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Food Talk | Pipapipó

Food Talk | Pipapipó

Lisa Valmorbida has a passion for gelato, in all its traditional glory. Lisa, who is the co-founder of the widly popular gelateria Pidapipò in Melbourne, has recently released her first cookbook, Pidapipò – Gelato Eight Days a Week - a unique book celebrating her Italian roots and love for autehntic gelato. We caught up with Lisa to find out how her heritage has shaped her love for food. She also shares with us her Salted Caramel Malt Choc and Malt Crumble Popsicle recipe which is perfect for the holiday season.

 Banoffee Pie from  Lisa Valmorbida's  new book  Pipapipó .

Banoffee Pie from Lisa Valmorbida's new book Pipapipó.

 The wonderfully simple Milk Gelato from  Lisa Valmorbida's  new book  Pipapipó .

The wonderfully simple Milk Gelato from Lisa Valmorbida's new book Pipapipó.

Hi Lisa, can you tell us what inspires you the most? I am inspired by the great gelaterias in Italy and their obsession with quality and culture. You learn how to balance and calibrate recipes. There are rules to follow with gelato and they teach you about the types of ingredients that are appropriate and different ways of doing it- it’s then up to you to use this knowledge to create your own recipes. Melbourne is a foodie city but we felt we could improve on the quality of gelato that was available at the time and that people would appreciate it. We were the first dedicated store to use pozzetti, which was brave at the time - people kept telling us we're crazy and that people need to see the gelato! 

What do you love most about what you do? When I was growing up I daydreamed about owning my own restaurant. Pidapipó isn’t the restaurant I daydreamed about when I was young but the dreams were mixed with childhood memoires of gelato, my Nonnos’ playfulness, my experiences in Italy, a thousand hours of cooking shows, the collaboration with my brother Jamie, my family’s food obsession and my fascination with the technique of gelato-making, its flavours and combinations.

What is your absolute favourite gelato flavour of all-time? I can’t ever go past Bacio. I rarely eat any other flavour and couldn’t live without it. 

“I’ve grown up in a family passionate about food - it was only natural that I ended up working with food. I am so proud I can continue family tradition by bringing Italian food and culture to Australians.”


This is a take on the classic Australian ice cream, the Golden Gaytime. It starts with salted caramel gelato dipped in milk chocolate that’s then rolled in a malt crumble. These are really sweet but they’re always a hit when you serve them at parties.

Makes 5 popsicles


480 g (enough to fill 5 moulds), Salted caramel gelato100 g milk chocolate, broken into little chunks, 140 g unsalted butter - melted, 85 g malt powder, 175 g plain (all-purpose) flour and 100g caster (superfine) sugar.


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F/Gas 3). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

2. To make the malt crumble, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your hands to form a crumble-like mixture. Arrange on one of the prepared baking trays in an even layer and cook for 20 minutes until lightly golden, breaking the crumble up with a fork and mixing it around halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then break into breadcrumb-sized pieces with your hands. Set aside.

3. Fill five 60 ml (1/4 cup) popsicle moulds with the salted caramel gelato and push a popsicle stick halfway down in the centre of each. Transfer to the freezer and leave to Harden for 4 hours.

4. Once the gelato has hardened, briefly place one of the moulds popsicle stick–side up (being sure that no water touches the gelato) in a jug of warm water. Remove the mould from the water, turn it upside down and pull gently on the popsicle stick until the popsicle comes out, then transfer to the tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Repeat with the remaining moulds,then return the popsicles to the freezer and leave for a further 2 hours to harden.

5. Melt the milk chocolate and cocoa butter together in a double boiler or a bowl in the microwave, then pour into a tall container and leave to cool slightly. Dip a popsicle into the chocolate, then transfer it to the tray with the malted crumbs and turn to coat each side (you need to do this quickly before the chocolate solidifies). Repeat with the remaining popsicles. Eat straight away or place the popsicles back on the lined tray and return to the freezer until needed.

+ This is an edited extract from Pidapipò by Lisa Valmorbida published by Hardie Grant books and is available in stores nationally.

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