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JoNorvelleWalker

Home Made Ice Cream (2013– )

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Lesson in Freezing Point Depression:

My chocolate sorbet came to a sad, inglorious end. I did defrost my freezer. Tonight is fairly cold, -4 deg C, so I dumped my sorbet and its freezer-mates outside. It completely melted.

Dessert was a warmed slice of munavalgekook (made with almond flour), a drizzle of hazelnut syrup, covered in the quondam sorbet. A fine dessert, to be sure. But not a frozen dessert.

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Lesson in Freezing Point Depression:

My chocolate sorbet came to a sad, inglorious end. I did defrost my freezer. Tonight is fairly cold, -4 deg C, so I dumped my sorbet and its freezer-mates outside. It completely melted.

Dessert was a warmed slice of munavalgekook (made with almond flour), a drizzle of hazelnut syrup, covered in the quondam sorbet. A fine dessert, to be sure. But not a frozen dessert.

Never having heard of munavalgekook, (except that, with my Dutch heritage I was pretty sure kook was cake, as it sounds the same as the Dutch word koek) I did a Google search. It looks like something I would like. Did you completely sub the almond flour for the flour called for in the recipe? Did you use any citrus?

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Here is the blog and recipe that I started with:

http://nami-nami.blo...ake-recipe.html

As I recall the nami-nami author is a poster on eGullet. I've made this recipe a few times and I eventually bought a bundt pan to bake it in. Sometimes I use almond flour and sometimes I don't. I believe for the cake I was eating with my sorbet last night I used 60g almond flour and 100g King Arthur organic white flour. I'm pretty sure I once tried a bit of Fiori di Sicilia and orange flower water for citrus flavor.

I got the idea to serve the munavalgekook with my chocolate sorbet because it was in the freezer too.

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I made another batch of vanilla using Ruben's heating method. This time I used 750 ml heavy cream, 250 ml whole milk, 8 egg yolks, 160 g sugar. In other words a much higher percentage of sugar than before. The result was smooth, rich, scoopable -- and disgustingly sweet and sticky. The flavor was dull and I had a feeling that the total solids were too high. The ice cream melted too quickly. Not something I would have sent back in a restaurant perhaps, but not as good as I had hoped.

I melted it down, added a lot of milk and a little cream to the melted mix, and tried again. Now the sweetness is just right, the vanilla flavor is clear and refreshing. But the texture is icy. And the mouthfeel is thin.

Worse, the munavalgekook I made with all the egg whites turned out dry. I used Fiori di Scilia for citrus flavor but I think I like almond better. If only there were some way to melt down and respin a cake.

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Jo, thanks for posting the recipe. I assume that it does not usually come out dry?

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I have a confession (not to be confused with "a confection") to make: in the munavalgekook recipe the dry ingredients are folded into the whipped egg whites and then the melted butter is folded into the resulting batter. This time I was rushing. After the egg whites were whipped in my ancient KitchenAid, I added and whipped the dry ingredients in three stages, then I whipped in the butter. Very easy. Thought I had found a shortcut. But no. Made properly and not over baked the munavalgekook should not be dry. It looked beautiful though.

A bit off topic but I'd love to hear how others fold ingedients into egg whites. I used to use my hands but got tired of the mess.

Last night's icy ice cream is melting down again.

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Well, I respun the mix the third time. What a disappointment. I dug out the xanthan gum. I mixed a tablespoon or two of sugar with a quarter teaspoon of zanthan gum, and then whisked in some cream. Don't ask, I didn't measure. I then added the melted mix and hit it with the immersion blender.

It was the best mix I had ever tasted. I could have eaten it all night. But it did not make good ice cream. It was not sweet enough! Which for me is saying something. Plus it is icy. Not as icy as the last iteration, but it doesn't have the clear vanilla flavor either. I think xanthan gum is an evil ingredient in ice cream. A Band Aid as it were.

The first iteration would have been about perfect, had I not stupidly used so much sugar.

------------

"Rein in the sugar. Sugar can overwhelm and disguise flavors -- and mistakes too. Overly sweet desserts are not desirable."

"You will very likely make a fair amount of mistakes, but that is part of the process."

-- Francisco Migoya

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Hi guys, does anyone have a good sugar/water/total solids ratio for sorbet? I'm working with 34% total solids, 65% and 15% sugar content. Texture has been smooth but a bit chewy; I think the water content needs to be slightly higher.

I've never tried it, but Heston Blumenthal says in his books that he always brings his fruit to a specific infraction level (26 Brics I believe). Then he can always use the same base. The instrument for reading the sugar level is not expensive - I think you get it at good wine stores.

My daughter asked for a peanut butter ice cream last week - so I tried one this weekend, with a raspberry swirl to make it a PB&J. Not so impressed. The cold really dulled the nutty flavour, and the consistency from the peanut butter was a little like a custard that had split. A little grainy.

Well, I like that she wants to try new things... I'll keep looking for the ultimate ice cream.

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My best flavor this year is one I call Quartet of Dark Sugars. The flavor comes from the sweeteners: dark muscovado sugar, caramel, maple syrup, and chestnut honey. There's also salt and a bit of vanilla, just because those flavors blend so well. It's not overly sweet; I keep the total sugar levels relatively low. The honey includes some inverted sugar, which helps suppress the freezing point at at lower sugar levels.

There's ample bitterness from the chestnut honey and the caramel, and a sense of a lot of layers. People tell me it's full of familiar flavors that they can't quite name. And that it's grown-up's ice cream ... it takes a bit or two to decide you like it.


Notes from the underbelly

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Could you list the recipe?

I seem to be out of the ice cream making process at the moment, as the pot I use is currently full of onion soup. Oh, one thing I wanted to mention about the munalavgekook -- I had a piece from a portion of the last cake that I had frozen, the cake I had said was dry. It was a bit dense but not really dry. I think I may have been confusing dry with stale.

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Hi jjahorn, many thanks for the Heston recommendation. I've been reading Heston's The Fat Duck Cookbook for a few days now and found his sugar, water, and Total Solids ratio helpful. Have you used the thingy that he recommends for measuring the sugar content in fruit? I'm very interesting in buying one and giving it a go. I'm working through a mango sorbet recipe at the moment and will post my results as soon as I am happy with the texture.

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While making another batch of my Pistachio Ice Cream, it occurred to me that my extraction of Pistachio Flavour was not ideal, probably due to the course crumb like texture of the Pistachios after they were blended dry.

So I fiddled with the techniqe, and by adding a small amount of warm water, I was able to turn the "crumb" into "paste. It worked really "well! Probably still not as good as the Pistachio paste the commercial shops use, but pretty darn close.

This is the recipe I use (I am not expert, so my ratios are probably flawed) but it tastes pretty darn good and my friends all like it so why change...

Ingredients:

Beat

175g of caster sugar

6 egg yolks

Bring to just below boiling

500ml (2 cups) full cream milk

add to custard base as per normal methods.

Cook out custard...

Add

600ml of cream

1tsp of ground cinnamon

1/2tsp of ground cardamom

1/4tsp of ground nutmeg

1/4tsp of ground clove

Strain and add

175g of unsalted shelled pistachios blended with a little warm water into a thickish paste

Chill and into machine.

Cheers

Luke

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Has anyone tried using a Vita Prep to pulverize pistachios? What about toasting them, and then blending them at high speed with the milk or cream?

If I had the machine I'd try...


Notes from the underbelly

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Ruben,

I will definitely try that Pistachio recipe! Will let you know how I go. Thanks.

Luke

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Ruben, what do you use to measure temperature? I made a batch of mix tonight, having finished my onion soup, and noticed some of the time my probe was not fully covered and the readings were low. Using a smaller diameter pot or making more mix at a time (or just being more careful) would be a possible solution to the problem.

The pistachio sounds good to me too, but my vanilla needs more work before I try it.

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I'm not sure I understand the advantages of the milk heating method. I actually like to cook the milk as little as possible, in order to preserve it's flavor. I'm not fond of the flavor of cooked milk. To increase solids, just add nonfat dry milk. It's what all the pastry chefs I know do. In my own recipes I use 20 to 30g per Kg of mix, depending on the solids added by other ingredients.


Notes from the underbelly

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I'm not fond of the flavor of cooked milk.

I don't have stong opinions either way regarding cooked milk. Overcooked milk, on the other hand... the burnt milk gelato in Frozen Desserts is a thing of beauty.


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'm not sure I understand the advantages of the milk heating method. I actually like to cook the milk as little as possible, in order to preserve it's flavor. I'm not fond of the flavor of cooked milk. To increase solids, just add nonfat dry milk. It's what all the pastry chefs I know do. In my own recipes I use 20 to 30g per Kg of mix, depending on the solids added by other ingredients.

I have not tried adding nonfat dry milk. As I recall Cook's Illustrated tested adding nonfat dry milk to ice cream and reported it was a bad idea. When you say you are not fond of the flavor of cooked milk, what cooking temperature are you basing this upon? The mix prepared by Ruben's method does not taste "cooked" to me. Another reason Ruben heats the milk is for pasteurization.

McGee (p43) suggests heating to 170 deg F/76 deg C improves body and smoothness of ice cream by denaturing the whey proteins. But Ruben's temperature is much lower than whey denaturation temperature.


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)

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Cooks Illustrated said adding nonfat dry milk to an ice cream base is a bad idea? I hope their reasoning was solid enough to overide a great deal of professional knowledge on that...

...Okay, I paused mid-thought and searched C.I. on the suject. Their reasoning isn't based on it's role in adding solids without adding water or fat. They felt that adding nonfat dry milk gave the ice cream a "cheesy" flavor. That's not a problem I've noticed when I use it in a base but I can't argue against what they say they taste.


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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Nonfat dry milk can take on an off flavor. I'm guessing it's something oxidizing from age or bad storage. In my recipes I usually include a note to sniff the dry milk for signs of any lack of freshness.

I can't taste it in the ice cream, even in delicate flavors. The best pastry chefs in the country use it. On the other hand, I'm pretty sensitive to the flavor of overcooked milk.

Edited to add: a lot of nonfat dry milks have whey and other ingredients in them. I look for brands that are 100% milk.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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Even if we all can agree we can taste overcooked milk, we still don't have consensus on the temperature at which milk becomes "overcooked". There must be some temperature range below which milk does not taste cooked and above which it is overcooked. In the US, at least, milk must be pasteurized, so there is not much we can do about that unless one has a cow.

With regard to pistachio paste, MC@H (p13) suggests a pacojet for preparing smooth nut pastes. Not inexpensive pehaps, but a bargain compaired with the industrial colloid mill Ruben mentions on his blog.

Speaking of blogs, another site I might mention is Ice Cream Geek. I like to play with their Butterfat Calculator...

http://www.icecreamgeek.com/?page_id=817

Edit: I rechecked Migoya. He does use powdered milk in his modern method formula, however he also calls for heating the mix to 85 deg C/185 deg F.


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)

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Last night I tried a somewhat lower butterfat version by Ruben's method but it was icy. I melted it down and respun with an added 250 ml heavy cream, 20g sugar, and about teaspoon more vanilla paste. This time not the least bit icy, and with no xanthan gum or other odd ingredients. So far I think this is the best batch of ice cream I have made. Unfortunately because it was a respin I do not have exact quantities of ingredients. The only defect is that it is rather hard to scoop.

Something I have noticed over several batches: mix hardened in my SS hotel pan comes out better than the same mix hardened in plastic containers. I believe because steel is the better heat conductor.

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In order to help understand the relationship between temperature to which milk has been heated and taste I did the following experiment:

Using homogenized, pasturized whole milk, Shoprite brand, as a control, I heated a pot of milk and took samples at increasing temperatures while raising the milk to a boil. I covered, labeled, and refrigerated all samples overnight. I then visually inspected, smelled, and tasted the samples.


Results:

uncooked
No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste.

130 deg F/54.4 deg C
No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste.

140 deg F/60 deg C
No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste.

150 deg F/65.6 deg C
No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste.

160 deg F/71.1 deg C
No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste.

170 deg F/76.7 deg C
No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste.

180 deg F/82.2 deg C
No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste.

190 deg F/87.8 deg C
Some visible protein denaturation. Acceptable milk aroma and taste.

200 deg F/93.3
Some visible protein denaturation. Acceptable milk aroma and taste.

Boiled
Visible protein denaturation, skin formed. Pronounced cooked flavor, reminiscent of ultra-pasteurized whole milk.


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker (log)

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Thanks for posting, JoNorvelle.


The one remaining question I have is about time spent at temperature. Pasteurization works by heating milk for a specific amount of time, presumeably to minimize effects on flavor. For example, flash pasteurization heats milk very briefly to minimize flavor effects.


Standard pasteurization today heats milk to around 161°F for 15 seconds; UHT pasteurization to 275°F for one second.


I'd be curious to know if you pick up any cooked flavors by heating to 185 and holding for a minute (a slightly exaggerated mimicking of making custard with a low number of yolks). I might try this myself.

Notes from the underbelly

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