Gelato is moving in on bakeries with all sorts of varieties, enabling you to serve not just hand-crafted gelato in the warmer seasons but also to create frozen yoghurts, gelato cakes or small frozen petits fours. In any case, the common ingredient is delicious gelato, produced with a wide range of ingredients provided by the extensive Italian gelato supply chain. Given the multitude of machines and display technologies on offer, you can choose which of the many options best suits your needs, in terms of investment, of how much space it takes up, and of its production capacity.
Today’s top pastry shops have showcases with gelato cakes, frozen desserts, and when it’s warm enough, gelatos and sorbets. The modern gelato parlour and the most innovative patisseries have a broad range of products to meet the needs of increasing numbers of customers.
What alternatives does a patisserie looking to serve gelato-based delicacies have? Let’s look at a few of them:
- traditional gelato
- express or soft-serve gelato o soft
- frozen yoghurt
- gelato cakes
- gelato on a stick
How to make gelato and the machines available on the market
Recent technological developments have ensured that you have plenty of alternatives. Hand-crafted gelato is produced using a discontinuous batch freezer and is then put out onto display or else can be kept for a while in a cabinet freezer or in a blast chiller at -40° to store up some cold before being transferred to the sales counter. You can then use showcases or rotating displays, some of which are mobile, so that you can keep the gelato at a constant temperature, especially at warmer times of year.
There are companies on the market manufacturing machinery and display cases for gelato shops of all shapes and sizes. For example, you can equip your workshop with a compact batch freezer and a small pasteurizer, or else with a combo machine that handles both the batch freezing and the pasteurization stages. Another innovation that recently hit the market are batch freezers that double up as showcases, if you’re looking to serve up a small range of flavours and you want an incredibly fresh gelato. Once the gelato is ready, it’s kept in showcases or in rotating displays. Again, there is plenty of choice, starting from 4-6 gelato flavours all the way up to modular solutions with lots of different flavours.
Another alternative to the traditional batch freezer is the soft-serve machine. These machines will make up to 2 flavours of gelato. No pasteurizer is needed. The mixture is prepared cold and placed straight into the machine. The gelato is created instantaneously as soon as the machine is turned on. If you have a whole row of soft-serve machines, you can serve a reasonable range of flavours of classic gelato: this is what is known as “express gelato”.
Soft-serve machines also mean you can create a yoghurt corner. Alongside the soft-serve machine, you’ll need a yoghurt counter equipped with several containers for storing fruit, sauces, granules and fillings for yoghurt.
With gelato, pastry chefs can give free rein to all the techniques they’ve learned over the years, to create some spectacular gelato cakes. Ideal for the summer months, when cream-based pastries are rather too “heavy” and the consumer is looking for a fresh tasty product.
Another trend that’s been growing in recent years is hand-crafted gelato on a stick. You can make it either with gelato or cream. First you create a semi-solid mixture and then pour it into silicone moulds. These can then be brought down to the right temperature in a blast chiller for at least 30 minutes. The bare stick that comes out can be covered with pure chocolate in different flavours: dark, milk, white, coffee, hazelnut, pistachio, plus a smattering of hazelnut, almond or pistachio granules. Hand-crafted gelatos on a stick can be stored in a vertical freezer drawer or in a classic gelato display case using special trays.
The choice of the type of gelato varies according to the budget, the aspirations and the space available to the single point of sale. Find out all about the equipment and machinery you need at the www.acomag.it website, the association for Italy’s main gelato machinery manufacturers.