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Question for pastry chefs and food scientists on freezing baked goods


ccp900
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Hi all

 

I love making ice cream and I am at the point that I might start looking at baked goods as inclusions.

 

i am not familiar with how to control the characteristics of cakes, cookies and what nots to make sure they are not frozen hard when they are in the ice cream freezing

 

for solutions sugar is the key or anything that has low molecular weight. I am not sure what to do for baked goods.

 

i know I can make them a little drier so less sugar and moisture would work since the cakes or cookies would absorb some from the ice cream

 

i am also thinking that water might still be the culprit if I  lower total water content and hydration then it won’t freeze as hard but what would be the ideal water content so the taste and the baking still works and it still comes out a cookie or a cake or a bread

 

what other items should I do?  What other components should I keep an eye on and lastly if there is a recipe I like which is not made for ice cream what can I do to re formulate them to be inside the ice cream while it’s in the freezer. It still be true to its taste....form might be a little different but taste is king and texture.....I can’t have rock hard pound cake for example or rock hard devils food cake

 

thanks all

Edited by ccp900 (log)
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I don't have direct experience, since here in Italy there's not much request for complicated ice-cream flavors. Most ice-cream for sale is the simple one flavor type (pistachio, hazelnut, lemon, so on). The most complicated one is tiramisu, where the savoiardi are put on top of the bowl, not as inclusions.

Having said this, your goal is to avoid the icy texture on the palate. The main culprit is water of course, but you need to avoid butter in "big" pieces too.

If you want something cookie like then you need stuff with low free water and no big pieces of butter. So it's better to double bake these inclusions: first time you do your normal bake, let them cool, then bake again at about 260-270 F to dry them. This way you eliminate almost all the free water. Avoid the method used for pie crusts in the USA (big chunks of butter in the dough, then it gets rolled). Your best bet is going with the sablé method: mix flour and butter until you get a sandy texture, then add the other ingredients.

Stuff with lots of small air bubbles freezes well, meaning it's still "soft" at frozen temperature thanks to all the air bubbles and the small width of the dough "walls" around the air bubbles. I'm talking about stuff like biscuit joconde and similars, if you freeze them they remain pliable even at frozen temperatures (not as pliable as at room temperature, but still pliable). Angel food cake should be the same.

I would keep far from stuff like pound cakes, the few times I tried eating a frozen  piece it was not pleasant.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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7 hours ago, teonzo said:

I don't have direct experience, since here in Italy there's not much request for complicated ice-cream flavors. Most ice-cream for sale is the simple one flavor type (pistachio, hazelnut, lemon, so on). The most complicated one is tiramisu, where the savoiardi are put on top of the bowl, not as inclusions.

Having said this, your goal is to avoid the icy texture on the palate. The main culprit is water of course, but you need to avoid butter in "big" pieces too.

If you want something cookie like then you need stuff with low free water and no big pieces of butter. So it's better to double bake these inclusions: first time you do your normal bake, let them cool, then bake again at about 260-270 F to dry them. This way you eliminate almost all the free water. Avoid the method used for pie crusts in the USA (big chunks of butter in the dough, then it gets rolled). Your best bet is going with the sablé method: mix flour and butter until you get a sandy texture, then add the other ingredients.

Stuff with lots of small air bubbles freezes well, meaning it's still "soft" at frozen temperature thanks to all the air bubbles and the small width of the dough "walls" around the air bubbles. I'm talking about stuff like biscuit joconde and similars, if you freeze them they remain pliable even at frozen temperatures (not as pliable as at room temperature, but still pliable). Angel food cake should be the same.

I would keep far from stuff like pound cakes, the few times I tried eating a frozen  piece it was not pleasant.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Thank you teo!!!  You are a wealth of knowledge....so for any cake flavor I should always use an angel food cake base....

do you think sponge cakes and chiffons are out of the question? Or could I tweak them by putting in more leaveners?

 

i googled s bit and saw that there are a ton of articles on brownies as inclusions that are dense chewy and yet not frozen hard like a rock...what would it be in brownies that would do that? I was thinking probably the cocoa fat

Edited by ccp900 (log)
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You should be fine with sponge cakes and chiffons. Don't change the leavener content or you will risk troubles.

 

My experience with brownies is almost null, it's not a product that suits the market here. Cocoa fat will freeze hard as a rock, so it won't be one helping brownies to remain chewable. The reasoning is the same as for ice-cream: you want to avoid free water, you want your water to be bound with something that lowers the freezing point (sugars), you want air bubbles, you try to avoid stuff that freezes hard like cocoa butter.

 

I would suggest you to give a look at some of the books by US (or Australian) artisan ice-cream makers. These are some names that come to mind:

Big Gay Ice Cream

Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop

The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook

I never bought them so I can't say much about their contents. But usually most US artisans produce convoluted flavors like chocolate chip cookies and so on. So you should be able to find some recipes and informations in those books. Maybe you are lucky and your local library has some of them.

Keep far from books from Italy, France and Spain, you will not find anything similar here.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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On 7/17/2020 at 2:12 AM, ccp900 said:

I love making ice cream and I am at the point that I might start looking at baked goods as inclusions.

 

MÁS, ARTISAN TOPPINGS AND MARBLE DECORATION FOR THE ICE CREAM is relatively new and pretty good.

 

The problem with nearly every American ice cream book is that the recipes and techniques bear very little if any resemblance to what the authors actually use in their stores or manufacturing sites.  The recipes are changed to better match the audience, and you end up with the paper equivalent of any one of the completely useless housewife recipe blog web sites that litter the internet.
 

Edited by jandreas (log)
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2 minutes ago, jandreas said:

 

MÁS, ARTISAN TOPPINGS AND MARBLE DECORATION FOR THE ICE CREAM is relatively new and pretty good.

 

The problem with nearly every American ice cream book is that the recipes and techniques bear very little if any resemblance to what the authors actually use in their stores or manufacturing sites.  The recipes are changed to better match the audience, and you end up with the paper equivalent of any one of the completely useless housewife recipe blog web sites that litter the internet.
 

 

 

This is unfortunately true, if you're looking at books written for an amateur audience. One standout is Dana Cree's "Hello My Name is Ice Cream." The recipes at least lean in the direction of professional ones. And I'd be strongly inclined to trust Cree on inclusions.

 

I'd be somewhat inclined to trust most of the better authors on inclusions, especially the ones who have pastry chef credentials. This would include Jeni Britton Bauer and David Lebovitz. Nick Palumbo might be among the best sources here; he's all about throwing stuff into the pot, including ingredients you might have to source from Home Depot or your local drug dealer. The recipes were all created by chefs (either Palumbo himself, or some other member of his loose-knit culinary gang). 

 

 

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Notes from the underbelly

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Personally I am not a fan of inclusions in my ice cream; however in Rose's Ice Cream Bliss (pp 178-180) Rose Levy Beranbaum gives a recipe for chocolate wafers designed to "stay crunchy and chewy in the ice cream even after storing in the freezer."

 

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On 7/17/2020 at 9:51 PM, ccp900 said:

saw that there are a ton of articles on brownies as inclusions that are dense chewy and yet not frozen hard like a rock...what would it be in brownies that would do that?


I'm not an expert on ice cream inclusions but I'd guess the high ratio of sugar and fat is probably your answer. The only water in most brownies is what's in the butter and eggs and there's more than enough sugar to deal with it. A really fudgy brownie like the Paul Young type which are very high in fat and sugar (including a fairly high ratio of glucose) are probably not easily frozen hard in most freezers. Not sure how you'd transfer that to other baked goods without messing with their texture. Although, when I used to bake a ridiculous amount of cookies to give out at Christmas, I started early and kept them in the freezer and most of them were not too hard to eat straight out of the freezer so you may be worrying unnecessarily about the hardness aspect. The crunchy/crispy aspect is another thing entirely and probably much more difficult to accomplish without resorting to some sort of coating for the pieces to prevent moisture influence. 

Edit: left a "d" off of "and" and yes... it was going to bother me if I didn't fix it. :P

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

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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9 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:


I'm not an expert on ice cream inclusions but I'd guess the high ratio of sugar and fat is probably your answer. The only water in most brownies is what's in the butter and eggs and there's more than enough sugar to deal with it. A really fudgy brownie like the Paul Young type which are very high in fat and sugar (including a fairly high ratio of glucose) are probably not easily frozen hard in most freezers. Not sure how you'd transfer that to other baked goods without messing with their texture. Although, when I used to bake a ridiculous amount of cookies to give out at Christmas, I started early and kept them in the freezer and most of them were not too hard to eat straight out of the freezer so you may be worrying unnecessarily about the hardness aspect. The crunchy/crispy aspect is another thing entirely and probably much more difficult to accomplish without resorting to some sort of coating for the pieces to prevent moisture influence. 

Edit: left a "d" off of "and" and yes... it was going to bother me if I didn't fix it. :P

 

Your last comment made me smile. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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I would spend some time with this:

http://icecreamscience.com/corn-syrup-used-ice-cream/

 

There's a chart towards the top that goes into the various forms of sugar and their freezing point depression values.

 

As you can see, both glucose and fructose offer considerably more freezing point depression by weight than sugar, and glucose's lower relative sweetness allows you to use more of it to reach the desired sweetness while providing even further freezing point depression. 

I've never made a brownie using only glucose, but I have made brownies using only polydextrose that turned out beautifully.  As we speak, I have a tin of brownies sitting in my kitchen cabinet that's 1 part polydextrose to 4.5 parts sugar. I use the polydextrose as a type of very low sweetness corn syrup (I would compare it to a 10 DE corn syrup) to give me sugary texture without sweetness.

If I were tackling this, I'd probably take an existing brownie recipe and swap out the sugar with 138% glucose.  This should match the perceived sweetness.  Because of the taste suppressant effects of freezing, I'd push the sweetness even further (and the freezing point further) with some fructose as well- maybe 2-3% the weight of the original sugar.

This gets theoretical, but I believe there's a chance that multiple sweeteners provide a freezing point depression synergy.  Freezing point depression is basically water entrapment.  You're isolating bits of water from other bits.  This is not that different than sauce thickening.  Since sauce thickening shows a synergy when multiple thickeners are used, I'm theorizing that freezing point depression may show a synergy when multiple sweeteners are used- hence my recommendation of combining glucose and fructose- rather than ramping up the glucose further to compensate for the taste suppression of the cold.  You might also look at maltose.  I know very little about maltose, but the specs look encouraging, and, assuming synergy is a factor, the more might be the merrier.

 

Beyond more sweetness, because of the taste suppression, you'll need more cocoa as well.

Polydextrose's extreme hygroscopicity is a clumping nightmare.  Glucose powder should be a lot easier to work with, but, since it is more hygroscopic than sugar, it might require a bit more careful addition to the batter. Powdered glucose is very costly, though.  Glucose syrup might add too much water to the recipe.  You can try reducing the eggs to compensate for the water in the syrup, but it might not be enough. Because my polydextrose is so clumpy, I work with a polydextrose syrup that's solid at room temp.  If I heat it to about 160, I can carefully incorporate it into eggs straight from the fridge without the effect of cooking the eggs. You might have success in both reducing the number eggs a bit, as well as cooking down your glucose syrup and adding it to the eggs warm.

As you ramp up the glucose, it will, to an extent, impair gluten development.  The brownies I made yesterday were made with bread flour, and I mixed them pretty aggressively.  My goal was a chewier brownie, but these might be a bit too chewy.  If the brownie pieces in your ice cream are small, you might benefit from a bit more chew.  Another thing to consider is that tender brownies might have a tendency to fall apart when you mix them into the ice cream.


One other thing to consider is that the extra glucose will alter the way the brownie bakes.  Right now, I'm baking my polydextrose/sugar brownies at 300 for 70 minutes.  As I mentioned, I haven't baked with glucose, but I'm reasonably certain, like polydextrose, extra glucose will raise the temp at which the proteins in the flour set, which will require a longer bake time at a lower temp.

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to making a truly ice cream friendly brownie.  As long as you're aware of the various factors, though, I think it's all very doable.  Find small baking pans- perhaps pyrex cups, and, with a kitchen scale and a jeweler's scale in hand, start making a bunch of different permutations, freeze them, and see how they taste frozen.

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9 minutes ago, scott123 said:

I would spend some time with this:

http://icecreamscience.com/corn-syrup-used-ice-cream/

 

There's a chart towards the top that goes into the various forms of sugar and their freezing point depression values.

 

As you can see, both glucose and fructose offer considerably more freezing point depression by weight than sugar, and glucose's lower relative sweetness allows you to use more of it to reach the desired sweetness while providing even further freezing point depression. 

I've never made a brownie using only glucose, but I have made brownies using only polydextrose that turned out beautifully.  As we speak, I have a tin of brownies sitting in my kitchen cabinet that's 1 part polydextrose to 4.5 parts sugar. I use the polydextrose as a type of very low sweetness corn syrup (I would compare it to a 10 DE corn syrup) to give me sugary texture without sweetness.

If I were tackling this, I'd probably take an existing brownie recipe and swap out the sugar with 138% glucose.  This should match the perceived sweetness.  Because of the taste suppressant effects of freezing, I'd push the sweetness even further (and the freezing point further) with some fructose as well- maybe 2-3% the weight of the original sugar.

This gets theoretical, but I believe there's a chance that multiple sweeteners provide a freezing point depression synergy.  Freezing point depression is basically water entrapment.  You're isolating bits of water from other bits.  This is not that different than sauce thickening.  Since sauce thickening shows a synergy when multiple thickeners are used, I'm theorizing that freezing point depression may show a synergy when multiple sweeteners are used- hence my recommendation of combining glucose and fructose- rather than ramping up the glucose further to compensate for the taste suppression of the cold.  You might also look at maltose.  I know very little about maltose, but the specs look encouraging, and, assuming synergy is a factor, the more might be the merrier.

 

Beyond more sweetness, because of the taste suppression, you'll need more cocoa as well.

Polydextrose's extreme hygroscopicity is a clumping nightmare.  Glucose powder should be a lot easier to work with, but, since it is more hygroscopic than sugar, it might require a bit more careful addition to the batter. Powdered glucose is very costly, though.  Glucose syrup might add too much water to the recipe.  You can try reducing the eggs to compensate for the water in the syrup, but it might not be enough. Because my polydextrose is so clumpy, I work with a polydextrose syrup that's solid at room temp.  If I heat it to about 160, I can carefully incorporate it into eggs straight from the fridge without the effect of cooking the eggs. You might have success in both reducing the number eggs a bit, as well as cooking down your glucose syrup and adding it to the eggs warm.

As you ramp up the glucose, it will, to an extent, impair gluten development.  The brownies I made yesterday were made with bread flour, and I mixed them pretty aggressively.  My goal was a chewier brownie, but these might be a bit too chewy.  If the brownie pieces in your ice cream are small, you might benefit from a bit more chew.  Another thing to consider is that tender brownies might have a tendency to fall apart when you mix them into the ice cream.


One other thing to consider is that the extra glucose will alter the way the brownie bakes.  Right now, I'm baking my polydextrose/sugar brownies at 300 for 70 minutes.  As I mentioned, I haven't baked with glucose, but I'm reasonably certain, like polydextrose, extra glucose will raise the temp at which the proteins in the flour set, which will require a longer bake time at a lower temp.

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to making a truly ice cream friendly brownie.  As long as you're aware of the various factors, though, I think it's all very doable.  Find small baking pans- perhaps pyrex cups, and, with a kitchen scale and a jeweler's scale in hand, start making a bunch of different permutations, freeze them, and see how they taste frozen.

Wow Scott thank you so much for chiming in.  I was thinking sugar won’t make a difference because it’s more of a solid rather than liquid solution. Thanks for correcting

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I think you can get there with a bit less effort. Rather than totally rethinking the sugar in your brownies, you can do what many pastry chefs already do  for improved shelf life, and substitute 10-20% of the sugar with invert syrup. Buy Trimoline or just make your own. It has high freezing point depression, reduces sugar crystalization, and keeps things moist. You can also make the brownies sweeter than you usually prefer, since we're less sensitive to sweet flavors when they're cold. Scott's advice to add additional cocoa makes sense as well.

 

Other than that, just pick a recipe that isn't very rich. Not a lot of eggs, not a lot of butter or other fat. And one that uses cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate. Which is all to say: brownies that will be boring on their own, but that will add some tasty browniness to the ice cream, and that will be less likely to turn into little bricks.

 

You can use corn syrup instead of invert syrup, but it's not as good. I don't even mention corn syrup in any of my ice cream articles.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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2 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Other than that, just pick a recipe that isn't very rich. Not a lot of eggs, not a lot of butter or other fat. And one that uses cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate. Which is all to say: brownies that will be boring on their own, but that will add some tasty browniness to the ice cream, and that will be less likely to turn into little bricks.


I guess my question would be, and I'm genuinely asking, not arguing, what is it about being in ice cream that changes the behavior of inclusions in the freezer? Moisture migration, maybe? Because I've never experienced high sugar, high fat brownies using melted chocolate that froze particularly hard when not in ice cream. I mean, there is hardness compared to room temp but it's a malleable hardness, not brittle or ungiving, and it softens pretty quickly at mouth temp.

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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7 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:


I guess my question would be, and I'm genuinely asking, not arguing, what is it about being in ice cream that changes the behavior of inclusions in the freezer? Moisture migration, maybe? Because I've never experienced high sugar, high fat brownies using melted chocolate that froze particularly hard when not in ice cream. I mean, there is hardness compared to room temp but it's a malleable hardness, not brittle or ungiving, and it softens pretty quickly at mouth temp.

 

I haven't done any experiments in ice cream, but the really fudgey brownies that I like most get pretty hard and gummy when they're frozen. 

 

When I worked at an ice cream shop ages ago, we got brownies from a local bakery. They stayed pretty soft in the ice cream. I don't know what the recipe was, but I asuume they were cocoa-based. They were very sweet, more like a dense cake than fudge, and probably had something like trimoline for shelf life. So pretty much by chance they ticked all the expected boxes. 

Notes from the underbelly

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

Inclusions?!

 

I'm still working on vanilla.

Yeah. I find however far you’ve gone you find you way back to things you thought were done....you will eventually find something to change.......I just found myself there again....I have decided to remove maltodextrin from my tools so I need to find a replacement that is as  cheap, effective and more so available where I am at

 

not to derail the discussion though since I am learning a lot here

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To an extent, you can control hardness by controlling thickness.  A thin piece of chocolate or cookie will crunch easily despite being frozen.  A wafer thin chocolate flake will melt on your tongue as you eat it while a solid chocolate chip will be hard and waxy.  And a thinner cookie will be more likely to be softened by syrup migration from the custard.

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21 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

To an extent, you can control hardness by controlling thickness.  A thin piece of chocolate or cookie will crunch easily despite being frozen.  A wafer thin chocolate flake will melt on your tongue as you eat it while a solid chocolate chip will be hard and waxy.  And a thinner cookie will be more likely to be softened by syrup migration from the custard.

That’s an interesting idea!  Yes you’re right some of the cookies can be made thinner and becomes a little snappy. Thanks for that

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