Sunday, 16 June 2013

Buffalo Milk, Honey & Almond Gelato

Recently I was having a discussion with a friend about buffalo milk. They were raving about its thick creamy taste and texture and couldn’t believe I had never tasted it. The next time I saw them they bought me a gift – a carton of buffalo milk. I was slightly unsure how it would taste. Buffalo are big hairy animals and I could image their milk tasting quite unusual and strongly flavoured, a bit like goats milk. However, on drinking a glass I couldn’t believe how fresh and clean it tasted. No goaty or animal taste to it at all. It was clean, rich and unbelievably creamy.

The milk was so indulgent and creamy that I decided to use the rest of it to make some buffalo milk gelato. Gelato is similar to ice cream, only its lighter as it’s made with a milk base, rather than cream.

I wanted the creaminess to be the star, so decided to flavour the gelato only lightly with honey and some chopped almonds. My idea was based on my love of creamy thick Greek yoghurt with honey and almonds, which always tastes lovely and fresh. The honey also added sweetness without having to use sugar.

After churning in an ice cream maker, the gelato had retained the buffalo milks freshness and richness. It was naturally not as thick or full on creamy as ice cream, but it was very refreshing. I found it also tended to melt a lot more quickly than ice cream, I suppose because it doesn’t have so much butter fat or any eggs compared to ice cream to help stabilise it.

The honey flavour was subtle but went very well with the freshness of the gelato. The almonds added a nice crunch too.

Has anyone else tried buffalo milk? I have recently discovered it in Waitrose if anyone wants to try some for themselves. Also, does anyone know why its called buffalo milk/cheese when (to my understanding, I may be wrong!) buffalo are the males and it’s actually bufala, the females who produce the milk? In Italy there is a cheese called Mozzarella di Bufala, which in 1993 was grated DOC status and in 2008 was awarded Protected Geographical Status. Maybe this means no one else can now call it Bufala?

Buffalo Milk, Honey & Almond Gelato
700ml buffalo milk
250ml full fat milk
100g honey
35g almonds, skin on
½ tsp vanilla extract

Set your ice cream to freeze*Mix all the ingredients together, making sure your milk is well chilled first.
Pour this mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufactures instructions. It should be thick and softly set when done after about 45 minutes.
Transfer the ice cream to a large container and place in the freezer to stiffen up for about 30-60 minutes.
Scoop your ice cream into serving bowls, drizzle over a little honey and a few chopped almonds.
Eat and enjoy in the sunshine (if it ever reappears!)
Makes 1 litre ice cream

Note* If you don’t have an ice cream maker, simply pour the ice cream mix into a plastic container and place in the freezer. Take it out every half and hour and give it a bit of a whisk to ensure an even freezing, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.


Johanna GGG said...

wow that is lots of little pieces of info I didn't know - about gelato and buffalo and a new milk to me - I can't say I have ever come across buffalo milk but am interested to hear your thoughts on it

Kate D said...

Interesting.. Have never really noticed buffalo milk, but will certainly now keep my eye out in Waitrose. Glad to see you have revisited the ice cream maker..... The ice cream looks yum!

The Caked Crusader said...

Not tried it - like you I don't picture something all that nice! I will look out for it now I know it's nice!
Worst milk I ever tried was camel milk - now that tastes EXACTLY how you'd expect it to...shudder!

Becca Looney said...

Wow, I didn't even know buffalo milk existed, and this is coming from a girl where the buffalo roamed before they were all well... you know. This is so interesting.

Elle said...

Have not tried buffalo (or bufula)milk but now I'm going to look for some. Such a lovely flavor combination for the gelato. MMM.