Every Australian cook and baker would be familiar with Queen products. We’ve all used their food colourings, flavourings and vanilla in our cooking and baking. I have trusted Queen since I moved to Australia in 1996. I’ve always got Queen vanilla bean paste in my pantry.
To add to their range of impressive products, Queen has recently launched four make-at-home Gelato and Sorbet mixes — strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and lemon. Queen’s been around since 1897 and everything they sell has been sourced from the finest ingredients. Most commercial gelato shops in Australia and even in Italy use pre-mixes like Queen.
Just hearing the word gelato instantly transports me back to the day we hired a tour guide to take us out of Rome and over to Emperor Hadrian’s Villa and then the Villa D’Este gardens. It was a scorchingly hot day and after we finished (as if anyone can ever finish a visit to Hadrian’s historical home), our guide stopped for gelato for the four of us.
Italian gelato is absolutely divine and I’ve tried to recreate that in my kitchen with only mild success. Every time my father-in-law visits he talks about the day we had gelato just outside Rome.
When I heard that Queen’s new product line was easy to make at home authentic tasting Italian gelato and all I needed to do was provide milk (or water), I couldn’t wait to try it. I tried buying it at Coles but it’s available exclusively at Woolworth’s so don’t make the same mistake I did.
My first batch had me on the phone to my darling 91-year old father-in-law and told him he needed to freeze his ice cream bucket and head to Woolies and get some Queen gelato mix. We enjoyed chocolate gelato in Rome so that’s what we tried first. He loves it too, although my mother-in-law tells me she’s worried he’s going to get fat. I think he’s pretty safe.
The kind people at Queen invited me to test their gelato mix and create a recipe and I couldn’t wait. When I told John about the gelato he said, “Marg’s Gelato Cassata!” One of John’s favourite things to eat is this gelato cassata. I’ve never met Marg but her gelato cassata is legendary, at least at our house. It’s layers of gelato and a layer of rum splashed cake crumbs and a layer of rum soaked glace fruit in a whipped cream and gelato combination.
It takes just a few minutes to whip up the gelato mix and milk so that’s what I did first and it sits in the fridge for 30 minutes. That gave me time to get the ice cream machine out and cranked up. If you don’t have an ice cream or gelato machine, I think it’s time you invested. If my kitchen appliances all died today, the gelato machine would be the first thing I replaced.
A mere 30 minutes later and I had my vanilla gelato ready for the freezer and 30 minutes after that I had my chocolate. I was on a roll. Once the gelato had been in the fridge for an hour or two I was ready to assemble. I took a deep removable-bottom cake pan (not a springform, the one I have just pushes up) and I cut a silicone circle for the bottom and a strip for the sides to make plating easier. I put an inch and a half of gelato on the bottom and then sprinkled the rum soaked madeira cake crumbs on top of that and placed it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Then I added the chocolate gelato and placed it back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. I know it sounds fiddly and it probably is but it was SO good, you MUST try this. Every bit just takes a minute or so but the freezing bit does take a bit longer. It’s worth the wait.
While the last 30 minute freezing was going on I whipped the cream and added some vanilla gelato and the glace fruit that had been strained from the rum. I gently folded the mixture and got the cake pan out of the freezer and poured the cream on the top, covered the pan with clingfilm and put it back in the freezer.
I must admit that I crossed my fingers a bit like Maggie Beer does when she’s not sure something is going to come out of the pan and because of the silicone, it slid right out and then right off the bottom onto the plate. I shaved some chocolate over the top and it was fit for well.. a Queen.
- 1 package Queen Vanilla Gelato Mix
- 1 Package Queen Chocolate Gelato Mix
- 1 Cup whipping Cream
- 1 cup chopped mixed glace or dried fruit (I used cherries, plums, ginger, blueberries and apricots)
- ½ cup rum (or as much as you need for the cake and the fruit)
- 1½ cups chopped cake crumbs (I used madeira cake from Woolworths)
- Chocolate shavings
- Make the gelato mixes and place in the fridge to cool
- Chop the glace fruit and soak in rum until needed.
- Freeze the gelato and place in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours
- Prepare a pan sized to suit your family. I used a silicone sheet.
- Place 1½ inches of vanilla gelato on the bottom of the pan
- Drizzle two tablespoons of rum over the cake and sprinkle cake crumbs over the vanilla layer and place in freezer for 30 minutes
- Place 1½ inches of chocolate gelato over the cake crumbs and place in the freezer.
- Strain glace fruit and set aside.
- Whip cream to soft peaks
- In a large bowl add the glace fruit and the reserved vanilla gelato and mix together. Fold in the whipped cream.
- Pour over the chocolate gelato layer, cover and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
- Place on a plate and garnish with chocolate, pistachios, whipped cream or more glace fruit.
My mind is racing with all the different mix-ins with the gelato but if you need some inspiration for your creation there are heaps of recipe ideas on the Queen Make at Home website.
This post was sponsored by Queen Fine Foods.