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Jaymes

Troubleshooting cocoa powder for ice cream

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I've heard several folks say that, in their opinion, Askinosie is turning out the best chocolate in the country right now, so I ordered some of their single origin cocoa powder: Davao Philippines

I get that to make ice cream, you're supposed to use "Dutch process" cocoa powder, which this isn't, but was hoping it would work anyway. The taste was terrific, as anticipated, but the texture was not. It was gritty.

I got in touch with Askinosie about this and they told me that there are quite a few artisanal ice cream makers that use their powder, so there must be a way to do it, although they didn't know what it was.

Do any of you?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Can you tell us the method you used to make your ice cream, then we might be able to give you a more appropriate response!

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Cocoa powder is a vegetable fiber with anywhere from %5-%20 cocoa butter content. It IS gritty, becasue it is, essentially, sawdust.

If you boil cocoa powder with a liquid, it will swell and soften somewhat.

Hope this helps

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If you boil cocoa powder with a liquid, it will swell and soften somewhat.

Agreed. Mix with boiling milk or water first.

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I've used bulk store basically unnamed cocoa powder and not had any gritty problems with it. I think it was dutch process, but not certain.

Could it be some other ingredient in the recipe?

I've use basically DL's recipe for Aztec 'Hot' Chocolate but with a cornstarch base.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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It sounds like the process more then the recipe. I would typically get 4oz coco powder and one qt of half and half. I mix in enough half and half to make a smooth paste out of the coco powder, then when its all incorporated, I add the rest of the half and half, and just proceed with making the custard, which involves cooking it.

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most industrially produced cocoa powder is very finely ground, in the single micron range. While i've never looked at shawn's powder, it could very well be that he's simply having trouble grinding it that finely, and may be, by nature - coarser. most 'little guys' aren't going to have the equipment to grind that finely. A second possibility (related to the first), may be that he could be experiencing difficulties in his winnowing (the parts that removes the shell from the nib - or the good part of the cocoa bean), and his powder may have a higher than typical shell content - which will be very, very difficult to grind into a fine powder. If it's either one of these scenarios - i'm afraid you're not going to get it much smoother. hard to say definitively w/o looking at it personally however.

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Don't put too much emphasis on "dutch process".

All this is, is tha the beans are treated with alkali solution prior to proccessing.

The beans are then roasted and ground. This resulting paste, called "cocoa mass" or "cocoa liquor" is then pumped into hydraulic presses and squeezed. Cocoa beans naturally contain over 50 % cocoa butter. Most mnfctrs usually get about 40% of the butter our and leave the remaing 10% in. What's left is a huge big brown cake which is then ground up into cocoa powder.

Dutch process is darker and milder. Unprocessed cooca powder has a much lighter colour.

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Can you tell us the method you used to make your ice cream, then we might be able to give you a more appropriate response!

We are ice cream neophytes in our household. I gave my SIL an ice cream maker for his birthday a couple of weeks back because he really likes to cook, and loves ice cream, so figured it was a natural fit. I also gave him a copy of "The Perfect Scoop," but he works long hours at a stressful job, and hasn't had the time or energy to fiddle around much with recipes. Thus far, he's been making the simple ones from the ice cream maker instruction book.

This is the one he's used for chocolate. He just went to our local market and bought Hershey's Dutch Process cocoa powder, and the ice cream has turned out very good. But of course, we always think it could be better, right? Hence the attempt with the Askinosie.

Simple Chocolate Ice Cream

1 C unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process preferred)

2/3 C granulated sugar

1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar

1 1/2 C whole milk

3 1/4 C heavy cream

1 T vanilla

You basically combine everything, then pour it into the machine and freeze.

From what you nice folks have said, I'm wondering if heating the Askinosie cocoa powder with a little bit of the milk might dissolve it.

I did get in touch with the folks at Askinosie and ask if they had any suggestions to keep the final product from being gritty, and they told me that they didn't, because they were really more bakers than ice cream makers, but that several "very famous" artisan ice cream makers use their cocoa powder, so they were certain there must be a way.

However, that Askinosie powder is pretty darn expensive. Not sure I can afford to keep SIL stocked up with that.

Maybe I should encourage him to stick with the Hershey's which he's perfectly happy to go to the grocery store and buy himself.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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When making our dark chocolate gelato we always make a thickish slurry with the cocoa powder and very hot water - stirring with a stick mixer to incorporate. This then gets mixed in to the base. Texture is smooth as smooth can be. Cocoa is Cacao Barry Extra Brute (22/24% fat).


Steve Smith

Glacier Country

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Jaymes, I'm another neophyte ice cream maker and I've been working out of Jeni Britton Bauer's book, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Although I haven't used them yet, she recommends Askinosie products. I've made her "Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World" a couple of times. The recipe calls first for the making of a syrup, composed of ½-cup each of cocoa powder, sugar, and coffee, brought to a boil. That syrup might be the trick.

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When making our dark chocolate gelato we always make a thickish slurry with the cocoa powder and very hot water - stirring with a stick mixer to incorporate. This then gets mixed in to the base. Texture is smooth as smooth can be. Cocoa is Cacao Barry Extra Brute (22/24% fat).

You've heard the phrase "like water for chocolate"?

It refers to the ability of boiling water (I just use a hot water dispenser, another reason I LOVE the thing!) to bring out the flavor of chocolate, as opposed to milk. I know this is a standard thing to do with cakes, although they are baked, the flavor differential is definitely there...

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You have to heat it just to a simmer with the milk. I;d check the texture after, if it's gritty, I's probably blend it a bit, add the cream. If it remained gritty, I'd strain it too.

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Looks like we've got several pretty good possibilities to try.

Thanks y'all!


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Hi, I am having problems with the cocoa powder in my chocolate sorbet.

 

I just noticed it, because I was so excited with the superb taste. So after about, I don't know, perhaps a year, I noticed that the cocoa powder is grainy, like very fine dust, I think one can easily tell it is the cocoa powder.

It is not the water that is grainy, I know because in other ice creams I am making, I don't see the grittiness. I am also using stabilizers (locust bean gum & guar gum) that are effective.

 

I tried to simmer the water with the cocoa powder, but it remains gritty.

 

I am thinking of a solution but I am not sure it will work:

Use chocolate with less cocoa butter (Callebaut Low fluidity series: L811 and L-60-40,).

After having this idea, callebaut verified it here: http://www.chocolategraphics.com.vn/pdf/catalogue161223113453.pdf, please see the first recipe for dark chocolate.

 

Also, Valrhona has a similar product: P125, and I remember I found somewhere that a Valrhona chef said something like: "we don't have to have the cocoa grittiness now", but I cannot find it again :(

 

Also, one of the best chocolate sorbet I had (kayak) does not contain cocoa powder, only chocolate. Their chocolate ice cream is also very intense (amazing) and again, it does not contain cocoa powder.

 

Do you think it would work?

Do you have COMPLETELY smooth chocolate sorbet when you make it at home?

Can you perhaps suggest another solution?

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14 hours ago, kostbill said:

Also, one of the best chocolate sorbet I had (kayak) does not contain cocoa powder, only chocolate. Their chocolate ice cream is also very intense (amazing) and again, it does not contain cocoa powder.

 

Guessing it's because of the added fat content of the chocolate.  You could also try chocolate flavoring.  I use cocoa powder in my non-dairy ice cream (haven't tried a sorbet) and it's not gritty - again I am guessing due to the higher fat content of the rest of the ingredients.  Another trick to intensify the chocolate flavor is to also add some espresso powder.


Edited by mgaretz (log)

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What kind of cocoa powder are you using?

I am having grittiness with a cheap one and with expensive ones like Valrhona.

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Hi, I am using this recipe, with the addition of locust bean gum and carrageenan lamdba. I have also tried it without these.

 

You don't understand the cocoa powder in the aftertaste as rough? I am not alone here, some friends have also mention this.

 

I have tried to boil it with the water, nothing.

I tried to simmer it, again nothing.

I bloomed it (little water and constant stirring and again a little bit more water), nothing as well.

 

What am I doing wrong?

 

In my next version I will not have cocoa powder at all and see what happens.

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11 hours ago, kostbill said:

What kind of cocoa powder are you using?

I am having grittiness with a cheap one and with expensive ones like Valrhona.

 

4 hours ago, kostbill said:

Hi, I am using this recipe, with the addition of locust bean gum and carrageenan lamdba. I have also tried it without these.

 

You don't understand the cocoa powder in the aftertaste as rough? I am not alone here, some friends have also mention this.

 

I have tried to boil it with the water, nothing.

I tried to simmer it, again nothing.

I bloomed it (little water and constant stirring and again a little bit more water), nothing as well.

 

What am I doing wrong?

 

In my next version I will not have cocoa powder at all and see what happens.

 

Was there a particular recipe you meant to link to?

 

I'm skeptical that the cocoa powder is the problem.  I use Valrhona cocoa in many applications and have never found it gritty, even when dusted on ganache and eaten straight.

 

Do you detect the grit in your base before freezing, or only in the finished product?  Are you already straining it through a fine chinoise?

 

 

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Hi,

I meant the recipe mentioned in the previous post, David Lebovitz's chocolate sorbet.

Yes, the grittiness is there even before the churning, right after I chill it enough to taste it.

 

Do you think it may be the chocolate and not the cocoa?

 

After I boil the water, for about 3 minutes for the locust bean gum to hydrate, I don't melt the chocolate.

I transfer the hot syrup in the blender and add the chocolate pieces slowly. The blender is shaking after each addition but it get's the job done very nicely.

The blender is working for about 2-3 minutes and then I chill the mixture.

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9 minutes ago, kostbill said:

Hi,

I meant the recipe mentioned in the previous post, David Lebovitz's chocolate sorbet.

Yes, the grittiness is there even before the churning, right after I chill it enough to taste it.

 

Do you think it may be the chocolate and not the cocoa?

 

After I boil the water, for about 3 minutes for the locust bean gum to hydrate, I don't melt the chocolate.

I transfer the hot syrup in the blender and add the chocolate pieces slowly. The blender is shaking after each addition but it get's the job done very nicely.

The blender is working for about 2-3 minutes and then I chill the mixture.

 

Strange.  The recipe says to melt the chocolate in the hot liquid before adding everything to the blender.  Chocolate is not that hard to melt, but maybe that's the problem.  Strain the base through fine mesh after blending and see if you get any chunks.

 

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I never bother with the blender step in that recipe. I pour the hot liquid over the chocolate and stir it together, like you would do for a ganache. I've used different chocolates and cocoa powders and never had a gritty result. Have you tasted the boiled cocoa powder/water mixture before you add it to the chocolate? That might help determine if the grit is from the cocoa powder or the chocolate.

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