I just bought an icecream maker and have been experimenting alot. I seem to be doing something wrong, as my ice cream always turns out perfect after it is done spinning, but then the day-after product is frozen stiff. It's so hard that when I scoop it, it chips away at the ice cream. It's actually sort of interesting, producing a gratin texture, but it's not what I'm going for.
I do chill the mixture well, either overnight in the fridge or in an ice bath. I've tried multiple recipes with different ratios of cream, eggs, etc. I usually use a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream. I've tried vanilla, mint, maple syrup, and chocolate. My freezer is set to 0 degrees F.
How do you get your ice creams to be smooth, creamy and scoop-able after they are frozen?
The recipe and approach to it is really the answer.
Unless overchurned, most "homemade" ice cream is best as soon as it "sets up".
Almost like it just came out of the machine but a bit firmer.
Personally, IMO, this kind of ice cream should be melted and rechurned if kept overnight to become as hard as a rock.
If going for something with a bit more staying power, you need to investigate "dry matter" recipes which, along with whole milk and heavy cream (usually) dry milks, either whole or non fat dry are used along with sweeteners like atomized (powdered) glucose or dextrose, sugar, an invert sugar of some type, usually Trimoline or 'Numoline' (just different brands) which all effect freezing points, the amount of water in your mix, creaminess, etc.
A bit of stabilizer is a good idea too, which will help prevent ice crystals from forming after your ice cream in the container melts a bit and then you refreeze.
These stabilizers help bind the fat molecules to the water molecules, preventing the icing.
This all probably seems a bit too scientific but once you get an ice cream maker, all of these questions always come up.
BTW, all of the aforementioned ing. are natural, not chemical.
RE: Chocolate: You have to cut WAYYYYYY back on the eggs ( I don't use yolks in my chocolate ice creams anymore) because you're adding even more fat plus many chefs find that chcocolate flavor comes thru better w/o the yolks.
I had many MANY problems with this until some friends here on eG helped me out.Yolks do add great texture so maybe add fewer to your mix.
You can try the vodka /spirits tips but if you investigate these kinds of approachs as I've mentioned, people will be asking you "where did you buy this ice cream?"
Good Luck and feel free to PM about sources, etc.