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Using gelatin in ice cream


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#1 paulraphael

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 10:39 AM

I've been experimenting with gelatin as a stabilizer in ice cream. So far I've disolved it in the traditional way, by blooming with a small amount of liquid (in this case a portion of the milk) and then mixing it in and heating it.

But I found an article that says you can just mix it thoroughly with the sugar and disolve it that way. Is this a good idea? My understanding is that blooming is just to keep the the gelatin from clumping together and becoming difficult to disolve. It makes sense that dispersing it with an easy to disolve solid could help in the same way. Does anyone have experience with this?

Also, I'm finding the gelatin is working in bizarrely small quantities. Recipes I've seen call for up to a tablespoon per quart of ice cream. I've found that using more than half a teaspoon (0.15% by weight) is too much ... gives a dense, puddingy consistency. I'm using it in conjunction with a bit of starch (3 to 6g) and a couple of yolks per quart, but it still seems strangely powerful.

Thoughts?

#2 chiantiglace

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 05:04 PM

use gums
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#3 reenicake

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 07:40 PM

If you are heating the sugar in liquid to make a custard, then you're fine mixing the gelatin into the sugar. I'd eliminate the starch and just use the custard and gelatin unless you're dealing with a lot of alcohol or watery/not smooth base that tends to split. (some cheese-based and nut based bases are like that, I think it's the fat) If you don't like the "sponginess" that comes with using gelatin, try some lecithin.

Edited by reenicake, 12 June 2008 - 07:42 PM.


#4 Tiny

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 08:24 PM

they make specific blends of hydrocolloids to stabalize ice cream, I'd suggest just using them, a lot of research and testing has gone into their development and ratios, they work great

#5 paulraphael

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 05:27 AM

they make specific blends of hydrocolloids to stabalize ice cream, I'd suggest just using them, a lot of research and testing has gone into their development and ratios, they work great

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The trouble is that there are many blends, and an almost infinite number of possible blends, and all produce different textures and different results. I'd go crazier testing all the possibilities than I would testing the possibilities of a couple of simpler ingredients.

Also, from what I've read, the main advantages of the more contemporary gums are price (not important in the quantities I'm making), extended shelf life (not important for my purposes), and the ability to work in minute quantities (actually a disadvantage for accurately weighing portions for a small batch).

So far I'm getting impressive results with simple ingredients that I already keep in the kitchen. I'm just in the process of tweaking the details and am curious about other people's experience with this.

#6 amdellutri

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 05:44 AM

You can use Ice Cream and Sorbet Stablizer. Pastrychef.com carries it but it's out-of-stock right now. I'm waiting for mine to arrive.

www.lepicerie.com also carries it. You can just search for stabilizer and it will show up.

#7 paulraphael

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 07:20 AM

You can use Ice Cream and Sorbet Stablizer.


Sure, but that's going to be some blend, based on someone else's ideal ice cream characteristics, of three or more gums. I'd rather control the recipe. And I'd also rather not be dependent on a proprietary ingredient.

#8 pastrygirl

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:28 AM

I've use gelatin in some watery sorbets to reduce iciness, maybe 2 or 3 sheets to a 2 quart batch, it seems to help. I've also added pectin to lemon sorbet, but of course pectin isn't as versatile.

#9 paulraphael

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:29 AM

I've use gelatin in some watery sorbets to reduce iciness, maybe 2 or 3 sheets to a 2 quart batch, it seems to help.  I've also added pectin to lemon sorbet, but of course pectin isn't as versatile.

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Are these cooked sorbet bases, or do you have some other way of disolving the gelatin?

#10 pastrygirl

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:47 AM

The lemon with the pectin was cooked, but the others I just warmed a small portion enough to disolve the softened gelatin, then stir that into the batch. I haven't tried it with ice cream. Are you trying to use less fat or eggs and need thickener, or just trying to reduce iciness during storage?

I do cook a lot of my fruit sorbets, just to break down the fruit more so I get a smoother puree, or I also make batches of fruit puree when I have an abundance and freeze them, then thaw and adjust flavors/consistency as needed.

#11 paulraphael

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:02 AM

Are you trying to use less fat or eggs and need thickener, or just trying to reduce iciness during storage?


For the ice cream, I'm trying to use fewer egg yolks, simply because I don't like the egg flavor, and I don't want too much heaviness. But I like the smoothness and mouthfeel of custard based ice creams, and also the freezer stability.

So I decided to cut down the yolks (from 6 to 2) and make up for the rest with some stabilization. I want to get the mouthfeel and the melt just the way I like it, and I want to be able to keep it in fridge for a week or so without getting any iciness.

I'm not willing to put up with any off flavors or aftertastes or any weird films left behind in your mouth. I rejected arrowroot based on this last issue ... it gave me a slight sense of pastiness after the ice cream melted in my mouth.

#12 Tiny

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 08:07 AM

you might want to try carageenan.....it is what most ice cream makers use (in adittion to a few other gums) in their "low fat" ice creams to provide the texture of eggs....

#13 chiantiglace

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 09:50 PM

Have you ever heard of a Meme? Its something that was discovered or described to represent the things we are associated with as are life goes on, everything your mind senses can be described as a meme.

The problem is intuition can be faulty to us through our memes. Just because you are comfortable with gelatin, and it was the first thing you've known in your career doesn't mean is the simplest and best. A lot of people say they are "home style", "old fashioned", or "simplistic" cooks doesn't mean that going back to your roots is the best way. Usually its an excuse for not pay attention.

There are a lot of asian cultures hung up on using agar in their products, they might give the same response to you if you started telling them to use gelatin in their gelling applications.

The truth is, everything is made differently, thus everything works differently. there are many reasons why you might want to use polysaccharide gums instead of gelatin and yes each one works a little differently. Just because there is a perfect hydrocolloid system for praline ice cream and a different but just as perfect system for raspberry sorbet doesn't mean that they both aren't better than gelatin. Just because the alginate application works better in ice cream and the locust bean guar version works better in sorbet doesn't mean they can't work for the other product still better than gelatin.

And starch?????! Starch breaks down when water expands and crystallizes, if anything starch would hurt your your texture goals.

Also, just because something is more expensive, should never be automatically expected to be better.

It is very simple to make ice cream without any egg product at all. I have made plenty of simple ice creams completely eggless, infact I think I like it more that way.

check out the definition for -thixotropy-
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#14 paulraphael

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 07:28 PM

Chantiglace, I'm not sure why you're lecturing me on Richard Dawkins neologisms, or implying that I'm some kind of lemming, blindly following a herd of gelatin users off the edge of a cliff.

Maybe it would help if you read my initial question. I wasn't actually looking for different stabilizers, because I'm getting excellent results with the current one I'm using.

I'm familiar with gums. I've already outlined my reasons for not using them, at least at the moment. Your defense of them confirms my reasoning; I just don't have the time or resources to experiment with all the reasonable combinations. I can be more productive working with a smaller number of familiar ingredients.

If you have any actual information on why gums might be superior (you haven't offered anything besides implication) I'd be happy to hear it. All the advantages I know about apply more to industrial applications, but perhaps I'm missing something.

As far as starch goes, I don't know what to say except that you're wrong. Cornstarch has a long history of working effectively in ice creams and gelatos. Freeze-thaw cycles do tend to reduce its thickening ability, but that's not at issue here. Other starches, like arrowroot, are unaffected by freezing.


Have you ever heard of a Meme?  Its something that was discovered or described to represent the things we are associated with as are life goes on, everything your mind senses can be described as a meme.

The problem is intuition can be faulty to us through our memes.  Just because you are comfortable with gelatin, and it was the first thing you've known in your career doesn't mean is the simplest and best.  A lot of people say they are "home style", "old fashioned", or "simplistic" cooks doesn't mean that going back to your roots is the best way.  Usually its an excuse for not pay attention.

There are a lot of asian cultures hung up on using agar in their products, they might give the same response to you if you started telling them to use gelatin in their gelling applications.

The truth is, everything is made differently, thus everything works differently.  there are many reasons why you might want to use polysaccharide gums instead of gelatin and yes each one works a little differently.  Just because there is a perfect hydrocolloid system for praline ice cream and a different but just as perfect system for raspberry sorbet doesn't mean that they both aren't better than gelatin.  Just because the alginate application works better in ice cream and the locust bean guar version works better in sorbet doesn't mean they can't work for the other product still better than gelatin. 

And starch?????!  Starch breaks down when water expands and crystallizes, if anything starch would hurt your your texture goals.

Also, just because something is more expensive, should never be automatically expected to be better.

It is very simple to make ice cream without any egg product at all.  I have made plenty of simple ice creams completely eggless, infact I think I like it more that way.

check out the definition for -thixotropy-

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#15 chiantiglace

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 08:18 PM

nice pull on dawkins, what a crazy atheist, but somewhat brilliant too huh?


I appologize for coming off possbly frustrated. It just doesn't seem like people collect data very well, some people see new things and cant get anough of them, use them exclusively especially when its unnecessary and others disregard things for absurd reasons. It seems there is a shortage of rationality amongst people in this world.

I have never really cared for starches in non-cooking/baking procedures. It seems to me that when any starch is utlized in chilled products it tends to mask flavor and texture and with freeze thaw applications starch doesn't seem to handle crystallization nearly as well as say locust bean gum or guar. So through my experience I dont believe I am wrong. Using starch for ice to me is like using rice flour for brioche.

Gelatin, I can understand someone use it if they are trying to make an overly aerated ice cream or sorbet kind of like an espuma with italian meringue because gelatins amazing ability to hold and structuralize air.

Gums sort of form blockades while starch absorbs so when crystallization comes to occur gums have the better properties to limit its formation.

I believe I have a couple eggless ice cream base recipes if you want them. I am still not sure what you are trying to achieve, I have read everything, but I guess I am just not getting it.

If small quantities are a problem for your existing scale, check out the micro gram scales, i believe chef rubber sells one.

I have known chefs to make a large amount of hydrated sorbet and ice cream sablizer syrup ready to go and they just add the syrup quantity to the recipe already put together, that may be an option for you, saves time and you dont have to worry about .2 grams of cremodan stabilizer powder. The only downside is you will have to do the math for all new recipes, could be a plus in the long run to get everything into percentages for employees to make perfectly when you are gone.

To me if gum stabilizers are used, I have noticed, right then you will never know they were there, but they did there job perfectly.

couple questions.
Are you wrapped the top of the ice cream with plastic and they sealing it up?
what temperature are you freezing them at for storage?
what temperature are you freezing them at for service?
what temperature do you want to serve them at?
what kind of containers are you using?

If my response seems somewhat irrelevant to you, disregard it.
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Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#16 hansjoakim

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 07:46 AM

Hi all,

I have a recipe for a cream that I'd like to try out, and it calls for "5 gr gelatin". I'm not very familiar with the use of gelatin, so I'm wondering if this refers to the weight of the gelatin sheets themselves, or the weight of bloomed, melted gelatin?

I'm not sure, but I have the impression that bloomed, melted gelatin is heavier than the sheets before blooming; thus, if I use 5 gr bloomed, melted gelatin instead of 5 gr gelatin sheets, I would use too little gelatin?

By the way, it's a recipe for diplomat cream, with 300 gr. each of whipped cream and pastry cream, and "5 gr. gelatin".

Thanks in advance!

#17 ejw50

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:23 AM

Hi all,

I have a recipe for a cream that I'd like to try out, and it calls for "5 gr gelatin". I'm not very familiar with the use of gelatin, so I'm wondering if this refers to the weight of the gelatin sheets themselves, or the weight of bloomed, melted gelatin?

I'm not sure, but I have the impression that bloomed, melted gelatin is heavier than the sheets before blooming; thus, if I use 5 gr bloomed, melted gelatin instead of 5 gr gelatin sheets, I would use too little gelatin?

By the way, it's a recipe for diplomat cream, with 300 gr. each of whipped cream and pastry cream, and "5 gr. gelatin".

Thanks in advance!

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The way I do it when I see it is to measured it out by teaspoons (2.25 t = 7g) and then doubled and gone to the next unit of water. This is when the recipe gives in 'leaves' and you need to convert to Knox powder.

That is, 1t gelatin + 2T water, sit, stir, heat in microwave for 15 seconds.

I got this by comparing equivalent recipes from 'desserts by pierrer herme' and 'the patisserie of pierre herme'

Edited by ejw50, 23 April 2009 - 08:25 AM.


#18 mjc

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:26 AM

This should refer to the weights of gelatin sheets before they are soaked in water.
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#19 hansjoakim

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:01 AM

Thanks mjc!

Are you sure? D*mn it... I was in a hurry, so guessed it referred to the weight of bloomed gelatin... I just measured my sheets, and it seems that the unbloomed ones weigh in at approx. 2 gr., while the bloomed ones are slightly less than 10 gr. That means I've used gelatin equal to 1/2 sheet while I should've used 2.5 sheets...

Hmm... do you think the cream will get runny?

#20 sanrensho

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:45 AM

Thanks mjc!

Are you sure?


I haven't seen everything, but I have never seen a recipe that referred to the weight of gelatin after it has been bloomed. It is definitely referring to the dry (unbloomed) weight.
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#21 hansjoakim

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:25 AM

Hi again! Yes, you guys are right, it must be the weight of unbloomed gelatin :sad:

Well, thanks again! Live and learn... next time, right? :cool:

#22 gfron1

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:48 PM

Yeah, I read that as 2.5 sheets dry

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#23 gap

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:01 PM

I would have said 5g is the unbloomed weight - that's how all my books/recipes work

#24 hansjoakim

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:16 PM

Yep, it's unbloomed weight, most definitely :wink:

Well, no harm done...I'll get it right next time! Thanks again for the clarification all :smile:

Edited by hansjoakim, 23 April 2009 - 10:17 PM.


#25 McDuff

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 01:46 PM

do a site search for the word "gelatin" and you find everything you need to know. this has been gone over time and again. it's tricky, I find.