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Xanthan Gum in Ice Cream


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I made Orange Szechuan Peppercorn Ice Cream tonight riffing off a recipe from The Perfect Scoop and a cornstarch base recipe given to me by forum member Darienne. I added 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum to the chilled mix and found it gave a nice texture to the finished product

. Anyone else played with Xanthan and ice cream?

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I made Orange Szechuan Peppercorn Ice Cream tonight riffing off a recipe from The Perfect Scoop and a cornstarch base recipe given to me by forum member Darienne. I added 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum to the chilled mix and found it gave a nice texture to the finished product

. Anyone else played with Xanthan and ice cream?

a) did it nicely burn the back of your throat?

b) what 'nice texture' exactly did the Xanthan add? I have some (for some other long-forgotten purpose) but have never used it in ice cream. Remind me of its use please and what you discovered in this ice cream.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Yes, I use xanthan gum in all my ice creams and sorbets. I've experimented with a bunch of stabilizing ingredients, and the combination of gelatin and xanthan has worked best for me. use it in minute amounts ... generally around 0.3g xanthan and 1g gelatin per 1000g of ice cream.

This allows me to use less egg. I only use 2 yolks per 1000g. Eggs give great texture but I don't like tasting them in ice cream, ever. The xanthan and gelatin also help prevent ice crystal formation, and together they help tailor the mouth feel of the ice cream, both when frozen and melted.

Carageenan supposedly has even better ice crystal suppression than xanthan, but it's more difficult to use. I haven't played with it yet.

Notes from the underbelly

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I made Orange Szechuan Peppercorn Ice Cream tonight riffing off a recipe from The Perfect Scoop and a cornstarch base recipe given to me by forum member Darienne. I added 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum to the chilled mix and found it gave a nice texture to the finished product

. Anyone else played with Xanthan and ice cream?

a) did it nicely burn the back of your throat?

b) what 'nice texture' exactly did the Xanthan add? I have some (for some other long-forgotten purpose) but have never used it in ice cream. Remind me of its use please and what you discovered in this ice cream.

Thanks for the help Darienne!

A) not the back but the tongue, yes! I only used 1.5 tbs and it was a bit too much. These are some of the strongest sichuan peppercorns ive ever used. Everyone had different responses to it, it was a conversation piece.

B) Xanthan provides a smooth, slippery texture. If too much is used it can be slimy, so use sparingly. I added less than a 1/4 tsp to your base mix, it worked nicely for this application.

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Hi MarkM, another one to try is the Hot Aztec Chocolate Ice Cream. Again, you choose the level of heat. My DH won't touch it; I scarf it down.

I do love watching the reactions of folks trying it for the first time. For one second, you can see the reaction: 'Hmmm...what's all the fuss about? This isn't hot. Nice smooth cool .... oooohhhhmygawd ....' As the heat hits. (I always do warn them.)

We have this huge Annual Dog Weekend in August at the farm and two years ago I did the Orange Szechwan and last year the Hot Aztec as part of the ice cream variety...people LOVE homemade ice cream...and I'll have to find another hot one for this year. Any suggestions?

And I'll try the Xanthum gum next...just a smidgen. Thanks.

and thanks, as always, ICM :wub: , paulraphael, for your explanations.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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  • 2 years later...

Hi Paul, I'm new to this hydrocolloid stuff. Can you tell me what effect the combination of xanthan and gelatin result in versus say gelatin on it's own?

Yes, I use xanthan gum in all my ice creams and sorbets. I've experimented with a bunch of stabilizing ingredients, and the combination of gelatin and xanthan has worked best for me. use it in minute amounts ... generally around 0.3g xanthan and 1g gelatin per 1000g of ice cream.

This allows me to use less egg. I only use 2 yolks per 1000g. Eggs give great texture but I don't like tasting them in ice cream, ever. The xanthan and gelatin also help prevent ice crystal formation, and together they help tailor the mouth feel of the ice cream, both when frozen and melted.

Carageenan supposedly has even better ice crystal suppression than xanthan, but it's more difficult to use. I haven't played with it yet.

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Hi Paul, I'm new to this hydrocolloid stuff. Can you tell me what effect the combination of xanthan and gelatin result in versus say gelatin on it's own?

Yes, I use xanthan gum in all my ice creams and sorbets. I've experimented with a bunch of stabilizing ingredients, and the combination of gelatin and xanthan has worked best for me. use it in minute amounts ... generally around 0.3g xanthan and 1g gelatin per 1000g of ice cream.

This allows me to use less egg. I only use 2 yolks per 1000g. Eggs give great texture but I don't like tasting them in ice cream, ever. The xanthan and gelatin also help prevent ice crystal formation, and together they help tailor the mouth feel of the ice cream, both when frozen and melted.

Carageenan supposedly has even better ice crystal suppression than xanthan, but it's more difficult to use. I haven't played with it yet.

Xanthan is unafected by temperature, so it will have equal thickening power when the ice cream is frozen as when it's melted. So it will have a strong effect on the texture of the melted ice cream in your mouth. The right amount can add a nice amount of body, without the greasiness you can get from huge amounts of cream, or the egginess and other flavor-masking qualities of huge amounts of egg custard. But if you overdo it, the xanthan will give you unpleasant textures. Xanthan-thickened liquids are thixotropic, which means they thicken more at rest than when the fluid is in motion. This is useful until the concentration is high; then you get textures reminiscent of snot. And in the frozen state the ice cream can get chewy or elastic.

Gelatin's thickness is highly dependent on temperature. It's much thicker when cold. Once the ice cream is melted in your mouth, it doesn't have very much effect. But the actual melting qualities of gelatin (the transition from thick to thin) are very pleasant. Gelatin melts right around body temperature, and gives the same kind of melting sensations as butter. But without greasiness. If you overdo it, though, the ice cream can get too chewy in its frozen state, and can even get sticky in its melted state (like an over-reduced meat and bone stock).

The idea is to balance the melting qualities of the gelatin with the unmeltable qualities of the xanthan, while avoiding any of the ill effects of too much of either. The right amounts will depend on the cream content and any egg custard content, and also on other factors, like flavor ingredients that include water or fruit pectin.

Edited by heidih
Fix quote tags (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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Stabilizing ice cream is a molecule game. It's all about binding liquid into smaller and smaller pockets. Almost anything in the kitchen used to thicken has molecules that get tangled up with up with each other and trap liquid. Egg protein, milk protein, starch (flour, cornstarch, tapioca, potato, arrowroot, modified food starch), and hydrocolloids (gelatin, agar, pectin, carageenan, xanthan, guar, arabic, locust bean, alginate, gellan, methylcellulose) all have tangle prone molecules that trap and bind liquid. The smaller the pockets of liquid, the fewer ice crystals can form, the smoother the ice cream. In addition, dissolved solids all lower the freezing temp of water, so the greater quantity of dissolved solids, the less frozen the ice cream, the better the mouthfeel. If that wasn't enough, many stabilizers are emulsifiers as well. By breaking the fat down into smaller units, a greasy mouthfeel is avoided, and, just as importantly, the fat gets in the way of ice crystals attempting to form, further inhibiting crystallization. Lastly, many of these stabilizers give liquids the ability to form foams. Air is a huge player in ice cream. As you churn it, you're whipping air into it. Too much air, such as you find in cheap ice cream, can be a defect, but some air is critical. Just as water can't form a crystal through a pocket of fat, it can't form a crystal through an air pocket, so air is yet another crystallization inhibitor. In addition, air adds an inherent tenderness to ice cream.

Molecular entanglement is the key, and a big player in that entanglement is molecular variety. Different shaped molecules create further opportunities for entanglement. Multiple stabilizers provide synergy. This increased opportunity for entanglement translates into greater thickening than the sum of the thickening abilities of the individual ingredients. This is why the best recipes have multiple stabilizers. Gelatin is good, but gelatin + xanthan is better. As Paul pointed out, gelatin and xanthan each have shortcomings when used in large quantities. This is true of every stabilizer. Starches mask flavors, gums can get slimy, gelatin can get chewy and eggs can provided an egg-yness that may work with some flavors but may clash with others. When you combine, the synergistic thickening boost allows you to use increasingly less of each ingredient, and, in turn mitigate the negative impact that each ingredient imparts.

Combining is king. Two is better than one. Three is better than two. Four is better than three. And so on and so on. This is why commercial ice cream stabilizers have so many ingredients- more is better. I know a few home ice cream makers that purchase commercial stabilizers, but not everyone has to go that crazy. A lot of these ingredients are difficult to find on the retail level. Because they're so readily available, I'm a big fan of xanthan and guar. You get a lot better stabilizing with a lot less sliminess when you combine these two. The synergy is so palpable that I've never use xanthan without guar. Ever. Beyond those, I think it's more recipe dependent. Cornstarch + xanthan + guar is good, but so is gelatin + xanthan + guar. But then, of course, cornstarch + xanthan + guar + gelatin is obviously better.

Bottom line. The more the merrier. If you've got it, use it. The only caveat would be that, as far as I know, starches don't have a great deal of synergy with each other, so, say, combining cornstarch with potato starch isn't buying you anything. Other than that, though, you can't have too many stabilizers.

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Combining is king. Two is better than one. Three is better than two. Four is better than three. And so on and so on. This is why commercial ice cream stabilizers have so many ingredients- more is better. I know a few home ice cream makers that purchase commercial stabilizers, but not everyone has to go that crazy. A lot of these ingredients are difficult to find on the retail level. Because they're so readily available, I'm a big fan of xanthan and guar. You get a lot better stabilizing with a lot less sliminess when you combine these two. The synergy is so palpable that I've never use xanthan without guar. Ever.

Thanks in advance for some advice; this will be my first time using stabilizers in ice cream (or anything else).

So, let's say a recipe for what looks like a little over a pint -- like this one -- calls for 1/2 teaspoon of guar. If I use xanthan + guar, how much xanthan should I use, and should I decrease the amount of guar?

Also, what amounts should I use if I increase the recipe by 50% in order to make something closer to a quart?

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Combining is king. Two is better than one. Three is better than two. Four is better than three. And so on and so on. This is why commercial ice cream stabilizers have so many ingredients- more is better. I know a few home ice cream makers that purchase commercial stabilizers, but not everyone has to go that crazy. A lot of these ingredients are difficult to find on the retail level. Because they're so readily available, I'm a big fan of xanthan and guar. You get a lot better stabilizing with a lot less sliminess when you combine these two. The synergy is so palpable that I've never use xanthan without guar. Ever.

Thanks in advance for some advice; this will be my first time using stabilizers in ice cream (or anything else).

So, let's say a recipe for what looks like a little over a pint -- like this one -- calls for 1/2 teaspoon of guar. If I use xanthan + guar, how much xanthan should I use, and should I decrease the amount of guar?

Also, what amounts should I use if I increase the recipe by 50% in order to make something closer to a quart?

That's a tough question. I know there's a synergistic boost, but I haven't spent much time tracking it. I would definitely say that 1/4 teaspoon of each is too much, but I think 1/8 might be a little too ambitious. If it were me, I'd probably split the difference and go with 3/16 which is probably in the realm of a round 1/8th t.

Btw, are you 100% cetain that the recipe you linked to actually works? When you get into savory ice cream, you lose the freezing point suppression effects of the sugar which introduces greater textural concerns. The expensive ice cream makers that have a built in compressor freeze the ice cream faster and create smaller ice crystals/a superior texture with less stabilizers. I can't help thinking, based on the wealth/professional affiliation of the people involved, that equipment plays a part in this recipe and that your typical sub $100 ice cream maker may not give you the right texture, even with two gums.

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Combining is king. Two is better than one. Three is better than two. Four is better than three. And so on and so on. This is why commercial ice cream stabilizers have so many ingredients- more is better. I know a few home ice cream makers that purchase commercial stabilizers, but not everyone has to go that crazy. A lot of these ingredients are difficult to find on the retail level. Because they're so readily available, I'm a big fan of xanthan and guar. You get a lot better stabilizing with a lot less sliminess when you combine these two. The synergy is so palpable that I've never use xanthan without guar. Ever.

Thanks in advance for some advice; this will be my first time using stabilizers in ice cream (or anything else).

So, let's say a recipe for what looks like a little over a pint -- like this one -- calls for 1/2 teaspoon of guar. If I use xanthan + guar, how much xanthan should I use, and should I decrease the amount of guar?

Also, what amounts should I use if I increase the recipe by 50% in order to make something closer to a quart?

That's a tough question. I know there's a synergistic boost, but I haven't spent much time tracking it. I would definitely say that 1/4 teaspoon of each is too much, but I think 1/8 might be a little too ambitious. If it were me, I'd probably split the difference and go with 3/16 which is probably in the realm of a round 1/8th t.

Btw, are you 100% cetain that the recipe you linked to actually works? When you get into savory ice cream, you lose the freezing point suppression effects of the sugar which introduces greater textural concerns. The expensive ice cream makers that have a built in compressor freeze the ice cream faster and create smaller ice crystals/a superior texture with less stabilizers. I can't help thinking, based on the wealth/professional affiliation of the people involved, that equipment plays a part in this recipe and that your typical sub $100 ice cream maker may not give you the right texture, even with two gums.

Thanks for the suggestions. I have no idea yet if the recipe works. I was planning to do a test run before Sunday's dinner. I'll post my results. I'm going to substitute goat's cheese for the blue cheese and leave out the hot sauce.

If it doesn't work in my non-compressor Cuisinart, I guess it's back to the custard base method. Or maybe it'll be a good excuse (well, an excuse, anyway) to go out and buy a compressor unit.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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The expensive ice cream makers that have a built in compressor freeze the ice cream faster and create smaller ice crystals/a superior texture with less stabilizers. I can't help thinking, based on the wealth/professional affiliation of the people involved, that equipment plays a part in this recipe and that your typical sub $100 ice cream maker may not give you the right texture, even with two gums.

Ice cream makers with a bowl that you freeze in the freezer can also work well. I find that the icre cream attachment of a KA mixer, if used with a well-designed formula and frozen in a 0°F freezer, will freeze a 1kg batch of ice cream in 9 to 12 minutes. This is for a drawing temperature of 23°F.

I absolutely agree that inexpensive compressor machines are a problem. The best choices are freezer bowl machines are or high-end, high-$$ compressor machines.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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Combining is king. Two is better than one. Three is better than two. Four is better than three. And so on and so on. This is why commercial ice cream stabilizers have so many ingredients- more is better. I know a few home ice cream makers that purchase commercial stabilizers, but not everyone has to go that crazy. A lot of these ingredients are difficult to find on the retail level. Because they're so readily available, I'm a big fan of xanthan and guar. You get a lot better stabilizing with a lot less sliminess when you combine these two. The synergy is so palpable that I've never use xanthan without guar. Ever.

Thanks in advance for some advice; this will be my first time using stabilizers in ice cream (or anything else).

So, let's say a recipe for what looks like a little over a pint -- like this one -- calls for 1/2 teaspoon of guar. If I use xanthan + guar, how much xanthan should I use, and should I decrease the amount of guar?

Also, what amounts should I use if I increase the recipe by 50% in order to make something closer to a quart?

That's a tough question. I know there's a synergistic boost, but I haven't spent much time tracking it. I would definitely say that 1/4 teaspoon of each is too much, but I think 1/8 might be a little too ambitious. If it were me, I'd probably split the difference and go with 3/16 which is probably in the realm of a round 1/8th t.

Btw, are you 100% cetain that the recipe you linked to actually works? When you get into savory ice cream, you lose the freezing point suppression effects of the sugar which introduces greater textural concerns. The expensive ice cream makers that have a built in compressor freeze the ice cream faster and create smaller ice crystals/a superior texture with less stabilizers. I can't help thinking, based on the wealth/professional affiliation of the people involved, that equipment plays a part in this recipe and that your typical sub $100 ice cream maker may not give you the right texture, even with two gums.

Thanks for the suggestions. I have no idea yet if the recipe works. I was planning to do a test run before Sunday's dinner. I'll post my results. I'm going to substitute goat's cheese for the blue cheese and leave out the hot sauce.

If it doesn't work in my non-compressor Cuisinart, I guess it's back to the custard base method. Or maybe it'll be a good excuse (well, an excuse, anyway) to go out and buy a compressor unit.

For the goat cheese variation, just under 1/4 teaspoon of each stabilizer worked well in my Cuisinart bowl, frozen to -5F, then ripened for 15-20 minutes after freezing. However, after sitting overnight, the texture was more like ice milk than ice cream. Taste-wise, I preferred it w/o the salt and with 3-4 Tablespoons of honey instead of the recipe's 2 (and with no hot sauce). I served it with peaches macerated in cognac and vanilla, and garnished with raspberries and blueberries.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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For the goat cheese variation, just under 1/4 teaspoon of each stabilizer worked well in my Cuisinart bowl, frozen to -5F, then ripened for 15-20 minutes after freezing. However, after sitting overnight, the texture was more like ice milk than ice cream. Taste-wise, I preferred it w/o the salt and with 3-4 Tablespoons of honey instead of the recipe's 2 (and with no hot sauce). I served it with peaches macerated in cognac and vanilla, and garnished with raspberries and blueberries.

Alex, I was so focused on the stabilizers in the recipe, I completely overlooked the other ingredients. 1 cup lowfat milk to 1/2 cup cream is, imo, way too little milkfat for ice cream- hence the ice milk texture.

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For the goat cheese variation, just under 1/4 teaspoon of each stabilizer worked well in my Cuisinart bowl, frozen to -5F, then ripened for 15-20 minutes after freezing. However, after sitting overnight, the texture was more like ice milk than ice cream. Taste-wise, I preferred it w/o the salt and with 3-4 Tablespoons of honey instead of the recipe's 2 (and with no hot sauce). I served it with peaches macerated in cognac and vanilla, and garnished with raspberries and blueberries.

Alex, I was so focused on the stabilizers in the recipe, I completely overlooked the other ingredients. 1 cup lowfat milk to 1/2 cup cream is, imo, way too little milkfat for ice cream- hence the ice milk texture.

That makes a lot of sense. The original recipe was for cow's milk blue cheese, which has a much higher percentage of fat than goat cheese. Next time I'll try reversing the amounts of milk and cream and see what happens.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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