When I was growing up, I used to daydream about owning my own restaurant. Mum had told me about a place in Melbourne where you could sit at the counter and have ice cream and milkshakes and lollies. I dreamed about owning a place like that one day, but the dream never involved me actually making the ice cream.
Pidapipò isn’t the restaurant I daydreamed about when I was young. The dream’s there though, mixed with childhood memories of gelato, my Nonno’s playfulness, my experiences in Italy, a thousand hours of cooking shows, the collaboration with my brother, my family’s food obsession and my fascination with the technique of gelato making, its flavours and combinations.
I’m thrilled to be sharing recipes and flavours that are the foundations of the Pidapipò story. I hope you become as obsessed as I am.
Popcorn gelato was a flavour I first came across when I was in Italy. There they used popcorn-flavoured powder, but we make fresh popcorn with butter, blend it with the base mixture and then stain it to get all the bits out. Don’t try to make your own cone – it’s more trouble than it’s worth and it won’t be as good as the good-quality cones you can buy.
Ingredients (Makes 10)
10 good-quality waffle cones
2 litres of popcorn-flavoured gelato
200g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids)
80g cocoa butter
Butter popcorn for decoration
1. To make the chocolate topping, add the chocolate and cocoa butter to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until melted (alternatively, place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes). Set the bowl aside on a work surface and leave to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes.
2. To assemble the choc tops, press a scoop of gelato into each cone, then invert it and dip it briefly in the melted chocolate mixture, ensuring the gelato is completely covered.
3. Press the reserved popcorn into the melted chocolate mixture, to coat completely, if you like, then transfer the choc top to a stand in the freezer and repeat with the remaining choc tops.
4. Leave the choc tops for at least 30 minutes to harden before eating.