Dessert might make up the smallest portion of the food pyramid, but there's no denying that it's often the crowd favorite. And that's why, when we were offered the opportunity to experience a gelato-, crepe-, and crostata-making class at Buona Terra in Mt. Lookout, we jumped on the opportunity.
HERE'S WHAT WE LEARNED:
1. Gelato is NOT the same as ice cream. There are actually three main differences:
- Gelato is made with mainly whole milk and just a little bit of cream, whereas ice cream is the opposite.
- The amount of air whipped into the product (referred to as the overrun) is 15% to 30% for gelato, whereas ice cream has 50% to 100%.
- The serving temperature for gelato is 11-15 F, whereas ice cream is served at 0-6 F.
Note: These differences combine to make gelato a slightly healthier, more flavorful, and smoother product.
2. Buona Terra stands out from other ice cream and/or gelato shops in Cincinnati because...
- They're the only ones (to their knowledge) using the traditional hot process to create the gelato base.
- They bring a balanced mix of traditional flavors like pistachio, straciatella, & tiramisu and then more American-inspired flavors like cookies n' cream and cake batter.
- They have a fun dessert, the "gelato sandwich," which is gelato sandwiched between two macarons.
3. Making crepes is easier and harder than you think (i.e. getting the proper wrist action to spread the batter takes practice)
Note: Sweet crepe batter is made from milk, water, eggs, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt. Savory batter has a mix of buckwheat flour and all-purpose -- and no sugar.
4. The best part of learning how to make dessert is actually the part when you get to eat the dessert.
5. The private class we experienced is a soon-to-be a regular thing for Buona Terra, especially when they're closed during the winter schedule. To find out when, check back on their Facebook page and website.
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RECIPES FOR THE GALLERY PHOTOS:
(serves about 8p)
3 large pears - thinly sliced
Sugar (3 tbsp)
Cornstarch (1 1/2 tbsp)
Cardamom (1 tsp)
Cinnamon (1 tsp)
Cloves (1/8 tsp)
All-Purpose flour (15 oz)
Almond flour (1/4 cup)
Salt (2 tsp)
Butter (10 oz)
Water (3 oz)
egg wash (beaten egg)
raw sugar for sprinkling
- Measure and cube your butter; refrigerate.
- Measure out water and refrigerate. (water and butter need to be cold for use)
- Measure out dry ingredients and place in a mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix dry ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Using a paddle attachment or fork, add the cubed butter into dry ingredients until the butter has become pea sized. Add water and allow the mixture to come together into a dough.
- Flatten the dough into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove dough from refrigerator. Flour both the surface and top of the dough. Roll the dough out into a 10 inch circle, adding more flour to the surface when needed. Let rest.
- Toss sliced pears with sugar and spices.
- Starting 1 inch from the edge of the dough, layer pears around the dough.
- Fold 1 inch of dough onto the pears, and pinch folded edges.
- Egg wash the crostata’s crust and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cover with parchment.
- Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes and then remove parchment.
- Bake at 350 for an additional 10-15 minutes till the crostata is golden brown.
APPLE PIE CREPE
(serves about 8p)
All-Purpose flour (10 oz)
Sugar (3 1/3 tsp)
Salt (1/4 tsp)
Milk (8 3/4 oz)
Water (3 1/2 oz)
Directions to make batter using an Immersion Blender:
- Add liquids to a bowl, then add dry ingredients.
- Immersion blend everything together and scrape bowl occasionally. Immersion blend until there are no lumps remaining.
Directions to make batter using a Mixer:
- Add dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients.
- While mixing, slowly add 1?3 of liquid. Scrape bowl.
- Add second 1/3 of liquid while mixing. Scrape bowl.
- Add final 1/3 of liquid to your bowl. Break up any remaining chunks. Mix for 1 more minute to fully incorporate.
Directions to make crepes:
- Over medium heat, warm small skillet and add enough vegetable oil to coat entire bottom of skillet.
- Use 2-3 ounces of crepe batter (crepes should be thin!), pour onto the skillet. Spread batter evenly around the skillet.
- Let cook for 1 minute, using a spatula flip crepe once one side starts to brown.
- Let cook till the next side is a light golden color. Fold in half, add fillings, fold into a triangle, then serve!
Cinnamon apple filling
4 Granny smith apples
Cinnamon (1 tsp)
Sugar (2 tbsp)
Unsalted butter (1 tbsp)
- Peel and slice apples.
- Heat up a pan on your stove top. Once it is hot, add a little vegetable oil, and sautee your apples on medium heat.
- Cook your apples for a few minutes. Then add your cinnamon and sugar to the pan. Continue to cook until your apples are firm yet tender.
- Add your butter to the pan and let cook for another minute.
- Remove pan from stove top. Ready to eat!
Buona Terra is located at 1028 Delta Ave. (45208) in Mt. Lookout Square.