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Grainy chocolate ice cream


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I've tried making chocolate ice-cream a number of times using a Magimix Gelato Chef but although the taste is good the texture always turns out to be very grainy, anybody got any idea what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks in advance,

Richard

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I believe you are supposed to use a very low cocoa butter chocolate for making ice-cream. The graininess could be the cooca butter splitting out as the ice-cream freezes.

Do you know if your chocolate has much added cocoa butter?

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I had this happen recently when making Alice Medrich's bittersweet chocolate ice cream using Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet. I made a double batch, the first half of which was being used for chocolate swiss almond and the second half for chocolate cherry. The first half turned out quite grainy, though tasty. Not wanting to ruin my husband's batch, I gently reheated the custard mixture, stirring vigorously, until all the chocolate was melted and the mixture appeared homogeneous. Rechilled and froze the mixture the next day. It worked. My conclusion? Not all the chocolate was completely melted.

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I've had that problem a few times when doing chocolate sorbet. A quick blitz with the stick blender while it's still hot solves it for me. I haven't had it happen with custard ice cream yet but if it does happen that will be my first plan of attack.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I believe you are supposed to use a very low cocoa butter chocolate for making ice-cream. The graininess could be the cooca butter splitting out as the ice-cream freezes. 

Do you know if your chocolate has much added cocoa butter?

I was using a 70% cocoa content chocolate as I wanted a real chocolate taste.

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The cocoa butter may not be the problem but different 70% chocolates can have quite different amounts of cocoa butter depending on how much the manufacturer has added to the cocoa liquor.

This is a quote from the Callebaut web site:

" Callebaut offers a special selection of dark and white chocolates that contain less

cocoa butter and plenty of taste.

• Their lower fat content makes them ideal for flavouring ice cream: it avoids a

hard, grainy texture. So ideal for soft and smooth chocolate ice cream!"

On the 'chocolate uses' tables they tell you which of their chocolates are most suitable for making ice-cream.

The valrhona web site also notes which of their bars are suitable for ice-cream.

This may help if you can easily find any of the bars that are 'suitable'

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The cocoa butter may not be the problem but different 70% chocolates can have quite different amounts of cocoa butter depending on how much the manufacturer has added to the cocoa liquor.

This is a quote from the Callebaut web site:

" Callebaut offers a special selection of dark and white chocolates that contain less

cocoa butter and plenty of taste.

• Their lower fat content makes them ideal for flavouring ice cream: it avoids a

hard, grainy texture. So ideal for soft and smooth chocolate ice cream!"

On the 'chocolate uses' tables they tell you which of their chocolates are most suitable for making ice-cream.

The valrhona web site also notes which of their bars are suitable for ice-cream.

This may help if you can easily find any of the bars that are 'suitable'

Thanks, that's very useful advice, I'll checkout their websites.

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I've been looking all over both websites and can't find anything about which chocolates are best for ice cream. The callebaut site has a few recipes, where they mention using their 70% standard classic chocolate, but that's about it.

Do you have any specific pages you can list?

Notes from the underbelly

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This link to

valrhona should get you to the grid where you can put your mouse over the application you are interested in and they highlight their suitable chocolates.

This valrhona product pdf also has useful info on page 6 about suitability of their chocolates

If you try this link and scroll down you should find the pdf from Callebaut re ice-cream callebaut downloads

I hope that helps a bit. I find the Callebaut website full of useful info but not easy to find and you sometimes have to look at a few different pdf files to get all the info you want as they separate by products ranges quite a lot.

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You might be over churning your ice cream if it goes grainy.

I use Valrhona Guanaja 70% in both ice cream and sorbet and never have a problem.

The only time I ever had it turn a mess was in a Taylor and it over churned.

You also need to pour your dairy over the chocolate, I recommend an immersion ( stick) blender to emulsify.

Avoid an egg base if possible.

2317/5000

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You might be over churning your ice cream if it goes grainy.

I use Valrhona Guanaja 70% in both ice cream and sorbet and never have a problem.

The only time I ever had it turn a mess was in a Taylor and it over churned.

You also need to pour your dairy over the chocolate, I recommend an immersion ( stick) blender to emulsify.

Avoid an egg base if possible.

They list guanaja as as one of the chocolates recommended for ice cream. Along with quite a few others. But they don't give their rationale ... i didn't see any clear connection between cocoa solids or cocoa butter content and their recommendations.

Agreed about avoiding the egg base. Though not sure why you'd need a stick blender or need to pour the dairy over the chocolate to emulsify it. I have no trouble just heating the milk and disolving in the chopped chocolate. There's enough liquid that it's not a fragile emulsion, like with ganache.

Notes from the underbelly

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It's always a good idea to add to chocolate rather then add the chocolate to, at least what I was taught.

Adding chocolate to a hot liquid can make it "break" much easier.

RE: chocolate for ice cream: It's kind of an "apples for oranges" scene.

Alot of people could say "hey, why use such an expensive chocolate for ice cream?" such as Guanaja.

It's what tastes good to me.

Whether it's a bitter, milk or white chocolate, how you treat the product is what's important, unless you're trying to use an unsweetened chocolate or close to it.

You'll have some problems then, methinks :wink:

2317/5000

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Avoid an egg base if possible.

Agreed about avoiding the egg base.

Why avoid an egg base? I almost always use egg yolks in homemade ice cream, and have never had a problem - the ice cream consistently comes out nice and creamy. The only time I experienced graininess was once or twice when the chocolate didn't emulsify properly on the last step, ie, adding the strained custard to the ganache or the chopped chocolate.

Edited by merstar (log)
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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Why avoid an egg base? I almost always use egg yolks in homemade ice cream, and have never had a problem - the ice cream consistently comes out nice and creamy. The only time I experienced graininess was once or twice when the chocolate didn't emulsify properly on the last step, ie, adding the strained custard to the ganache or the chopped chocolate.

It's about flavor, not consistency. It seems there are a couple of different points of view; some people like the flavor of cooked egg yolks with chocolate, and others think it's a distraction. I'm in the second camp. Chocolate is also one of the flavors that gets muted very easily by milk fat. Because of this I use less than half as much cream in chocolate ice cream as in most other recipes. The fat in yolks may have the same effect.

In general, I use about a third as many eggs in my ice creams as most people, because I don't want to notice them. In chocolate I don't use any.

Notes from the underbelly

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Why avoid an egg base? I almost always use egg yolks in homemade ice cream, and have never had a problem - the ice cream consistently comes out nice and creamy. The only time I experienced graininess was once or twice when the chocolate didn't emulsify properly on the last step, ie, adding the strained custard to the ganache or the chopped chocolate.

It's about flavor, not consistency. It seems there are a couple of different points of view; some people like the flavor of cooked egg yolks with chocolate, and others think it's a distraction. I'm in the second camp. Chocolate is also one of the flavors that gets muted very easily by milk fat. Because of this I use less than half as much cream in chocolate ice cream as in most other recipes. The fat in yolks may have the same effect.

In general, I use about a third as many eggs in my ice creams as most people, because I don't want to notice them. In chocolate I don't use any.

Okay, thanks, Paul. I also use a lot less cream than the recipes call for.

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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Why avoid an egg base? I almost always use egg yolks in homemade ice cream, and have never had a problem - the ice cream consistently comes out nice and creamy. The only time I experienced graininess was once or twice when the chocolate didn't emulsify properly on the last step, ie, adding the strained custard to the ganache or the chopped chocolate.

It's about flavor, not consistency. It seems there are a couple of different points of view; some people like the flavor of cooked egg yolks with chocolate, and others think it's a distraction. I'm in the second camp. Chocolate is also one of the flavors that gets muted very easily by milk fat. Because of this I use less than half as much cream in chocolate ice cream as in most other recipes. The fat in yolks may have the same effect.

In general, I use about a third as many eggs in my ice creams as most people, because I don't want to notice them. In chocolate I don't use any.

Okay, thanks, Paul. I also use a lot less cream than the recipes call for.

I was using quite a lot of cream and eggs to make my custard so my first thought was the fat content that was causing the problem. At any rate it sounds like I have some more experimentation to do with the correct chocolate, it's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it. :biggrin:

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I'm working on chocolate ice cream right now. I'm pretty close to getting what I want, which is: very intense bittersweet chocolate flavor with lots of depth, good body (but not chewy), fairly slow, creamy melt, and a creamy but not at all greasy mouthfeel after melting.

If anyone wants to be a guinee pig, here's the version of the recipe I'm going to test next week (the last version still needs to get eaten!)

612g (2-1/2 cups) whole milk

75g (1/3 cup plus 1 TB) granulated sugar

30g (3T) nonfat dry milk

14g (2T plus 1tsp) cocoa powder (i'm using pernigotti)

11.2g (1 TB +1 tsp) cornstarch

1.4g (1/2 tsp) powdered gelatin

1 g salt

227g (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate (i'm using valrhona guanaja)

115g (1/2 cup) heavy cream

10g (2 tsp) vodka or alcohol based vanilla extract

-thoroughly mix the sugar, cocoa, dry milk, cornstarch, gelatin, and salt

-whisk the dry ingredients into the milk while heating in a saucepan. disolve thorougly.

-bring to a light simmer until it thickens.

-stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.

-just barely bring to a simmer again

-cool in an ice water bath

-stir in the cream and vodka/extract

-chill overnight

-no need to strain. freeze in the machine.

-allow to harden in a very cold freezer (minus 5 degrees F or colder is ideal)

-serve at normal serving temp (6 to 10 degrees F)

to make half:

306g whole milk

37.5g sugar

15g nonfat dry milk

7g cocoa powder

5.6g cornstarch

.7g powdered gelatin

.5 g salt

113.5g bittersweet chocolate

57.5g (1/4 cup) heavy cream

5g (1 tsp) vodka or alcohol based vanilla extract

Butterfat: 6%

Cocoa Butter (guanaja and pernigotti cocoa): 9%

total fat: 15%

nonfat milk solids: 8%

Notes from the underbelly

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