavours.

From the meticulous roasting and endless grind of pistachios, to the baking of their own apple pies and brownies, absolutely everything is made lovingly in house by a little team of mad professors. By using real ingredients, they achieve full bodied texture and flavour in all their recipes, earning them a loyal following (and huge lines out the door every night!).

Now, with the release of their first cookbook, owner Nick Palumbo is sharing his famous gelato recipes and methods with home cooks. SHESAID chatted with Nick about his tips for making perfect gelato at home, how to judge a good gelato and his favourite gelato flavours of all time.

What are your best tips for making gelato at home?
You need to ensure that you have a double boiler as heating milk in a pan is not a good idea as it can catch and burn.

Also, can’t stress enough how important it is to chill down your mix as quickly as possible to avoid bacterial growth. Best to use an ice bath and then place the mix in the freezer to chill down the mix to 4C.

Before churning, best to place the gelato mix in the freezer for 30 min to chill it to under 4 C and at the same time, turn on the ice cream machine 15 minutes before you put the mix in. this will ensure you cut the churn time so that you get a better quality gelato with less chance of large ice crystals forming.

Your salted caramel and white chocolate gelato is your most popular gelato – what makes it so good?
It has to be the offset between the sweetness of the caramel with the added salt crystals.

How do you judge a good gelato?
Taste and then texture. It should not be grainy but velvety. Structure is also important, it should not be sloppy and should not be hard and chalky.

Finally, temperature perception on the pallet. It should not give you too cold a sensation.

What are your all-time favourite gelato flavours?
It has to be tiramisu because it combines all the good stuff: egg yolk, vanilla bean, Marsala wine, coffee, savoiardi biscuits and cocoa

Second, a straight forward, extremely dark spiced chocolate gelato.

And in summer, mango sorbet and coconut pandan combo.

What are your favourite gelato shops around the world?
Berthillon in Paris.

What ingredients are you looking forward to cooking with this summer?
Blood plums, white nectarines and apricots…I just wish they were available all year round!

What do you cook for yourself when the shop closes?

Pasta, then pasta and then when in doubt, pasta.

My favourite at the moment is pasta with pistachio. I came across this dish when I went to Bronte in Sicily to buy pistachios for our pistachio gelato. The owners of the pistachio plantation made it for me – here’s the recipe:

Sauté onions and anchovies in olive oil, then blend your pistachios to a course paste, fold through and then smash it with Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh basil.

Gelato Messina, by Nick Palumbo. Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.95


November 7, 2013