With the warmer weather becoming a daily thing now, ice cream and gelato are on the minds of Toronto residents. Chef Francesco Battaglia and his team create a wide variety of gelato flavours, some very unique and some more traditional – but all of them very flavourful and refreshing.
As he described earlier in the season, his gelato recipes and processes were brought to another level this season with the help of his Italian collaborator and master gelato maker, Angelo Grasso.
One of the more traditional flavours is hazelnut gelato, partly because hazelnuts are used so frequently in Italian and Sicilian foods, particularly desserts. However getting the flavour out of hazelnuts into the gelato is an intricate process while trying to maintain that smooth feeling on the palette. “I don’t want a crunchy gelato for this, so you can’t blend in the nuts. And it’s not like simply melting chocolate either” Battaglia explains. “There is an extraction process to bring the nutty flavour to a liquid form so that we can then manipulate and add it back into the gelato recipe. The process is similar to that explained by Max Falkowitz on the Serious Eats blog, but quite a bit more involved when making large batches in the bakery.”
The flavour forward process in Francesca Bakery gelato is clearly evident as on your first taste your mind goes bounces back and forth from eating a fresh cracked hazelnut to a super smooth and creamy gelato. You can even smell the hazelnuts coming off the fresh scooped gelato. If you’ve don’t normally travel to the east side, the gelato at Francesca Bakery, is quite worth the trip alone.