Are you a big softie when it comes to gelato?
It seems you’re not alone. The appetite for ‘soft serve’ gelato in the UK is definitely on the rise, having enjoyed huge success in Europe as well as in the US, for many years.
This soft, whipped gelato is a big favourite with young and old – and a wide variety of venues are wising up to its earning potential.
What exactly is soft serve?
It’s an evolution of Italian-style gelato but with a softer consistency and lighter flavour. Premium ingredients are a must - and the flavour possibility are endless.
The big difference between soft serve and regular gelato is the batch freezing phase, with regular gelato coming out of the batch freezer between -8C and -9C, while soft serve is ready between -6C and -7C. This slight difference in temperature gives a ‘creamier’ texture.
Once in the soft-serve machine, a pump incorporates more air into the gelato – between 40% and 60% of its final weight - making it lighter and softer. And the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also buy different attachments for your soft serve machine which allow you to make soft serve spaghetti and popcorn.
You can create your own bespoke recipes using your choice of ingredients – or use a pre-made mix. Ready-to-use mixes can make creating delicious soft serve easier than ever.
Isn’t this just for ice cream vendors?
In a word – NO! In addition to gelato parlours, corner shops, chocolatiers, coffee shops, bars and restaurants are all realising the financial gains of having a soft serve machine.
Who wouldn’t want an additional profit stream for their business?
Michelin-starred chefs are also getting in on the act, with soft serve offering a new and exciting way of presenting their dishes. Tom Booton, head chef at The Grill at the Dorchester, has recently installed a split soft serve machine in his kitchen and one of his flavour combinations is tarragon and cherry.
Soft serving suggestions
Premium soft serve can be used to create an array of stunning desserts, so don’t limit it to simply filling cones. Today’s consumers are obsessed with photographing their food and Instagram is full of fantastic images of soft serve creations that you can emulate.
Fill a cannoli with your choice of soft serve then dip each end in chocolate to seal it. You can also add nuts, desiccated coconut and other toppings such as speculoos to the melted chocolate for added appeal.
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