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Whipping eggs and sugar for ice cream base


Morfudd
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Am I really strange and everyone else like fluffy ice cream?  Now I need to know.

I don't like fluffy ice cream either. But as it relates to this topic, I seriously doubt that making custard with foamed eggs would lead to a foamy ice cream.

So then what's the point? More air? Is that desireable to most? Hey, I'm a lazy cook sometimes, why beat until fluffy if you don't have to? I don't think any of us have really come up with a compelling argument for beating until pale and fluffy.

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I'm pretty sure I don't want chewy ice cream.

OK, maybe chewy was the wrong word. I just had a scoop of chocolate malted ice cream for dessert, and I really enjoyed the texture, it had some texture, not just melt in your mouth. It was made by whisking the yolks and sugar until smooth (but not fluffy) and spun in an Italian Musso Pola gelato maker. Now if only my girls hadn't put Szechuan pepper in the coconut florentine, I would have been happy. :hmmm:

But also, different strokes for different folks, right? We all have different ideals so maybe we won't reach a conclusive answer to the original post, whether it is necessary or whether it is desireable.

To the OP, which books or recipes give this instruction? Is it a particular author, or from a particular region? I can't say it seems like a common instruction in the cookbooks I use, or maybe I just don't read ice cream recipes beacuse I'm happy with my own, could be, I'll have to check when I get back to where my books are.

Sorry if I'm sounding grumpy, It's not you guys, it's me (and the szechuan pepper, and Bhutan....).

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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One additional reason for beating egg yolks until they are pale, at least in vanilla ice cream, is to make them appear less shockingly yellow in the finished product.

Hmmm, I never thought of that one. This should work even without sugar, right?

Actually, it does. I make other ice creams that calls for whipping just the yolks, and while they don't specify to what point, I always bring them to that same pale yellow hue.

Edited because it wasn't dulce de leche that I was talking about. :rolleyes:

Edited by abooja (log)
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  He says that whipping the eggs and sugar together helps stabilize the foam and creates a better foam structure once it is tempered with the milk and cream and returned to the saucepan for cooking.

I don't quite understand this. As far as I'm concerned, once you add the egg mixture to the milk or cream and heat it, the foam is gone. :unsure:

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I was pretty sure I read about minimizing the yellow color of the yolks by beating them into submission in Cook's Illustrated, but I managed to even remember their use of the word "shockingly". :raz: From their vanilla ice cream recipe, July 1993:

Yolks need to be beaten very well with some of the sugar before being combined with the other ingredients. If the yolks are only lightly beaten, the color of the finished ice cream is shockingly yellow.
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Hi,

This is getting ridiculous.

I think that the article points out that foaming the egg yolks stabilizes them for cooking. You do cook the egg yolks.

And, yes cooking the egg yolks eliminates the foam. Remember when you learned to cook a custard and the disappearance of the foam meant you were coming to temperature?

Yes, you can have "chewy" ice cream. Add a supply of guargum to assure this quality.

What kind of gelato maker do you have? I have not seen gelato makers in the US.

Tim

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Re: chewy, foamy, or fluffy ice cream. I'm wondering if I should stay out of this discussion, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread...

In my experience, there's some truth to Professor Goff's statement (posts # 7, 20). When I beat the egg yolks with sugar real good for some gelati (about 10 mins on a hand mixer), the gelati came out lighter in texture, more like homemade ice cream (not that overaerated commercial stuff) than typically dense gelato. So I would say that beating the egg yolks and sugar until voluminous can affect the texture of the final product.

Whether that's good or not depends on individual taste. Also, I don't know how "authentic" this lighter-textured gelato is. But I like it.

As for shockingly yellow ice cream, most commercial eggs have fair to middling pale yolks that do not color the ice cream excessively. More often fresh farm eggs have those bright yellow yolks (depending on what the chickens feed on), but when the yolks are mixed with cream and milk, would the color really be a problem? I doubt it.

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In my experience, there's some truth to Professor Goff's statement (posts # 7, 20). When I beat the egg yolks with sugar real good for some gelati (about 10 mins on a hand mixer), the gelati came out lighter in texture, more like homemade ice cream (not that overaerated commercial stuff) than typically dense gelato. So I would say that beating the egg yolks and sugar until voluminous can affect the texture of the final product.

DJ,

Is the "typically dense gelato" made by you in the same machine, or purchased? If this is gelato you made, a solution would be to let the yolk mix rest for an hour or so.

In my experience, the typical ice cream machine incorporates more air than is desired in a gelato. This is from a combination of quick churning and larger paddles set at strong angle.

One solution is a hand crank ice cream machine churned at very low speed.

Tim

Edited by tim (log)
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Is the "typically dense gelato" made by you in the same machine, or purchased?  If this is gelato you made, a solution would be to let the yolk mix rest for an hour or so.

I am referring to dense gelato I've purchased from a local gelateria. The gelato I've made is lighter textured, because of the recipes I'm following (Pamela Sheldon Johns' Gelato! cookbook). I am assuming that allowing the egg yolks to rest would result in a denser gelato, yes?

While flipping thru the book yesterday, I noticed that Johns offers this alternative to the ice cream machine:

Place the gelato base in a stainless steel bowl, and freeze until the mixture is partially frozen. Then beat it with a wire whisk until it is creamy. Return the mixture to the freezer, and repeat this process once or twice.

I've never tried this method, but it sounds like it would produce a very dense but (hopefully) creamy gelato.

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Hi,

I am certain the density is not a factor of the whipped egg mix. The commercial gelato is probably made only with milk and slow churned to reduce incorporation of air.

Your gelato picks up air in the ice cream machine.

Low fat, dense gelato also dictates higher temperature than ice cream. If you cool it to 15 degrees, like ice cream, you can get an icy texture. Serving it at about 25 degrees provides the creamy mouth feel and that instant burst of flavor from the rapid melting.

Tim

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So to sort of summarize, the question was 'why must you whip until light'

It sounds like we've decided: 1) you don't have to whip until light unless you want a little more air or a lighter color, so therefore not mandatory but optional depending on desired outcome 2) some people don't whip their eggs and sugar at all or even just their eggs, some opt to add the sugar to the cream

Any other conclusions?

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I too have always wondered about this question. I've been told that it does make a difference to the end product (the churned ice-cream) and whisking the yolks and sugar until pale will result in a lighter product. But by light do they actually mean, a creamier product?

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When I use the word foam, that is because ice cream IS a foam (in technical terms) - so is gelato, because it is a 'gas dispersed in a liquid', regardless of how much air you whip in to it. Ice cream is both a foam and an emulsion at the same time. You need to create a stable foam structure which is essentially a fat membrane into which you trap air. Foam doesn't actually mean that it is like a Mr.whippy - all air and high overrun.

I think what Prof Goff is saying is that this whipping the eggs until pale yellow and doubled in volume helps create a stable foam structure - this is really one of the building blocks in a series of building blocks to creating the structure in an ice cream, which is all about getting the right combination of a destabilised fat membrane, ice crystals, concentrated aqueous solution and air. The custard doesn't become a 'foam' until it is churned and whipping eggs and sugar together is not about incorporating air as that will be dispersed anyway; I think it is to do with creating stability in a molecular sense.

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I think what Prof Goff is saying is that this whipping the eggs until pale yellow and doubled in volume helps create a stable foam structure - this is really one of the building blocks in a series of building blocks to creating the structure in an ice cream, which is all about getting the right combination of a destabilised fat membrane, ice crystals, concentrated aqueous solution and air. The custard doesn't become a 'foam' until it is churned and whipping eggs and sugar together is not about incorporating air as that will be dispersed anyway; I think it is to do with creating stability in a molecular sense.

The reason I'm skeptical of this is that the egg foam structure just isn't likely to survive being disolved into the hot milk. I believe it will disappear entirely.

And also, David Lebowitz says he's compared both methods side by side (whisked and unwhisked eggs) and can't tell any difference!

Notes from the underbelly

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I think what Prof Goff is saying is that this whipping the eggs until pale yellow and doubled in volume helps create a stable foam structure - ... The custard doesn't become a 'foam' until it is churned and whipping eggs and sugar together is not about incorporating air as that will be dispersed anyway; I think it is to do with creating stability in a molecular sense.

So are you saying that whipping the eggs creates a more stable foam structure for when you churn the ice cream? i.e., the ice cream incorporates more air during churning because of this stable foam structure?

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Again, this is getting silly.

1. Look at any ice cream recipe.

One Quart of Ice Cream: 3 cups of dairy, 3/4 cup of sugar and 4 large eggs.

Not a lot of room for air for the 4 cups of ice cream.

2. Test this at home:

Carefully dissolve 3 Tbsp. of sugar into a large egg. Measure the volume. Whip the egg/sugar to pale. Heat a cup of dairy to 180. Temper and mix and return to 180. Cool the base overnight in a cold refrigerator.

Measure the volume and compare the results.

Note: Measuring the volume of the finished product is not relevant to the question.

Tim

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Hi,

The original question was why do we whip eggs and sugar to a creamy texture. Professor Goff said the foam structure assisted in stabilizing the eggs while they were cooked.

The discussion then turned to the foam structure of the egg mix and the idea being that the foam structure would eliminate the desired density of a gelato. The question being, does the original egg/sugar foam structure persist through cooking and cooling and add to the over run in the ice cream?

I think that the recipes and a test of volumes will show that the foam structure is lost in the cooking and cooling of the ice cream base. In other words, I think the over run is a result of churning. You have to measure the base before whipping the egg mix and again, before churning to answer the question.

Does this clarify or confuse the question?

Tim

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The composition of the ice cream also influences the overrun (amount of fat, emulsification, etc. etc.).

But I'm still skeptical of the whole egg foam thing for the same reasons you are.

In order for whipping the yolks to make a difference, either the foam would have to survive (which I agree seems unlikely), or the eggs would have to be altered on the molecular level (which I've read does not happen from whipping).

I do think it would be a reasonable to base final judgements on the churned ice cream, but only if you can eliminate all the variables in the churning process. Not easy to do.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I just want to add a (perhaps) final note on this. I contacted Prof Goff again on this point and he has revised his thoughts on the subject. He thinks that the foam structure created probably will be lost during the cooking of the custard and will have no effect on the final product.

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