Michael Laiskonis' Balsamic Vinegar Gelato

Michael Laiskonis' Balsamic Gelato

Add a chef-y touch to Italy's famous frozen dessert with an authentic Italian ingredient.

Institute of Culinary Education chefs are innovating with Italy's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena in sweet and savory dishes and drinks. Here, Creative Director Michael Laiskonis incorporates the ingredient into a beautiful gelato dessert.

Using balsamic in a gelato is a novel way to incorporate its flavors into a composed dessert and one that I've enjoyed for years. I like to utilize both the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena; the former lends acidity, while the latter adds a layer of sweet depth. Adding the balsamic at the end of the cooking process preserves their flavor, while the low fat content of a gelato-style ice cream further allows those flavors to emerge. As part of a composed plated dessert, I like to use this gelato as a foil for fresh fruit or to complement the flavors of nuts and complex dried fruits.


Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Gelato

Yields approximately 1 liter


  • 600 grams whole milk
  • 125 grams heavy cream (36% fat)
  • 30 grams nonfat dry milk
  • 140 grams granulated sugar
  • 30 grams glucose powder
  • 4 grams ice cream stabilizer
  • 45 grams Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
  • 25 grams Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena


  1. Place the milk and cream in a sauce pan. Whisk in the dry milk, sugar, glucose and stabilizer, and heat, continually stirring, to 85˚F/185˚C.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the balsamics; homogenize with an immersion blender. Chill in an ice water bath. Allow mixture to mature at least 12 hours.
  3. Process in batch freezer; extract the mix at 23˚F /-5˚C. Alternatively, transfer the base to PacoJet canisters and freeze; process as needed.

Learn more about Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and pastry classes with Chef Michael.

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