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Home Made Ice Cream (2013– )


JoNorvelleWalker
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I don't have a blender to do the tests myself, but I am still trying to get my head around the contradiction that Modernist Cuisine says (from my memory) that even powerful blenders cannot produce smooth nut pastes.  Yet in this post nathanm says:  "A good commercial blender, like Vitamix or Blendtec, and/or for some recipes a hand blender like Baumix, will substitute most of the time."

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/136959-cooking-with-modernist-cuisine-part-1/?p=1787781

 

 

Though in context it is not clear to me* whether in that post he means "substitute for a colloid mill" or "substitute for a rotor-stator homogenizer".  As I answered Kerry above, rotor-stator homogenizers don't do much for hard biomaterials like nuts.  Nor are they designed to.

 

Also from my experience -- as I've complained before -- many vendors of "smooth" nut butters can't (or don't want to) produce truly smooth nut butters.

 

 

*Though after rereading the statement a few times I think nathanm means a "good commercial blender" can substitute for a rotor-stator homogenizer.  Has the technology changed much since Modernist Cuisine was written?  I would love to know his current thinking.

 

I just got a vitamix, and plan to test a lot of these ideas over the next few weeks. I'm interested, among other things, in comparing blended almond butter to the stuff I get at the store, which, now that you mention it, isn't especially smooth. It probably has some residual texture because people like it that way. Gives it more of a homemade quality, which would less than ideal for ice cream. Truly smooth nut butters (which presumably are made with a colloid mill) would probably be like cream cheese.

 

Blender technology hasn't changed in any significant way since MC came out. I think you could look at all these different machines as homogenizers that produce different amounts of sheer force. High-powered blenders are on the low end, ultrasonic and high-pressure homogenizers are on the high end, and rotor-stator homogenizers are somewhere in the middle. I haven't had an easy time finding a quantified comparison, but my sense is that a rotor-stator minces the fat globules about an order of magnitude smaller than a vitamix. But the vitamix still gets them really small. I've seen one allegation that high powered blenders can actually create the kind of cavitation produced by ultrasonic homogenizers. Which could change this equation quite a bit. But I'm not convinced. This seems a bit like a sponsored ad, and leaves a few sticky questions unanswered.

 

Yesterday I made my first batch of ice cream using the vitamix. The texture is indeed a lot better than what I've been getting—but since impatience outwitted my scientific curiosity, I changed many variables at once. So take with a grain of salt.

 

One other change I made is a return to the way I did things years ago. I didn't add the cream until after the cooking/pasteurization step. The heavy cream I get is homogenized at the dairy, probably with a high-pressure homogenizer. Way finer fat globules than you'd even get with a rotor-stator. So rather than cooking the cream, which would melt the fat and encourage the globules to glom onto each other, I added the cream after cooking, blasting it into the mix in the blender right after vita-homogenizing. 

 

This also gives a head start on chilling the mix before aging in the fridge.

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Notes from the underbelly

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I'm working on a stabilizer blend that may be the most effective and easiest to use yet. It's based on a cellulose gum ... specifically, a low-viscosity carboxymethylcellulose. You can get this stuff from Modernist Pantry or from the chef store at TIC gums. It has two properties that suggest it's in a class by itself: it's possibly the most effective hydrocolloid for suppressing ice crystal growth, and it has minimal effect on texture. This means you can use the quantity you need to prevent ice crystals without worrying much about other side effects. 

 

Based on brief testing, I've abandoned this blend. Did not live up to its promise, and in fact led to the first batch of ice cream I've ever thrown out.

 

There were other variables at play ... I made this batch on vacation in a place without electricity (we used those rock salt and ice soccer balls, and kept the ice cream in a not-very-cold propane freezer). Because of conditions I used 50% more stabilizer than normal. But the results were categorically worse, not just 50% worse. Very pasty texture ... left a coating on your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

 

I'm now experimenting with guar / lambda carrageenan / locust bean gum, at 0.4g, 0.4g, 0.6g per liter. So far it's the best (and most conventional) blend I've ever tried. This is a tiny percentage of gums, but seems to impart all the right qualities. Unlike some previous formulas, it does not form any kind of gel, which makes it much easier to work with. 

 

I'll post more when I have a bit more experience wit it.

Notes from the underbelly

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I don't have a blender to do the tests myself, but I am still trying to get my head around the contradiction that Modernist Cuisine says (from my memory) that even powerful blenders cannot produce smooth nut pastes.  Yet in this post nathanm says:  "A good commercial blender, like Vitamix or Blendtec, and/or for some recipes a hand blender like Baumix, will substitute most of the time."

 

I just used the v.m. to make cashew butter, and the results were as smooth as anything I've gotten from the store. I wouldn't hesitate to use this in ice cream. Maybe some other kinds of nuts are harder to blend smooth?

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Notes from the underbelly

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I just used the v.m. to make cashew butter, and the results were as smooth as anything I've gotten from the store. I wouldn't hesitate to use this in ice cream. Maybe some other kinds of nuts are harder to blend smooth?

I think cashews are especially tender that way.  I've made "cashew cream," popular in some vegan circles, with nuts and water in a standard blender and it was impressively smooth.

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I just used the v.m. to make cashew butter, and the results were as smooth as anything I've gotten from the store. I wouldn't hesitate to use this in ice cream. Maybe some other kinds of nuts are harder to blend smooth?

 

Could you try the experiment with peanuts, pistachios, or almonds?

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A few days ago I made dairy-free peanut butter ice cream.  Came out very yummy and scoopable with a normal teaspoon after 3 days in the freezer, no thawing necessary.

 

Recipe was:

 

200 gr Precision Foods Soft Serve Mix (vanilla)

16 ozs Coconut/Almond Milk blend (Silk brand), unflavored and unsweetened

5 tbs peanut butter powder

2 tbs vegetable glycerin

 

Stirred all of the above to combine on the lowest speed of my Blendtec and made with the ice cream bowl attachment of my KitchenAid mixer.

 

peanut-butter-ice-cream.jpg

 

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Two new ones this week:

Chocolate Smoked Porter with stout candied bacon (I used the smoked porter from Stone Brewing)

Sort of a Snickers-peanut butter ice cream with caramel swirl and chocolate covered peanuts. I went no egg with this one, the last couple of PB batches were grainy, and this one came out much smoother.

image.jpg

image.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello there ,long time lurker, first time poster :blush:

 

Ended up making a pistachio icecream, thermomix did a nice work on those pistachios. Anyway ended up noticing I forgot to pre chill my bowl for the machine...put the mix in the fridge and it almost completly set at 2º because of the amount of gelatin + fat, put on the freezer to harden and the way it froze amazed me...the fact it almost set in the fridge with the gelatin gave almost no room for the creation of ice crystals, came out super smooth but a very rich mix, 20% fat in the end with pistachos blended!

 

Also I do have a question regarding taste...I see alot of you prefer to use more cream in their recipes if possible I would like to know why

 

300 ml milk

250 ml 20% cream(all I had was 20%)

50 gr sugar

40gr invert syrup

1 sheet of gelatin( a mistake but ended up saving my ass)

120g roasted pistachios

1g salt

3 yolks

Edited by Vasco (log)
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Also I do have a question regarding taste...I see alot of you prefer to use more cream in their recipes if possible I would like to know why

 

Welcome to eGullet!

 

I like cream.  I have been experimenting with all cream, no milk.  It certainly simplifies the ice cream recipe.  Besides, today I was coming home with a gallon of milk and it sprung a leak.  Sure turns one off milk quickly.

 

I am not normal.  No sane person would use all cream.

 

Even if the stuff is called ice cream.

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One less ingredient is one less ingredient.

 

Before ice cream production shut down for tomato season I was getting excellent results from all cream, no milk.  Soon I shall have enough counter space to continue my experiments.

 

 

The Science of Ice Cream gives a pretty good description in a small volume.

 

 

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I was getting excellent results from all cream, no milk.  Soon I shall have enough counter space to continue my experiments.

 

I know that you have followed Ruben Porto's method in the past and have liked the results.  For those who haven't read about it, it is based on rather exact proportions of cream and milk (skim, no less) and even has variations depending on how much butterfat one's cream contains (good luck discovering that detail for U.S. supermarket cream).  I am curious as to how your all-cream product differs.  Have you provided the recipe in this thread?

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Could you try the experiment with peanuts, pistachios, or almonds?

 

Just made some almond butter. Very smooth. Smoother than the almond butter I get from the store. Not quite as smooth as mass-market peanut butter. Possibly it would get a bit smoother with continued processing. I'm finding it helps to add a bit of neutral oil ... both this as the cashew butter had a bit of a dry texture without it.

 

I also added a little salt and maple syrup to the almond butter, to mimic one of our favorite things at the local food coop.

Notes from the underbelly

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I know that you have followed Ruben Porto's method in the past and have liked the results.  For those who haven't read about it, it is based on rather exact proportions of cream and milk (skim, no less) and even has variations depending on how much butterfat one's cream contains (good luck discovering that detail for U.S. supermarket cream).  I am curious as to how your all-cream product differs.  Have you provided the recipe in this thread?

 

I follow Ruben's method, not necessarily Ruben's recipes.  For all cream I simply replace milk with an equal volume of cream from the recipe I've posted.  For one thing, I'm thinking to increase the sweetness a tad when using all cream.  I haven't tried it yet, but maybe using all sucrose instead of a sucrose/trehalose mix.

 

The key to success, in my opinion, is the BioSpec.  If an all cream mix is not homogenized one will most likely end up with most unpleasant waxy bits of butterfat.  Ask me how I know this.

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I've been moving in the direction of lower milkfat, not higher. I find the high levels of fat reduce the intensity of most flavors. I'm also not convinced by the lingering mouthfeel when the fat percentage gets much higher than 16 or so. I like a cleaner finish. 

 

Most of what I make hovers around 15%, which you get with about a 50/50 mix of whole milk and 36% fat cream. Going as low as 12% I think is preferable with a lot of flavors (fruit especially) or if you're following a heavy meal.

 

If you do go for a higher percentage of cream, be aware that cream has a lower percentage of milk solids, so it would be helpful to compensate with something else.

 

 

 

[Host's note: In order to avoid an excessive load on our servers this topic has been split.  The discussion continues here.]

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