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The Magic of Messina - Gelato Making Classes

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by Jenny Hatton Mahon (subscribe)
Weekends are about freedom, exploring and fun... and that's worth writing about.
Published October 18th 2015
Create amazing gelato desserts at the Messina School of Cool
Did you know that gelato is so famous that Gelato Museum Carpigiani was built solely to celebrate this cool confection? The cooler than cool museum, located just outside Bologna, is dedicated to the history, culture, and technology of gelato. Having only opened in late 2012, it recently made Zagat's list of the seven best new museums in the world. I think Gelato Messina should have its own exhibit in the museum and here's why.

Gelato Messina caught my attention in 2012 when I overheard someone talking about "the best gelato in the world". I thought I'd already found the best in a little family run gelateria in Rome so, to dispel the rumour, I'd have to try Messina for myself.

It was love at first bite. Smooth salted caramel with shards of white chocolate followed by creamy tiramisu with rich espresso soaked sponge - I was a convert.

gelato messina hands on gelato making class sydney
Nelson, Alex and Donato - our chefs
Regular visits to Gelato Messina's gelateria to try the special flavours offered each week were not enough. I had to find out what it was that made their gelato so good that people were prepared to queue down Darlinghurst's Victoria Street on a Friday evening in edgy anticipation.

So, I booked into one of Messina's Hands On Gelato Classes and headed off to their Sydney factory early on Saturday morning to find out the secret to creating great gelato.

Arriving at Messina HQ, the class of 14 was greeted by our gorgeous and gregarious chefs who served a little something to wake us up (Mandarin Pagne - a Champagne sorbet, mandarin gel, mandarin foam and mandarin sponge accompanied by a coffee of choice). After some animated conversation about our collective gelato obsession, we got stuck into the agenda for the day. Learning the secrets to a magic Messina mouthful.

gelato messina hands on gelato making class sydney
My gelato creation: Lychee jelly, rose chantilly cream, pumpkin seed granola, chocolate ganache spaghetti and a raspberry sorbet quenelle
Every element of our dessert started from the best quality and locally sourced raw ingredients. With individual workstations and top Messina chefs to guide us, we chopped, ground, stirred, whisked, baked and churned our way to a fabulous five element dessert comprising lychee jelly, rose chantilly cream, pumpkin seed granola, chocolate ganache and a raspberry sorbet quenelle.

As well as making our own desserts, we were shown how to create other elements (sauces, pralines, meringues) using both traditional and super-science techniques (think cryogenic cooking with a liquid nitrogen freezing bottle)!

And there's more. While waiting for our elements to churn, set and bake, we were treated to a gelato degustation of Pomegranate Eton Mess (strawberry gelato, pomegranate, vanilla cream, baked meringue) and a Peep Show (caramel popcorn, peanut praline, passionfruit sorbet and yoghurt nitro-frozen mousse).

gelato messina hands on gelato making class sydney
Gelato degustation: Mandarin Pagne, Pomegranate Eton Mess and Peep Show
At home time, we were handed tubs of what we'd made and were told our assignment was to plate up for family or friends. My inner domestic goddess would finally have her day.

At the end of the day what makes Gelato Messina so special? The answer is simple.

"We use ingredients in their raw and most natural form and make everything from scratch." says our host. From the roasting and grinding of pistachios, to the baking of their own apple pies and brownies, everything is made in-house by Messina's passionate team of chefs.

"At Gelato Messina our job is to make people happy… It's all in the name of putting a smile on someone's face." And with offerings such as Candy Warhol, Game of Cones, Scoop Dog and Great Balls of Fryer to name a few - you can't help but smile.

In addition to the Hands On Class, there's also a Gelato Appreciation Class which is a part gelato making class, info session, science lesson and gelato degustation. With this class, you'll get to see what goes on behind the scenes, meet Messina's passionate chefs and learn a few of their secrets.

My day in the Messina kitchen was a great experience and the Hands On and Gelato Appreciation Classes would make a great gift idea for someone special. As well as learning how to create something amazing and delicious, you'll also leave with a copy of the popular book "Gelato Messina – The Recipes".

Oh, and Messina's new book, "Gelato Messina - The Creative Department", is due for launch in November. Surprise someone by buying this as a stocking-filler for Christmas.

So, when in Rome... well, let's just say stick to the pizza, because when it comes to the best gelato in the world, you'll find this closer to home at Gelato Messina.

Creating Nitro-frozen yoghurt mousse
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Why? Because this is the School of Cool
When: Every Saturday (except public holidays)
Phone: (02) 9331 1588
Where: Gelato Messina HQ
Cost: See website for details
Your Comment
Sounds like a fun class with lots of unique ingredients to experiment with.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2169 days ago
Mouth watering just reading this article. Saving it to my favourites. I have to do one of these courses. Great article.
by Irenke Forsyth (score: 3|2483) 2170 days ago
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