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Home Made Ice Cream (2013– )


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Yes, I know it is not quite 2013 here in New Jersey but after a long period without an ice cream maker I am back to making ice cream and would enjoy a discussion of recipes and technique.

I am to the point where I can make a base which yields a satisfactory texture or a base which gives a satisfactory taste, but sadly not yet both at the same time.

After recently getting a Cuisinart ICE-100, the first recipe I used was Rose Levy Beranbaum's Vanilla Ice Cream from The Cake Bible (p.285). Texture was great but the alcohol tasted a little funny. I tried reducing the cream while keeping the alcohol, but the mouthfeel suffered. I tried adding a bit of Karo but that didn't really help.

Then I stopped using alcohol, went back to about 20% butterfat, but used a small amount of Lyle's Golden Syrup and xanthan gum to hopefully improve texture. Flavor was excellent but the texture was slightly icy, and the melting characteristic was more like commercial ice cream than homemade. Plus the ice cream was rock hard from the freezer. Next I added more Lyle's which improved the texture, but now the ice cream is far too sweet and has a pronounced molasses flavor.

I prefer ice cream that is not very sweet. This precludes dumping in a lot of sugar to improve the texture and reduce the freezing point. I'm thinking dextrose and/or atomized glucose syrup might help reduce the freezing temperature and improve texture. But I don't have these ingredients.

My best result was with Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe, but I'd like to replace the alcohol with something. Does anyone have ideas?

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I swear by Jeni's splendid ice creams book. Great texture, not too sweet and exciting combinations. There are several recipes online, try it and buy the book if you like it. I especially like that her recipe does not use eggs, you get much cleaner taste.

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David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop is one of the classics for making ice cream. Plus there are a lot of excellent topics on eG already on the making of ice cream. And there are resident experts on the making of ice cream, paulraphael being one and my own ice cream mentor. Mark Bittman and Alton Brown are two others I have followed.

To me, a problem with http://icecreamscience.com/ , although an interesting website with lots of excellent information, is that it discusses only its own formula, never referring as far as I can see to the many other formulae for making ice cream. And there are a lot of good ice cream websites out there.

For our ice creams, I don't use eggs and I don't use heavy cream. I use half and half and cornstarch basically, with a dollop of corn syrup and a pinch of salt always, and to date have not had any troubles with mouth feel, taste of cornstarch, ice crystals, etc. Maybe I've just been lucky. We do have a very cold freezer in the garage which I use for ice cream and that might be a factor.

Good luck in your search for the perfect ice cream.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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If you can get your hands on a reasonable amount of atomized glucose, it does act like sugar to soften ice cream without adding the full sweetness of sugar. About 15% of the sugar in my recipe is atomized glucose. Glucose syrup would do the same - think flavorless Lyle's.

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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First I should have stated that before starting the topic, I read everything I could find (or at least that Google could find) on eGullet about ice cream. By training I am a biochemist, but these days I work in a library, which has afforded me an opportunity to read a number of books on the subject. The two I have on my table at the moment are by David Lebovitz and by Hoogerhyde, Walker, and Gough. I note that Lebovitz (like Beranbaum) advocates alcohol for texture.

The download of Angelo Corvitto's book never worked for me. I get a page with instalment headings and pictures of pretty colored scoops of ice cream, but that is about it. The English translation of his book was available on Amazon last I looked. I have been thinking of requesting it on Inter Library Loan.

Bojana, thank you. I have not read Jeni's book, but I understand her method is to substitute cream cheese for eggs. I am a fan of lots of yolks, and I am afraid cream cheese would not do it for me. I'll try almost anything once but I want to exhaust a few other possibilies before that.

I had not seen icecreamscience.com before. His contribution seems to be the idea of holding the mix at 71.4 degrees C for one hour to improve texture, though I think his base of 14% sugar would be too sweet for my taste. It's far different from my usual method but I may try holding the mix at 71.4 degrees C for one hour to see if it helps. For my custard and pastry cream I use the Alicia method of boiling the milk and sugar then adding to the egg yolk mixture all at once. It works for me. Though sometimes if I am not careful it makes a mess of the stove. The custard is never returned to the burner, but cooks by the residual heat of the milk. If the icecreamscience method works better I will switch for my ice cream base.

Even so, at about 10% sugar, it is unlikely I will get acceptable texture without some magic ingredient. Alcohol remains the best that I have found. I have no local source of dextrose or atomized glucose syrup. Dextrose is dextrose, but atomized glucose syrup can vary quite a lot from what I have read. Anyone have recommended sources of atomized glucose syrup? (I did find a thread here on a non-recomended source.)

Here is the most recent mix recipe I used (before I dumped in more Lyle's to improve the texture);

heavy cream - 1000 ml

whole milk - 500 ml

large egg yolks - 12

sugar - 180 gm

Lyle's Golden Syrup - 3 T

xanthan gum - 1/4 t

salt (Kosher) - 1/4 t

vanilla paste - 1 T

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The download of Angelo Corvitto's book never worked for me. I get a page with instalment headings and pictures of pretty colored scoops of ice cream, but that is about it. The English translation of his book was available on Amazon last I looked. I have been thinking of requesting it on Inter Library Loan.

Apologies. He originally published his English book on just the internet and it was available for free download. Now that there is a hardback edition, it looks like you can't download the PDF of the book anymore.

If you are looking at books though, this one is great as well for explaining why ice cream (and other frozen desserts) work the way they do and what different ingredients do.

http://www.amazon.co...a/dp/0470118660

Edited by gap (log)
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If you can get your hands on a reasonable amount of atomized glucose, it does act like sugar to soften ice cream without adding the full sweetness of sugar. About 15% of the sugar in my recipe is atomized glucose. Glucose syrup would do the same - think flavorless Lyle's.

I do the same as pastrygirl re atomised glucose (or powdered glucose) although I use in a 15-20% range. I also use invert sugar for the same reason - about 5-10% of the sugar. Invert sugar is sweeter than normal sugar if sweetness is an issue for you.

I get my powdered glucose from a healthfood store.

Edited by gap (log)
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I get my powdered glucose from a healthfood store.

No powdered glucose at my local healthfood store. I did get my xanthan gum there however. Amazon has at least three suppliers of powdered/atomized glucose, only one of which that I could find less than 5kg. And none with data sheets.

And, thanks, yes, Frozen Desserts is one of the books that I would like to have.

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I believe powdered/atomized/freeze dried are all the same thing. And, yes, modernistpantry was the only amazon seller I found that offered less than 5kg. They have dextrose too, and I am considering giving them an order. However my first choice right now for a vendor is pastrychef.com, as they list the brand names of their products. Their atomized glucose syrup is from Patisfrance, who provide a data sheet (in English).

Meanwhile I finally put my finger on the problem with the batch of ice cream I am eating, into which I had dumped in the extra Lyle's! It has the taste and consistency and color of a slightly richer version of Friendly's Butter Crunch -- but without the crunch. It makes me thirsty. Butter crunch is not a bad flavor, but this was supposed to be vanilla.

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I am exhausted. It's 2:30 in the morning and I just finished cooking a batch of mix by the icecreamscience.com method: namely holding the mix at 71.4 deg C (160.54 deg F) for one hour. Without a controller do you have any idea how difficult it is to hold a batch of ice cream mix at 71.4 deg C for one hour? I thought I could read a book. Ha! I was watching the meter and stiring constantly. And an hour would have been nice. But with bringing the mix up to temperature I was a good two and a half hours at the stove. And in one moment of inattention the temperature went up to 71.8 deg C (161.3 deg F). I was recording the minimum and maximum.

This better be good.

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I was planning a more controlled experiment before giving my results. But the short answer is that my first try with Ruben's method was the best ice cream I have ever tasted.

Not having a 23 cm pot I used a 24 cm Le Creuset. My mix was as follows:

heavy cream 500 ml

whole milk 250 ml

large egg yolks 6

sugar 100 gm

salt 1/8 tsp

Preparation of the mix was as described above. I transferred the mix to a stainless steel pan and refrigerated for about a day and a half. When I added the chilled mix to the ICE-100 the level in the bowl was rather low, below the blade of the dasher, so I quickly dumped in about a cup of heavy cream and some vanilla (I did not measure).

I spun for 15 minutes and transfered to a shallow prechilled hotel pan and returned to the freezer. After about four hours the ice cream was just scoopable. At 24 hours it was hard a rock, but not the least bit icy. Texture, when I can dig it out, is perfect, even after a few days.

There has got to be a way to make the preparation easier. I was thinking maybe a temperature controlled stirring hot plate, which is something I don't have.

Thank you, Ruben, for your site and for coming here and adding to the discussion. And thank you, Nathalie, for calling my attention to icecreamscience.com.

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I've been making a lot of ice cream in my freezer-bowl machine, and have made the following observations:

1. Guar gum is superior to xanthan for stabilizing and preventing crystallization. It also causes a lot more air to whip in. Overrun increased from 10% to over 50%.

My ice cream maker is of low quality and the ice cream is often still liquid when I remove it from the bowl; the reduction in ice crystals in the finished product is dramatic.

I've found 0.5g per liter of liquid works pretty well. It's available from Whole Foods under the "Bob's Red Mill" brand.

2. Invert sugar is an inexpensive and easy way to prevent crystallization. As a 50-50 mixture of glucose and fructose, this is to be expected. Because it's made from table sugar, it also has none of the starchy flavor of glucose products synthesized from cornflour. The only problem is it's too effective: I made the Alton Brown melon sorbet recipe using invert sugar in lieu of granulated, and in tandem with the included vodka, the stuff is still a slurry despite freezing overnight.

I make mine by adding ascorbic acid to a sugar syrup and cooking to 236. It should be a highly viscous liquid at room temperature. Given that pure glucose is difficult to obtain and supermarket corn syrup contains superfluous water and

vanilla, I find this a very useful addition.

You can find further instructions here: http://www.chefeddy....1/invert-sugar/

3: This isn't a big secret, but ascorbic acid does wonders to preserve color and flavor. It's usually used in conjunction with citric acid in the form of lemon juice, but plain ascorbic acid - sold as "fruit preserver" in grocery stores - is less intrusive.

And now, to my problems:

- I have huge amounts of trouble with egg custards being too...egg-y. I suspect I have been overcooking them - my old candy thermometer appears to be providing inaccurate readings at some times (but how?). It may also be a result of uneven heating due to my rubbish electric stove heating parts of the pan well above 160. I may SV-bath some custard to the recommended temperature and see what happens.

- I'd be interested in recipes (such as the Ben & Jerry's cookbook recipe, which has been heavily recommended) using raw eggs. Pasteurizing eggs is a cakewalk with SV gear, and I'm told this produces a very nice result.

- I can't puree canteloupe as fine as I'd like in my cheap food processor. Any solutions for this short of a Vita-Mix?

Edited by jrshaul (log)
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Hi Jo,

I'm glad your ice cream turned ok well. Many many thanks for the temperature controlled stirring hot plate suggestion. I have been looking for a long time for a way of making the heating process less boring and the closest I came was a $17,000 ice cream pasteuriser; your suggestion is a lot more helpful! A temperature controlled hot plate will be my next investment so many thanks.

You mentioned in your first post that it took you a while to get the mix up to 71.4°C. If you are using a low heat to get the mix up, I recommend trying a medium heat. You want to get the mixture above 65°C as quickly as possible in order to limit the time that the mix spends between 5 and 65°C, the range at which bacteria are likely to multiply and impart an unpleasant flavour. Just make sure that you continually stir the mix to prevent the yolks from curdling. Also, it's a good idea to mix the sugar and yolks together before you add the milk and cream; I find that this too helps prevent the yolks from curdling.

Thanks again for the feedback and let me know if you need any help.

All the best, Ruben

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- I can't puree canteloupe as fine as I'd like in my cheap food processor. Any solutions for this short of a Vita-Mix?

I've never felt the urge to puree a melon but I would use the food processor and then scrape the result through a tamis. I don't have a blender either, however I do have a tamis. (I had tried to puree a pumpkin once before I got the tamis.)

I'm not sure about your egg question as I don't care for the taste of eggs in commercial ice cream. I always assumed it was because the eggs were not cooked enough but maybe it is because the eggs are overcooked. In any event if the label says eggs I buy something else. I also do not care for Ben & Jerry's ice cream at all. Ben & Jerry's is over flavored and over sweetened to my taste.

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There has got to be a way to make the preparation easier. I was thinking maybe a temperature controlled stirring hot plate, which is something I don't have.

Sounds like you need a thermomix and a sous vide set up.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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There has got to be a way to make the preparation easier. I was thinking maybe a temperature controlled stirring hot plate, which is something I don't have.

Sounds like you need a thermomix and a sous vide set up.

But that would not accomplish the reduction in volume that is the heart of Ruben's method.

A temperature controlled stirring hot plate could be used for poor woman's sous vide, but I doubt the pump of a Polyscience unit is rated for custard.

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I could get you one of those - but it's been used in a medical lab!

With sous vide you seal the custard in a jar or bag and just throw it in the bath - stirring won't be necessary.

Sadly a Thermomix couldn't do your exact temperature - a Hotmix Pro can do 1º at a time but not the 0.1º.

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Several years ago my wife and I followed the Atkins plan for weight loss. I was on a mission to make ice cream that would not freeze into a brick without using the verboten sugar.

I had xantham gum, I had glycerin, I used alcohol I used every trick in every book and I was NEVER able to achieve anything I liked at all.

I'm sure there is wizardry that can be done to achieve a product that is a success without sugar, but I'll be damned if I know what it is.

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