General Questions

Which ice cream maker do I need?

Any ice cream maker will do. The main function of an ice cream maker is to slowly freeze your ice cream base while adding air to the mixture. The difference between ice cream makers is oftentimes down to convenience. Cheap models use ice cream buckets which you need to freeze. This works well if you have the space in the freezer to store one or more buckets. More expensive models use freezing discs which take up less space in the freezer. The best option for home-made ice cream are machines with built-in compressors. These allow you to churn large quantities of ice cream, or to freeze many different flavours in a short amount of time. However, the end product of all these ice cream makers is the same and there is often a negligible difference in taste and texture.

How many recipes are there to choose from?

The base version of Gelato comes with 10 flavours. More flavours can be added by purchasing either individual flavour packs, or by buying the Chef's Special. For every single flavour the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Gelato can make tens of thousands of recipes to accomodate for all possible choices. On average Gelato knows more than 130,000 recipes for every flavour!

Can I add multiple add-ins to an ice-cream?

Of course you can! You can add as many add-ins as your heart desire. A word of warning though: each add-in, by default, is 10% of the weight of your ice cream base. If you go completely nuts you may end up with more add-in than ice cream. In the end, as with everything else in life, add-ins are best enjoyed in moderation.

Does Gelato have vegan options?

Of course! We developed and perfected our very own coconut base, which uses coconut milk and coconut cream to give a flavour that is very similar to that of dairy ice cream. It is so good we often prefer the vegan base (the vanilla and of course the coconut flavour are marvellous). Furthermore, we develop and perfected our cocobet base, which mimics the delicate flavour of a sherbet base for fruity flavours. However, the vegan base does have some shortcomings. First, the coconut flavour can be quite powerful. For this reason we disable the vegan option until we had the chance to taste-test it (no one liked the mocha with a coconut base, for example). Second, we're still developing an alternative to a vegan gelato base. This is the only base available for the Straciatella flavour so there is no vegan option for that flavour. Sorry! When it comes to add-ins we take great care to ensure that you have vegan options. For example, when you look at the cookie dough recipe you can swipe left and right to move to alternate versions. One is the classic cookie dough recipe, the other is an excellent vegan alternative.

How do I indicate which allergies I have?

The Gelato app asks you to indicate which allergies you have the first time you open it. To make changes to these allergies you go to Settings → Allergies. A notable option is whether or not coconut should be seen as a tree nut allergy. Many people with a tree nut allergy do not have any ill effects from eating coconut. This is important for ice cream as some flavours and many add-ins rely on the special properties of coconut oil. Be sure to enable the coconut allergy option when you are in doubt or if you know you have an allergy to coconut.

How do I see the allergens in a flavour or add-in?

A list of allergens is shown on top of every flavour and add-in in the Choose screen, and these allergens are confirmed in the Make screen. The allergens are: milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, and gluten. When the icon is barely visible the allergen is not present. When the icon is a light shade of blue it indicates that the allergen is possible (based on choices you still have to make). A full black icon indicates an allergen that is present. A red allergen indicates an allergen is present, and you have indicates that you are allergic to this allergen.

What is the best stabiliser?

Stabilisers are very important in ice cream. Their role is to capture the water and avoid it from forming ice crystals (which makes the ice cream taste poorly). Gelato has support for 8 different stabilisers. Of these, the commercial stabiliser is the best option. The reason for this is manyfold. First, a commercial stabiliser is generally the easiest to use. Second, different stabilisers work at different times and in different ways. A commercial stabiliser is a mix of many of these stabilisers to get the best of all worlds. If in doubt over which stabiliser to use, you can always read through the list of stabilisers available in Settings. In the end you should choose the stabiliser you feel most comfortable with.

What if I want to combine two or more ice cream flavours?

A mix of multiple ice cream flavours, known as a swirl, is a great way to make your ice-cream unique. Making a swirl is very simple. Start by making one flavour, for example mint ice cream. Once the ice cream has hardened you can make the second flavour, for example triple chocolate. Before you churn the triple chocolate base make sure to place an extra larger bowl in the freezer. Continue as usual and stop when you are done churning the second flavour and it is still soft. It's now time to make our swirl! Take out the large bowl and combine the hardened ice cream with the soft and freshly churned ice cream. Use a spatula to mix both flavours together. When your happy with the consistency place the bowl back in the freezer. That's it! You now have a lovely After-Eight style ice cream. Of course you can repeat the same process if you want to add another flavour – how about orange flavour? – to the mix.

Can I add my own flavours?

You will be able to do this if you subscribe to the Craft service. More information on this functionality will be added in the future.

Can I add my own add-in, be it a stir-in, ripple, or topup?

You will be able to do this if you subscribe to the Craft service. More information on this functionality will be added in the future.
Ice Cream Options

What is a custard base?

A custard base, also known as a French custard base, creates the richest type of ice cream. An essential component of a custard base are the eggs. By adding eggs you improve the texture and get a chewy ice-cream that is ideal as a sit-down dessert. Making a custard base is slightly more difficult as you have to temper the eggs. Furthermore, the taste can become too rich and egg-y, which makes a custard base unsuitable for more delicate flavours.

What is a Philadelphia base?

When most people think of ice cream, they are thinking of a Philadelphia base. When you use a Philadelphia base you get a creamy and velvety ice cream which is great both for licking and scooping. The fat content is the same as a custard base giving a same rich mouthfeel, but the lack of eggs makes a Philadelphia base usable for almost any flavour.

What is a gelato base?

A Gelato base provides a refined and refreshing ice cream, excellent for those hot days. A key ingredient in a Gelato base is the milk powder, which ensures that you end up with an ice cream that has enough bite to it and that doesn't turn into ice.

What is a coconut base?

The coconut base is an excellent alternative if you don not want to use dairy. The end result is a rich, smooth, and above all a creamy ice cream. Depending on the ingredients you use though, the coconut base can have a pronounced coconut flavour. This is not offensive in many cases or can even enrich the flavour (such as with vanilla), but can be quite offensive for other flavours. Do shop around for coconut milk and cream with a mild or subdued coconut flavour if you decide to use this as your base.

What is a sherbet base?

A sherbet base makes fruity flavours stand out. With a heavier focus on sweetness and water, a sherbet fairly closely resembles the composition of fruit and makes for a refreshing and tasty experience. Unlike a sorbet, a sherbet does add some dairy. This helps greatly to get a better flavour and to avoid ice crystals from forming.

What is a cocobet base?

Our cocobet base is the vegan alternative to a sherbet. It has the same properties and makes fruit shine. However, similar to the coconut base, the cocobet base imparts a distinct coconut flavour. For fruity flavours in particular this gives them a bolder, fuller taste, which in turn somewhat reduces the refreshing aspect of a similar sherbet-based ice cream. Even with the limited quantities of coconut milk and cream it is worthwhile to look for ingredients that have a mild or subdued coconut flavour to ensure the coconut flavour does not become overpowering.

What is inulin?

Inulin is a plant-based fibre. When used in ice cream, it can partially replace the role of fat. This is beneficial in two ways. The resulting ice cream is less calorific and the ice cream contains an increased quantity of dietary fibers which help the digestive system.

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is an alternative to common table sugar that can be used to replace the sugar altogether. A major benefit of xylitol is that it has a strongly reduced glycemic index, making it a far better option for diabetics. Using xylitol does come with some downsides. It is noticeable more expensive than table sugar, and it increases the freezing point of your ice cream. This means that the ice cream will not be as scoop-able. Of course, an easy fix to this is to take the ice cream out 5–10 minutes beforehand to allow it to slightly thaw.

What is the difference between balanced, texture, flavour?

For each ice cream you make you have the option to choose an optimisation level. This preference is not necessarily honoured by Gelato. First and foremost, Gelato makes sure that some your ice cream tastes nice by carefully juggling fats, sweetness, solids, and water. Oftentimes, more than one recipe is possible based on the ingredients you have. This is where the optimisation level comes in. A balanced ice cream will – as its name suggest – try to balance these components as well as it can. When you opt for texture, Gelato tries to limit the sweetness and the fat, which allows the solids to become more pronounced. These solids give an ice cream its “bite”. If flavour is what you are after, then Gelato tries to maximise both fat and sweetness. The increased fat binds to the flavour molecules and helps them to become more pronounced in your mouth.