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adrianvm

Sugar-free ice cream

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I've been making sugar free ice creams, and while most of them come out OK from the machine, once they have rested in the freezer they freeze solid.  Even if I'm willing to go to the trouble of warming them up, it often seems to be a difficult task---the outside melts completely but the inside is still too hard to eat.   (I suppose slow warming for perhaps an hour or two in the fridge might work, but I've never been that patient.) 

 

So I'm wondering about possible approaches to make things better.  I understand that sugar plays a key role in controlling ice cream texture, so this could be a pretty difficult thing to do, especially if I try to avoid sugar-like replacement substances.  I'd love to have an approach that was completely flexible and didn't rely on using erythritol or other sugar-like sweeteners, for example.   McGee explains the role of sugar in a sorbet in a very simple fashion: ice crystals form and what's left behind is a highly concentrated sugar solution that can't freeze, hence the produce remains scoopable (if there is enough sugar).  But the role of fats and other solids in ice cream is a mystery to me. 

 

I've been  using erythritol and sometimes erythritol and polydextrose and still getting rock hard results.  For example, I took a recipe that works with sugar:

 

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

2/3 cup sugar

6 egg yolks

 

and I replaced the sugar with 1/3 cup polydextrose and 1/3 cup erythritol and the result froze hard.   I have to imagine that if I added enough polydextrose and/or erythritol I'd succeed eventually.  But is there any other path to success here?  The one recipe I ran across that really worked did so through the curious process of whipping cream and egg whites and then chilling the pre-aerated mix in the ice cream maker.  In other words, it made use of a huge overrun.  This ice cream was oddly airy and fluffy straight out of the machine.

 

So I'm curious about other possibilities.  What about using stabilizers?  Do stabilizers just suppress ice crystals, or can they improve scoopability?   (Somebody who sells Cremodan 30 is telling me it can improve scoopability in a sugar free ice cream---the cost to try it out (~$40)  is kind of high, though.)  

 

Another thing I've seen but haven't tried is isomalto oligosacharides (e.g. Vitafiber).  Anybody know the likely effect of these molecules?  Similar to polydextrose? 

 

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When you say 'sugar free' does that mean that you cannot use agave and/or less refined 'sweeteners'? Or just fruit as the sweetener? What is the purpose for these ice creams being 'sugar-free' (for someone who cannot have ANY sugar at all, in any form? or for those who can have sweeteners but want to stay away from refined sugars, etc.?)

 

David Lebowitz's recipe for a sugar-free chocolate ice cream (with agave)

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By sugar free I mean no sugars.  No glucose.  No sucrose.  No fructose.  (Agave is 90% fructose.)  There is no difference between sugars that are refined and ones that are not.  It's all sugar.  I find it best for me to avoid sugar.

 

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Agave is SUGAR!

And its BAD for you. Fructose is BAD for you.

Agave acts just like High Fructose Corn Syrup

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Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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1 hour ago, GlorifiedRice said:

Agave is SUGAR!

And its BAD for you. Fructose is BAD for you.

Agave acts just like High Fructose Corn Syrup

 

I agree 100% with you, GlorifiedRice. I won't touch the stuff personally nor would I even/especially if I was diabetic. I was just asking a question. I realize adrianvm is trying to solve a specific problem - but it wasn't clear why or what he would not accept as an alternative. I was just trying to help but I am certainly no expert in either ice cream making or chemical sweeteners. I avoid both as much as possible.

 

I feel for anyone who cannot or should not have any kind of sweetener ... (and I know this does not help the OP .. my apologies) ... the only real solution I can offer in that case is that perhaps one needs to just get used to a non-sweet world. I try to avoid sugar, and try to go lightly on maple syrup (my one weakness when it comes to sweet things since I am not a honey aficionado either) but I definitely always avoid all sugar-substitutes. I rarely even eat fruit any more - and while I occasionally find myself eating conventionally or 'naturally' sweetened stuff (it can creep up on you if you inadvertently eat a bit without thinking - till you find yourself 'binging' on things that are sweet), I know (because I have done it umpteen times before) that it just takes about 4 days to wean myself off that kind of thing and then I no longer even crave sweetness. For that reason, I don't touch ice cream much either - maybe once a year I will have a cup or so on a very hot day (even though I have a great ice cream maker and make it for others). For me it is much harder to eliminate all starchy foods than sugars - though of course the body treats them the same way.

 

Anyway .. that is not helping with the original question. I am sorry that I do not have a good solution or the technical answers you need, adrianvm. I will watch the thread and hope others can answer.

 


Edited by Deryn (log)

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Is alcohol an option?  I can't advise on quantities - there will be others here who can - but a portion of alcohol (flavoured or not) in the mix will certainly stop your ice cream freezing solid.

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I think I want to avoid alcohol, though if the amount were small maybe it would be OK.  When I have added small amounts of alcohol to ice cream I haven't noticed a change in texture, so that seems to suggest that bigger amounts are required. 

 

Glycerin is a weird best.  I can't figure out how it's metabolized.  Like a sugar?  Or not? 

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This is a real important topic.  Lots of us are on sugar restricted diets.  I have been working on this for a couple of years.  I use the Jeni's cookbook recipe as my basic cream mix (it uses 1T plus 1t of cornstarch for each 4 cups of milk/cream, added at the end and boiled for 1 minute more)  I've succeeded at reducing the sugar by half, but my family wasn't happy when I went to zero.  Here's what I've learned:

 

For sweetness:  My wife objects to stevia, so I have settled on this formula:  Substitute 1/4 c xylitol plus 1/4 c erythritol for each 1/3 c of sugar in the recipe.  I added three drops of Stevia liquid.  Recently I found a product called LC-White Sugar Sweetener with Inulin.  It's very expensive, and I've not yet tried it.

 

Jeni's calls for corn syrup, which violates the rules.  I have tried lecithin and glycerine, one for one with the corn syrup, and that seems to work.  The lecithin feels weird going into the mix.

 

Other ways to get scoopability:  Cornstarch is one.  I eliminated the 2/3 c sugar in teh Jenis recipe and kept the cornstarch and it was scoopable.  BUT, that recipe kept the 2 T light corn syrup.  I have a sack of poly-D fiber in the pantry; it's supposed to work but I don't know how to use it.  

 

I have used Cremodan, which seems to be a mix of several thickeners, and it definitely works.  It is hard to get it to go into solution, however, and I've never figured out when it goes into the mix and how to do it so it dissolves.  I've had to resort to a hand blender to get it broken up.  If the rules of the forum allow you to send me your address I'll mail you some Cremodan and you can try it.  The big can I have will last me a lifetime.

 

I have seen references on the web to using Inulin and poly-D fiber.  I haven't been able to figure out how much, when to put it in, and exactly what it substitutes for.  I've not found a recipe on the web that uses either, so I don't know quantities or how and when to add it.  

 

I'm really glad to find someone who's working on this.  I'd like to help any way I can (after an ice cream contest in June, that is.  I'm going with sugar there)


Edited by Tennessee Cowboy Eliminate duplicate paragraph (log)

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1 hour ago, adrianvm said:

I think I want to avoid alcohol, though if the amount were small maybe it would be OK.  When I have added small amounts of alcohol to ice cream I haven't noticed a change in texture, so that seems to suggest that bigger amounts are required. 

 

Glycerin is a weird best.  I can't figure out how it's metabolized.  Like a sugar?  Or not? 

I've done some reading on this, and glycerin has no effect on blood sugar levels according to what I read.  

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I did a tiny bit of reading and some people say glycerin doesn't affect blood sugar and others say it does, perhaps with a delay.  A clear consensus was not apparent. 

 

Regarding choice of sweeteners, I find that erythritol produces an annoying cooling sensation in general.  I usually can't use very much of it for this reason.  In ice cream, presumably this wouldn't matter, but I find that it gives me a weird feeling in the back of my throat.  Stevia is tricky, because every brand tastes different.  I tried a bunch until I found one I liked, and then they changed the formula.  So then I tried more and found another one I liked (KAL).  I've also noticed a lot of variation in how people taste stevia.  Some people seem to be prone to tasting some unpleasant aftertaste or overall taste with it and others don't.  Since polydextrose isn't very sweet presumably it would need to be combined with stevia or some other high intensity sweetener.  I mean, the same would be true with glycerin or alcohol. 

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If you're making these with high proportions of sugar alcohols (xylitol, erythritol, etc.) you probably want to restrict the total amount of ice cream you eat, or at least experiment slowly with what you tolerate. We don't count these as sugars because we don't digest them, but our gut bacteria do, and this can cause gas and bloating and other kinds of gastric upset. 

 

Any dissolved solids in the ice cream will suppress the freezing point. The lower the molecular weight of substance in solution (the smaller the molecule), the greater the freezing point suppression. This is why monosaccharides like glucose work better than disaccharides like table sugar. And why salt works better than both (not recommended ...)

 

Nonfat dry milk will help suppress freezing point and will also give your ice cream more body and better smoothness. Almost every pastry chef uses this. I don't like to use alcohol (unless it's a booze flavored ice cream, because it contributes nothing positive to texture besides freezing point suppression. 

 

Milk, of course, is full of sugars (particularly lactose). 

 

But stop demonizing sugar. It is not "bad" for you. That's b.s., unsupported by any science. We evolved to eat sugar. Just not nearly as much sugar as the modern diet often entails. If you want eat a sugar-restricted diet, great, but please don't spread internet health memes as if they're factual. We can all go to Facebook for that. 

 

If you don't tolerate foods well that have a high glycemic load, you can control the effects of this by what you eat with or before the sweet food. Your body only responds to the glycemic index of the mix of foods in your stomach. If you put prosciutto on a piece of french bed, the effective glycemic index drops from very high to very low. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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In spite of the opinions of some and any, so-called, science—some of us ARE carbohydrate intolerant....none are more inconvenienced by that fact than those who live it!!!

Glycemic index and the like are essentially meaningless to those of us who are extremely carbohydrate intolerant.

 

Anyway,  you may wish to try whey protein or the like as means of freezing point management.

Whey protein isolate is low in carbohydrate.

 

 


~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

If you're making these with high proportions of sugar alcohols (xylitol, erythritol, etc.) you probably want to restrict the total amount of ice cream you eat, or at least experiment slowly with what you tolerate. We don't count these as sugars because we don't digest them, but our gut bacteria do, and this can cause gas and bloating and other kinds of gastric upset. 

 

Any dissolved solids in the ice cream will suppress the freezing point. The lower the molecular weight of substance in solution (the smaller the molecule), the greater the freezing point suppression. This is why monosaccharides like glucose work better than disaccharides like table sugar. And why salt works better than both (not recommended ...)

 

Nonfat dry milk will help suppress freezing point and will also give your ice cream more body and better smoothness. Almost every pastry chef uses this. I don't like to use alcohol (unless it's a booze flavored ice cream, because it contributes nothing positive to texture besides freezing point suppression. 

 

Milk, of course, is full of sugars (particularly lactose). 

 

But stop demonizing sugar. It is not "bad" for you. That's b.s., unsupported by any science. We evolved to eat sugar. Just not nearly as much sugar as the modern diet often entails. If you want eat a sugar-restricted diet, great, but please don't spread internet health memes as if they're factual. We can all go to Facebook for that. 

 

If you don't tolerate foods well that have a high glycemic load, you can control the effects of this by what you eat with or before the sweet food. Your body only responds to the glycemic index of the mix of foods in your stomach. If you put prosciutto on a piece of french bed, the effective glycemic index drops from very high to very low. 

 

It's not important to the discussion whether what I'm doing is right, or makes sense to anybody.   (If it's wrong, that's my problem.  Note also that a few decades of eating tons of sugar and starches may have left my body in a state not encountered by evolution.)  This is not an argument we need to pursue---this is a food forum, not a health forum.  I don't believe I've made any health claims, nor do I believe I'm spreading any memes here.  Just think of it as an interesting culinary challenge to make ice cream without the use of sugars (or starches).   Maybe I want to make a savory ice cream. 

 

Note that erythritol is less likely to cause digestive problems, but the other sugar alcohols, and the polydextrose are all likely to cause such issues. 

 

Does milk help primary because of its sugars or because of the proteins?  Would egg white protein be expected to lower freezing point significantly?  I've seen several recipes that contain egg whites, though a few egg whites doesn't give you all that much protein.  I would imagine proteins wouldn't be very effective compared to sugars, though, if molecular size is the key, since proteins tend to be big.   Do you have any idea what goes wrong if you add too much whey (or egg white) protein to an ice cream?  What determines the maximum reasonable amount?   (Note:  egg white protein molecular mass 45000 u,  whey protein about 22000 u,  and sucrose about 320 u, so the proteins are a hundred times larger.  What's the smallest readily available (soluble) protein?) 

 

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I highly recommend xanthan and guar:

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/138207-xanthan-gum-in-ice-cream/

 

If you can tolerate the polydextrose, I'd add more. I would try doubling it.  Depending on how it's manufactured, polydextrose gravitates towards pretty high molecular weights, but scoopability is much more than just a freezing point depression game- air, as you noticed, is a big player, as is limiting water activity.  Emulsification also plays a role. Polyd is a weak emulsifier but a very strong water activity inhibitor.

 

At the quantities you're using, I think there's a decent chance some of your erythritol is re-crystallizing, which would account for the strange cooling sensation you're experiencing.  Dissolved erythritol doesn't give off that endothermic reaction, but keeping it dissolved can be difficult.  I've tested a pretty wide range of polyd/e syrups, and, it seems like the version that's happiest/least prone to recrystallization is 3 parts Polyd/1 part e. If, say, you go with 2/3 C. polyd, I wouldn't go above a quarter cup erythritol.

 

With the drop in e, you'll lose some sweetness, but you weren't getting much sweetness to begin with, so, as you figured out, you'll need a high intensity sweetener.  If you have a brand of stevia that you like, it might work well with vanilla, but, should you want to make chocolate ice cream, where the sweetener needs increase, stevia might not cut it. Erythritol has an exceptional synergy with splenda. By combining them, you can use exponentially less than on their own.  I'm guessing that since you haven't mentioned splenda, you're not a big fan, but one advantage of using two sweeteners is that you'd be using very little splenda.  Another high intensity sweetener with great synergy with erythritol and splenda is ace k.  That's the best taste you're going to get.  Ace K has a pretty questionable track record in terms of health, but, as a component in a formulation, you can get away with using microscopic amounts.

 

You might also consider xylitol.  Birch xylitol is supposedly superior. It's a sugar alcohol, which carries all the side effects that sugar alcohols carry, but it seems to be a tiny bit more benign than most. The bottom line- the greater variety of sweeteners, the better.  As far as I know, erythritol and xylitol don't have synergy with each other, but xylitol should have great synergy with polyd- and splenda and ace k.  So with a little xylitol- perhaps a small enough amount that prevents digestive issues, you can dial the splenda and the ace k way way down. That way, if you have health concerns regarding splenda/ace k, you can somewhat mitigate them by knowing that you're ingesting them in incredibly small quantities. Or you can do polyd/e/xylitol/stevia, which will taste better than polyd/e/stevia.  But, again, though, should you ever decide to work with chocolate, trace amounts of splenda and ace k will knock it out of the park.

 

The other advice I'd give you is to go with smaller batches.  The faster ice cream freezes, the smaller the ice crystals. And, while I think whipping the cream is a worthwhile idea, be careful not to whip it too much, or the freezing process will make butter, and produce a greasy mouthfeel. 

 

Lastly, polydextrose is polymerized dextrose, while inulin is polymerized fructose.  Neither process produces 100% polymerization, so, with polyd, you're getting trace amounts of dextrose, and inulin has trace fructose.  Fructose does some wacky things in ice cream, such as boost the sweetness far more than the quantity used. I know fructose has it's critics- deservedly so, but the trace fructose in inulin might be worth it, especially if you won't use artificial sweeteners.

 

edit: This is also a useful discussion relating to sf ice cream formulation

 

http://www.chowhound.com/post/purchased-guar-gum-thickening-agent-319926


Edited by scott123 (log)
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I made a recipe that had (too much) xanthan gum in it.  The resulting ice cream still froze very hard, so xanthan gum alone didn't seem to be helping with the scoopability problem.  I also noticed that mgaretz thought a particular stabilizer combo (Cremodan) wouldn't help scoopability.   I am perfectly happy using lots of eggs.  But I'm also willing to use hydrocolloids--even hard-to-get ones---or proteins (gelatin).   Any idea what pectin would do?  It's in some recipes I've seen. 

 

Tell me more about erythritol's endothermic reaction.  I've used it a bit in cakes and cookies and the cooling effect is pronounced and really annoying.  Is there a possibility of eliminating or reducing that effect in this context by keeping it dissolved, somehow?  (I mean, in baking water is being driven off, if any was even there to start with, so there's not much to be dissolved in.)   In ice cream I don't notice a cooling reaction.  Seems like that would be hard to notice given that the ice cream is cold.  But I do notice that it makes the back of my throat feel funny and the funny feeling persists for a while, several minutes at least after eating the product.   I don't recall having noticed this sensation from baked products containing erythritol.  Also I don't notice any grittiness (e.g. from erythritol crystals that are large enough to feel).

 

I'm not interested in making chocolate ice cream.  Even with sugar I always find it disappointing.  It doesn't taste enough like chocolate for me.  (I want my chocolate to taste like chocolate---75% cocoa.)  I've gotten satisfactory results making my own chocolate chips by mixing unsweetened chocolate with powdered stevia concentrate.  I also find that when the food is cold it seems to minimize off tastes from stevia, so getting adequate sweetness is really not a concern.   I'm mainly interested in eggy-vanilla, or maybe almond extract flavored, or flavoring with orange or lemon.  

 

I think smaller batches are producing harder ice creams for me.   My batch sizes tend to be pretty small, since I'm experimenting and I don't want to commit a ton of ingredients to an uncertain recipe.  I'm probably making about a pint at a time.  I'm observing that the batch freezes in my machine (the cuisinart with the freezer-chilled bowl) in under 5 minutes.  Rapid freezing should control ice crystallization, but it means there's little time for air incorporation.  Also when the mix has higher viscosity I feel like air incorporation may be limited because the mix just doesn't agitate very much.  When I made the ice cream that contained whipped cream (fully whipped) and whipped egg whites I didn't notice any butter formation or an unpleasant mouth feel when it was fully frozen.  The texture was very weird straight out of the machine, though.  I wonder if this technique might be useful where only half the cream is whipped, so I force in some air, but not so much.  I actually also made an ice cream that was made with butter and mechanically emulsified with eggs and coconut milk in the blender and the mouth feel seemed acceptable to me.   These mixes are higher fat than normal ice cream (the latter one was 50% fat).   However, when I made a more traditional recipe with a more typical fat content (26%) based on simmering orange peels in clarified butter to extract only the non-bitter flavors I got an ice cream that did not have a good mouth feel and texture. 

 

If the ice cream is very high fat then it will "freeze" faster since fat has a lower specific heat than water.  With the mix starting at 40 deg F the butterfat must be in the solid state already when it goes into the machine, so no phase transition required.  Again, good for keeping ice crystals small, but bad for incorporating air.   But as the amount of water declines I wonder if that changes things. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, scott123 said:

I highly recommend xanthan and guar:

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/138207-xanthan-gum-in-ice-cream/

 

 

Stabilizers are great, but they don't have any effect at all on freezing point suppression. The quantities are too minute for this. All else being equal, they increase the whipability of the ice cream so you'll get more overrun. This makes the ice cream softer ... but you may not want more overrun. 

 

If you're going to use stabilizers for the more traditional purposes (reducing iciness, improving freezer life, and adjusting texture) xanthan works pretty well, but after a few years' experimentation I've found it to be one of the less effective stabilizers. Locust bean gum is just about the best of the commonly available natural ones. In combination with guar and lambda carrageenan it works wonderfully. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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15 hours ago, adrianvm said:


It's not important to the discussion whether what I'm doing is right, or makes sense to anybody.

 

 

I wasn't responding to you with my annoyance on demonizing sugars. You didn't make any sweeping statements about sugar's universal evil ...

 

   Note that erythritol is less likely to cause digestive problems, but the other sugar alcohols, and the polydextrose are all likely to cause such issues. 

 

It may be less likely than the others (not sure) but they all work in essentially the same way. I would expect people's tolerance for sugar alcohols to be quite variable. My advice (to anyone) is to go easy until you know how much you can tolerate. Just to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

 

    Does milk help primary because of its sugars or because of the proteins?

 

Both. The sugars probably suppress the freezing point more; the proteins offer other textural advantages. The proteins include molecules that work as emulsifiers (which in ice cream is really a de-emulsifier, but that's a different topic). This is especially helpful if you're using fewer egg yolks.

 

    Would egg white protein be expected to lower freezing point significantly?  I've seen several recipes that contain egg whites, though a few egg whites doesn't give you all that much protein. 

 

I've never experimented with this, because all the literature says flat out that egg whites are bad for texture in ice cream 

 

     Do you have any idea what goes wrong if you add too much whey (or egg white) protein to an ice cream? 

 

Too much whey results in a problem called "whey-off"  or whey separation, by which the whey proteins coagulate and come out of solution, wrecking the texture. Whey is a common filler in economy ice cream ... it adds body in very low-fat ice creams that don't have other sources of milk solids. I have never used it, and don't know what advantages (if any) it would have over nonfat dry milk). Small quantities of carrageenan help prevent whey-off. Whey can also lead to off-flavors (people describe it as graham cracker flavor, or just a lack of freshness).

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Notes from the underbelly

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4 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

 

   Note that erythritol is less likely to cause digestive problems, but the other sugar alcohols, and the polydextrose are all likely to cause such issues. 

 

It may be less likely than the others (not sure) but they all work in essentially the same way. I would expect people's tolerance for sugar alcohols to be quite variable. My advice (to anyone) is to go easy until you know how much you can tolerate. Just to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

 

 

Actually they don't work the same way.  Most of these substances pass undigested into the intestines, where bacteria go to work on them.  But erythritol is absorbed and excreted in the urine.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8457525  Note the abstract says almost all of it followed this pathway.  Of course, with anything like this, assessing your tolerance before use is certainly a good strategy. 

 

8 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

     Do you have any idea what goes wrong if you add too much whey (or egg white) protein to an ice cream? 

 

Too much whey results in a problem called "whey-off"  or whey separation, by which the whey proteins coagulate and come out of solution, wrecking the texture. Whey is a common filler in economy ice cream ... it adds body in very low-fat ice creams that don't have other sources of milk solids. I have never used it, and don't know what advantages (if any) it would have over nonfat dry milk). Small quantities of carrageenan help prevent whey-off. Whey can also lead to off-flavors (people describe it as graham cracker flavor, or just a lack of freshness).

 

So would there be any advantage in a very high fat mixture of using whey?  Or casein, the other protein in milk powder?  (Or even milk powder?)  In this situation water is comparatively scarce and there are lots of solids (the fat globules).   The point of using proteins instead of nonfat dry milk is that nonfat dry milk contains sugars. 

 

I don't have a problem with icing specifically, but I may want more overrun.  I would guess that, except in the case with the whipped cream, my overrun is very close to zero.   (With the whipped cream and egg whites it could have been over 100%.) 

 

I saw somebody mentioned putting lecithin  into their ice cream.  If I'm already using a bunch of egg yolks is there any point in that?   (As an aside, I tried the Modernist Cuisine approach of using lecithin in salad dressing with strange results, like dressings that refused to emulsify, or seemed pathologically unstable.  And the lecithin was very hard to clean up.)  

 

What is meant by "water activity" and how does that help keep ice cream soft? 

 

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You're covering a lot of territory! 

 

You can think of the milk fat percentage as a mostly separate issue from the others. It doesn't have a significant effect on freezing point (am I right in understanding that this is the biggest problem you're tackling?)

 

I'd start with a milk fat percentage that you like. More than 16% you risk an ice cream that mutes flavors and that leaves a greasy film your mouth; lower than 10% you risk one that has no creaminess and tastes more like sherbet. Context is also important here. Some pastry chefs go for a low fat level because the ice cream will be part of a big plated dessert served after a rich meal. Flavor also matters. Fat-soluble flavors (like spices) come through well in a high-fat bass. Water-soluble flavors (like fruits) don't.

 

If you want to avoid milk sugars, I suppose you could start with lactose-reduced milk (sold for lactose-intolerant people) and experiment with building up the body with some whey and/or casein. I have no experience with these ingredients, so you'd have to do the research and experimenting. Luckily, you said you don't mind lots of egg yolks. Making a rich, French-style base with lots of custard takes care of a lot of the problems. You get stabilization, body, and smoothness. I don't see a need for added emulsifier if you're using 4 yolks or more per liter of mix. I use just 2 and don't add emulsifying ingredients.

 

You shouldn't have to whip the cream before spinning the ice cream, unless your ice cream maker is specifically designed to make very low overrun ice cream. Whipping is one of the things that happens naturally during the process. Are you aging your mix overnight in the fridge before spinning it? It needs to chill at least a few hours for the fats to crystalize and become whipable. Stabilizers also improve whipability. You can buy an off-the-shelf ice cream stabilizer blend, or I can recommend a DIY recipe (requires a scale that reads to 0.01g and a blender). 

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Notes from the underbelly

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On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 9:47 AM, adrianvm said:

The one recipe I ran across that really worked did so through the curious process of whipping cream and egg whites and then chilling the pre-aerated mix in the ice cream maker.  In other words, it made use of a huge overrun.  This ice cream was oddly airy and fluffy straight out of the machine.

 

 

I don't know anything about the sugars/non-sugars (back in the day, I think people would be saying "Um, so you're using two cups of heavy cream and you want to reduce the sugar?!??!), but since you said this, it reminded me of the way I've been making Ice Cream.  I had been wondering what happens if you just freeze whipped cream and found my answer with a YouTube search.  It turns out the simple addition of sweetened condensed milk can turn a simple whipped cream into a passable ice cream without a machine.  America's Test Kitchen has a video where they do this with the addition of chocolate, vanilla and coffee, while another woman simply whips the condensed milk with the cream to create a base into which she customizes individual cups with different flavors.  The result is simply frozen.  No machine.

 

I don't think the ingredients in sweetened condensed milk are going to meet your needs, but perhaps the mechanical aspects of the technique could offer a way to try several formulations at once.  Just whip the cream and divide and fold in other ingredients in separate containers and freeze individually.  I was able to make mint chocolate chip and chocolate ice cream out of one batch of cream.  Seems a perfect test bed for testing various ideas quickly.


Edited by IndyRob (log)
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I normally make a traditional ice cream with 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk, and 6 egg yolks.  The fat content of the dairy portion is hence 28.5%.   I have made some sugar-free formulas where the fat content is 50%.  Such a high fat formula is OK with me.   Formulating a mixture that has the desired fat content without using dairy milk is not difficult.  Cream can be diluted with water, for example.  How important are proteins in the milk for building body compared to fats? 

 

It would not have occurred to me to whip the cream before spinning.  But I had a recipe that said to do this, so I tried it.  This produced the only no-sugar ice cream I've made so far that didn't freeze solid in the freezer.   I think one issue I have is insufficient air incorporation.   As I noted before, the ice cream freezes completely in 5 minutes when I make a small batch, so there's not much time to incorporate air. 

 

IndyRob, I tried a no-sugar recipe that called for whipped cream to be placed in the freezer without churning and the result was far inferior to the result I got when I churned the whipped cream and whipped egg white mixture.  Whipped cream alone tends to freeze up fairly hard into something that isn't scoopable and has a kind of dry texture.  I suppose when you add the condensed milk you've got so much sugar around that it keeps it soft no matter what. 

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The condensed milk ice cream is very scoopable.I can attest to that,  But I have a hard time believing that the ingredients besides sugar are not playing a role.  Otherwise, why not just add sugar?  I think the egg yolks may help.  Heck, throw some tofu in there. 

 

But I think the fact that you had a success with a whipped product might lead you further down that line.

 

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Years ago I took a sorbet class with the French Pastry School of Chicago that was almost entirely just mathematics. One important point about sorbets is that fruit has fiber in it and some types of fiber help with consistency. (some do not, like the fiber in apples or pears which needs to be either cooked or filtered out because when frozen it's like straw on the tongue) For some types of fruit, you could get away with a lower brix (using less sugar syrup PLUS the fruit itself did not need to have a great deal of fructose in it: it did not have to be phenomenally sweet specimens) and still have a lovely texture. You might want to add a little fiber, like Wheat Dextrin (unflavored Benefiber) or guar gum (unflavored store brand Benefiber knock-off). I know that guar gum is already common in commercial ice cream, I don't really have any experience in this, though. I only make simple ice creams and sorbets. There's also a small chance that aquafaba might help, if whipped.

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On 10/5/2016 at 3:47 PM, adrianvm said:

I've been making sugar free ice creams, and while most of them come out OK from the machine, once they have rested in the freezer they freeze solid.  Even if I'm willing to go to the trouble of warming them up, it often seems to be a difficult task---the outside melts completely but the inside is still too hard to eat.   (I suppose slow warming for perhaps an hour or two in the fridge might work, but I've never been that patient.) 

 

I live in Italy and never been to the USA, so I don't have experience about US ice-creams and US freezers and the eventual differences with what we have here.

It's quite normal that an artisanal or home made ice-cream freezes solid in a home freezer. These ice-creams are meant to be served at a higher temperature than the one of every freezer (at least here). Serving temperature of ice-creams is generally between -12°C and -14°C, home freezers work between -18°C and -20°C. If you make ice-creams at home and they freeze solid in the freezer, well, it's how things are meant to be if you do them right.

Industrial ice-creams remain scoopable even at -18°C because they are made in a different way than "normal" ice-creams: they remain soft due to a higher overrun. The higher the overrun, the lower the freezing point (air bubbles work as anti-freezers). You can't get high overrun with home ice-cream machines, you need professional machines.

Best way to solve your problem is working on the de-freezing phase. Try this. Put a plate with parchment paper in the freezer. Churn the ice cream, portion it with a scooper, place the ice-cream balls on the freezed plate. Put the plate in the freezer, let the ice-ceam balls freeze. After they froze, collect them in a closed container and keep them in the freezer. When you want to eat some ice-cream you just need to pick the ice-cream balls you desire, put them on a cup, then microwave at low wattage (80-100 W) until you see the surface start to become soft (if I recall right it takes 2-3 minutes), then you are ready to eat them. If you portion the ice-cream before freezing it then you avoid the hassle to cut through a block of ice. The microwave is able to warm the inside of the balls, you just need to use it at low W.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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