Strawberry Gelato

by Eddy Van Damme on August 17, 2010

The combination of strawberries and a balsamic vinegar reduction is a classic for good reason, made with ripe and flavorful strawberries it is simply amazing. For a while now I have been thinking on how to make the strawberry-balsamic reduction work in a frozen entremet or ice cream cake. After several experiments and fine tuning I must say that this particular frozen entremet is really, really good. At times strawberry ice cream can make you long for a deeper strawberry flavor, but not here, this hybrid of gelato and sorbet is rich and robust in flavor.

The sweetness of the meringue is dually tamed here, first by the addition of cocoa nibs and second by the balsamic vinegar, which is the perfect accompaniment to the strawberry flavor.

Getting It All Together!

Prepare the meringue up to a week in advance, store airtight to maintain crispness. Assemble the frozen entremet or frozen ice cream cake a full day before serving, this will allow proper firming in the ring.

Assembly: Upside down

Prepare a French meringue as described in On Baking, second edition on page 414and fold in 3 oz (90 g) cocoa nibs along with second amount of granulated sugar. Pipe into circles, slightly smaller of the rings diameter. Bake as described and trim slightly after baking to make the meringue slightly smaller than the ring.

Place a ring on a patterned silform and set aside.

Fill the bottom of the ring with just churned strawberry gelato. Place a meringue layer onto the gelato. Fill with a small amount of gelato and then the balsamic reduction. More gelato and finish off with the meringue disk. Freeze overnight.

Turn upside down and unmold with the use of a torch.

Strawberry gelato

Yield: one 8 inch (22 cm) cake

3 Cups (24 oz) Strawberry puree, professional Quality and cold in temp. 720 g
1 ½ (12 oz) Filtered or Spring water 360 ml
2 Cups minus 2 Tbsp

1/2 teaspoon

(15 oz)

(1/2 tsp)

Extra fine granulated sugar


465 g

2 g

6 Tbsp (3 oz) Invert sugar 90 g
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp (9 oz) Whipping cream, non whipped 270 g
  1. Pour the water in a saucepan. Combine the sugar with the pectin (if using) real well and whisk into the water, add the invert sugar. Bring to a full boil and remove from heat. Cover with plastic food wrap and place in an ice bath to completely cool.
  2. Add the cream and cold strawberry puree. Ensure that the mixture is very cold before churning.

Balsamic vinegar reduction recipe

Yield: 4-5 Tablespoons (60-75 g)

2 Cups (16 oz) Balsamic vinegar 480 g
  1. Bring the balsamic vinegar in a non reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel) to a boil and bring to a medium simmer.
  2. Simmer approximately 20-30 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon (The consistency of whipping cream). Be careful as near the end the product can burn if reduced too much.
  3. You can always reduce more if necessary; the reduction should be sweet and sharp simultaneously.

Tip: At home I usually reduce balsamic vinegar outside on the burner of the grill since it is a very smelly process!

23 comments on “Strawberry Gelato

  1. Darienne on said:

    Oh my!!!!! What a wonderful dessert.

  2. Doua Khashman on said:

    Thank you chef Eddy for sharing, I am sure it tastes as good as it looks since you are the one who made it.

  3. Gareth on said:

    Hi Chef Eddy – I was just wondering about the reference to pectin in the gelato . . . the ingredients don’t seem to show a quantity. This sounds like a dessert I’m going to try as soon as the weather warms up here.

  4. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thanks a million for bringing this to my attention!
    My best, Eddy

  5. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you!

  6. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you so very much! Always great to hear from you,

  7. This is not only a very creative idea…it is certainly what I would describe as an elegant and simple masterpiece. Bravo ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  8. YES.. YES.. YES.. YES.. I ate this dessert before and it is great… WOW…

  9. Nancey on said:

    Chef Eddy I have a question about after the boiling of the water and sugars. Your recipe states to wrap it in plastic wrap and put in ice bath, we put the plastic on the pan?
    Thank you for your patients,

  10. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    I fixed the confusion, thank you for sending me a question on it.

  11. Hello chef! I would like to ask if its nescessary to cover meringue with chocolate in order to avoid moisture migration. Will meringue be crispy without that?

  12. Hello Eddy,

    The mix of the ingredients sounds very nice, i’ve try’ed 7 years ago in Spain, Barcelona. to make a dessert with strawberry and balsamico and some black pepper, that is also very nice, the pepper taste like a bomb after the sweetness of the strawberrys.

    Greets from Belgium

  13. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you very much for sharing your idea. It sounds fantastic!

  14. Hilary Adams on said:

    So many great ideas get shared on your blog, Chef!! Eager to try this…

  15. Hilary Adams on said:

    I keep coming back and just staring at the pictures… I HAVE to try this soon!!! ;0)

  16. Mayra Bernabe on said:

    Oh wow I have to compliment this genius idea balsamic vinegar and strawberries It sound amazing and with the meringue I can’t wait to try it.

  17. Appreciate the tip on reducing balsamic vinegar OUTSIDE!

  18. Szu wang on said:

    Strawberry is my favorite and I didn’t know strawberry goes with balsamic vinegar. I am so glad to take plate dessert.

  19. Chef, you are a genius! What a gorgeous dessert! Who would of ever thought of putting balsamic vinegar and ice cream together?! I love the combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar so I wouldn’t doubt this dessert is divine!

  20. Clarissa Jasmin on said:

    This is to die for! Very great combination of ingredients! I love meringue and combining it with strawberry sorbet is genius! Would love to try this soon and I’m pretty sure I will be making this plenty of times!

  21. Richard Martinez on said:

    I never thought to use strawberries and balsamic vinegar in the same recipe. Hope we get to do something like this in one of our courses.

  22. Nhu Ta on said:

    This is a wonderful recipe chef. Does this recipe works on every other fruits? I love mango, so if I use the mango puree instead of the strawberry would it still come out the same, but different flavor? I know every fruits is different but mango and strawberry consistency is about the same…

  23. Katerina Kyriazis on said:

    I think that the different layers and textures of this dessert are interesting, sounds like something served in a restaurant. I think that adding cocoa nibs to the French meringue is a good idea because I think that it is very sweet by itself.

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