We originally created this single serve dessert for the Sydney Festival. It’s basically a bunch of odd flavours that work really well together – as the name suggests. The bacon marshmallow is an unbelievable addition – just mind blowing! And, when mixed through the caramel cheesecake gelato and duck fat caramel, it’s a match made in heaven.

1 kg





Skill level

Average: 5 (5 votes)


Caramel cheesecake gelato

  • 85 g sugar
  • 30 g dextrose
  • 20 g skim milk powder
  • 5 g gelato stabiliser
  • 660 g milk
  • 240 g neufchatel
  • cream cheese, softened


Bacon puree

  • 100 g piece smoked bacon, cut into small dice


Bacon marshmallows

  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 100 g cornflour
  • 20 g gold-strength leaf gelatine
  • 100 g inverted sugar syrup
  • 90 g bacon puree



  • 95 g inverted sugar syrup
  • 150 g sugar
  • 60 g water
  • 70 g liquid glucose


Duck fat caramel

  • 360 g sugar
  • 40 g liquid glucose
  • 140 g duck fat, melted
  • 240 g cream


To serve

  • 75 g crinkle cut plain potato chips, lightly crushed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 4 hours

Freezing time 2-3 hours

Setting time 1 hour

To make the caramel cheesecake gelato, place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.

Place the milk in a double boiler over medium heat or cook in a Thermomix (4–5 minutes/40°C/ speed 1.5). When the milk reaches 40°C, whisk in the neufchatel cheese and bring up to 65°C. Cook for 30 minutes, whisking constantly. Blitz with a hand-held blender to combine the cheese and cream. (Thermomix: 20 sec/speed 7, then 30 min/70°C/speed 3.)

Transfer the mixture to a stainless steel bowl placed over an ice bath. Stir occasionally until the mixture drops to 40°C. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer, stirring every 10 minutes until the temperature of the mixture drops to 4°C.

Pour the mixture into a bowl, blend again and then pour it into a soft serve machine or gelato maker.

If using a soft serve machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If using a regular gelato maker, place the bowl of gelato mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Cool another stainless steel bowl in the freezer.

Turn on the gelato maker to begin the freezing process. Remove the gelato mixture from the refrigerator, blend it with a hand-held blender for 1 minute then pour it into the gelato maker.

Once the mixture reaches -4°C, scoop out the gelato and transfer it to the cooled stainless steel bowl. Cover tightly and place in the freezer.

The gelato should be served 2–3 hours after placing it in the freezer or when it reaches -12°C. If it goes below -15°C, or is left in the freezer overnight, the texture will be compromised.

If using a regular gelato maker, place the churned gelato in a large piping bag fitted with a 2 cm star nozzle. Use immediately or place in the freezer to firm up for easier piping if necessary.

To make the bacon puree, put the bacon in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, cover with water and cook until tender. Strain and reserve the cooking water.

Put the bacon in a blender, food processor or Thermomix and process to a smooth paste, adding the reserved cooking water if needed.

Set aside and cool. You will need 90 g to make the bacon marshmallow.

To make the bacon marshmallow, mix together the icing sugar and cornflour and spread the mixture out on a tray.

Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and leave to soften for at least 10 minutes.

Place all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring up to 140°C.

Remove from the heat.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add it to the hot syrup, whisking quickly so it doesn’t burn.

Put the inverted sugar syrup in an electric mixer and start whisking on low speed. With the machine running, slowly add the hot syrup until incorporated. When the temperature drops to 60°C, whisk in the bacon purée.

Transfer to a piping bag with a 1 cm nozzle and pipe teardrops of the marshmallow onto the icing sugar and cornflour mixture on the tray. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour or until set.

To make the duck fat caramel, put the sugar and glucose in a saucepan over medium heat and bring up to 180°C, allowing the mixture to caramelise and colour.

Slowly and carefully stir through the duck fat until combined. Add the cream and stir it through until combined.

Remove the pan from the heat, pour the caramel into a heatproof container. Set aside, cover and keep warm (liquid consistency).

To assemble, test the soft serve machine or piping bag to ensure that the gelato is coming out evenly and slowly so that you have control over the gelato. If using a piping bag, the gelato needs to be firm enough to hold its shape.

Fill a cup or glass with the caramel cheesecake gelato soft serve. Pour over the duck fat caramel, then scatter over the crushed potato chips. Top with 3 or 4 bacon marshmallows and serve immediately.


Recipe from Gelato Messina: The Creative Department (Hardie Grant, $55), by Nick Palumbo and Donato Toce, with photography by Brendan Homan.


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.