[SG] Alfero Artisan Gelato | how to make gelato at home

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Alfero Artisan Gelato has always been my favourite gelato spot and having won a spot to learn how to make gelato and a free flow gelato buffet got us all exhilarated!

Conducted by Marco Alfero himself, the man behind those flavourful smooth gelato, the workshop focused on the traditional fuss-free way of making gelato at home, without the use of any machines. Oh yes, and we've realised that making gelato can be a form of workout too! :p

Starting off the day with one of my favourite flavours - hazelnut! 

We've always visited the branch at Marina Square, not knowing that they've got another one at Bukit Timah (just next to Carpenter and Cook) and MacPherson Lane which is also the laboratory for his freshly made gelato. 

Spacious interior at Bukit Timah branch

On to the workshop proper! Making gelato can be simple, without the use of machines and simply having the following ingredients for a portion of about 6 cups:
1. milk (140g)
2. whipping cream (150g)
3. sugar (75g)
4. salt
5. ice

1. small ziplock bag
2. large ziplock bag
3. cloth (to wrap the large ziplock bag in) 

Step 1: 
Mix the milk, whipping cream and sugar together in a bowl, 
stir until the sugar has dissolved in the mixture

Step 2: 
Pour half of the mixture into the small ziplock bag, seal the top with tape to prevent leakage
(leaving the next half to experiment with different flavours)

Step 3:
Place ice cubes into the large ziplock bag, then place the small ziplock bag in. Cover with more ice and add in about 4-5 tablespoons of rock salt. 

(Rock salt lowers the freezing point, hence the mixture can freeze even at room temperature when covered in ice and salt) 

This is what it should look like after placing in the ice, try to make sure the mixture is placed in the middle so it's equally frozen. 

Next comes the workout - we make gelatos to lose weight! 

Step 4:
Wrap the large ziplock bag in a cloth (as it'll be very cold), then start shaking it! Shake for about 10-15mins, so that you can introduce air to the mixture and increase its volume. 

And after 10-15mins, your arms are probably getting tired that you need to reward them with some yummy gelato!  

Opening it, we were surprised to find that it'd indeed solidified! 

 And here's our very first cup of milk gelato! 

It was supposed to taste similar to Alfero Gelato's Snow White, though I think ours was quite a far cry from the smooth texture. Marco mentioned that this was where some of their secrets lie in, varying some of the sugar they used (there are in fact 6-7 types of sugars in the gelato market!)

Second part of the workshop, we were given the free reign to design our own flavours! With the row of flavours available, it was only then that we'd realise some of the more premium ones like nutella, baccio, almond etc were in fact flown over from Italy! While of course, the essences could be gotten from Phoon Huat. The mint concentrate was one of the most refreshing one I've smelt and Marco then told us that it had in fact been brought back by his mother via plane ride from Italy. Such conviction to using such premium ingredients even for workshops had been impressive for us!

To mix in the flavours, make sure you stir till its smooth throughout so that the flavour is even. Our flavour chosen was nutella banana, though ending up with a not-so-strong banana flavour. 

And here's our masterpiece where we got so excited that we forgot about taking a nicer shot of it. 

What we made came out slightly different from Alfero's, where its taste was more flavourful and rooted within, and its textures were smoother and creamier. Marco then explained that it was due to the use of gelato machines and also the ingredients they used, making sure that all their ingredients are freshest possible, hence very perishable. For instance, just for vanilla flavour itself, he would use vanilla beans instead of essence, then to blend it in to ensure there's no artificial flavouring in all his gelatos. 

Also, if you're familiar with their stores, you'd realise that their gelatos aren't on display like most stores would. This is known as a Pozzetto cabinet, that is used to store gelato ready for sale, preventing any air or light contamination to affect its taste quality. 

  Alfero's event cart (or carretto), available for rent :)

And after the rather tiring yet rewarding gelato making, we decided to stick to the expert's version to satisfy our tummies! 


Dark Chocolate and Pistachio

There are too many favourites we have over here, where each is a bursting flavour so smooth yet not overpowering. As each flavour was made from its real ingredients rather than essences, it was a wholesome one similar to tasting the real thing. Possibly one of the best gelatos we've tasted so far, I'll definitely be checking out its branch at MacPherson Lane to beat that workday blues!

Thank you Marco for organising such a great workshop!

Alfero Artisan Gelato
21 Lorong Kilat #01-01
Singapore 598123

Marina Square #02-226A
Singapore 039594

81 MacPherson Lane #01-37
Singapore 360081

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