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New Pacojet Competitor? The Ninja Creami


andrewk512
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6 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

 

Interesting.  He ends up with the identical sugar content I did (120 grams) and virtually the same fat content (although I use powdered coconut oil) and very similar stabilizers.  I am going to have to try the cherry juice and cocoa powder. 

I haven’t tried it, but I remember reading @paulraphael's coffee ice cream that uses a bit of PX sherry vinegar to accentuate the coffee's fruit notes. I’d guess that without dairy, the cherry syrup might be a softer choice. 

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7 hours ago, ElsieD said:

 

I wouldn't mind trying this.  What ratio did you use?


Oh, hell. I didn’t use a recipe. Best guess, it was about 2 1/2 cups puréed melon and 1/2 cup heavy cream.

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2 hours ago, kayb said:


Oh, hell. I didn’t use a recipe. Best guess, it was about 2 1/2 cups puréed melon and 1/2 cup heavy cream.

 

It's not so much that we don't use recipes; it's that we don't write shit down so we have it for next time, if something comes out particularly great!

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

It's not so much that we don't use recipes; it's that we don't write shit down so we have it for next time, if something comes out particularly great!

I hate to put every "recipe" i cook in my black spiral bound book.

 

But a big post-it with a note or two isn't such a commitment. If the dish sucks it can disappear. If it doesn't it gets stuck in the book for future repetition and  perhaps eventual inclusion in the Book.

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7 hours ago, mgaretz said:

 

Because we think we will remember what we did...

I’m always hoping that by posting here, I’ll have some idea of what I did.  
 

But then I don’t remember when, where or what it was I posted about!

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Canteloupe sorbet

 

Pretty happy with this one, might add more acidity next time though

 

500g canteloupe 

30g glucose powder

105g sucrose

12.3g inulin

Citric acid to taste

 

Not so happy with my second attempt at a par dried watermelon sorbet though. After the success of my par dried strawberry sorbet I looked to other fruits. I had par dried an entire watermelon. What I found though was the par dried watermelon tasted almost caramelized, my first attempt barely froze,the sugar calculations were way off. This second batch I did more to taste, got a nice freeze on it, but overall just flat. Fresh watermelon is best

 

I also have a popcorn ice cream in the freezer from HMNIIC. I cheated and used microwave popcorn. Haven't spun it yet but the base tastes nice, has a kettle corn kind of flavor 

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Cherry sorbet, made with frozen dark sweet cherries from Costco.  I used about 1 and 2/3 container of cherries (semi-frozen) and whatever juice had leaked out, 30 grams of sugar, 30 grams of erythritol/monk fruit blend, 1.25 teaspoons of stabilizer blend, 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin and 2 tablespoons of cherry snow cone syrup to amp up the cherry flavor.  Tastes great and remained scoopable after a day and half in the freezer after spinning.

 

nc-cherry-sorbet2-container.jpg.efb1f867dd969081fd6aaf35f84f75bb.jpg

 

nc-cherry-sorbet2-scoop.jpg.08bed4ae49c1d858a3e586a32458a098.jpg

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8 hours ago, mgaretz said:

Cherry sorbet, made with frozen dark sweet cherries from Costco.  I used about 1 and 2/3 container of cherries (semi-frozen) and whatever juice had leaked out, 30 grams of sugar, 30 grams of erythritol/monk fruit blend, 1.25 teaspoons of stabilizer blend, 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin and 2 tablespoons of cherry snow cone syrup to amp up the cherry flavor.  Tastes great and remained scoopable after a day and half in the freezer after spinning.

 

nc-cherry-sorbet2-container.jpg.efb1f867dd969081fd6aaf35f84f75bb.jpg

 

nc-cherry-sorbet2-scoop.jpg.08bed4ae49c1d858a3e586a32458a098.jpg

 

I

May I ask why you used half sugar and half erythritol/monk blend?  Does it have to do with sugars effect on freezing?  Is the ery/monk blend the reason you used the vegetable glycerin?  Does ery/monk taste of anything?  We are trying to lose a pound or two and would like to try this.

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2 hours ago, ElsieD said:

 

I

May I ask why you used half sugar and half erythritol/monk blend?  Does it have to do with sugars effect on freezing?  Is the ery/monk blend the reason you used the vegetable glycerin?  Does ery/monk taste of anything?  We are trying to lose a pound or two and would like to try this.

Because I’m also trying to lose a pound or two. I used glycerin long before the era/ monk blend as a freezing point depressor. If find that the ery/monk blend tastes pretty much like sugar but you need some sugar so the dessert stays scoopable. And Costco sells it. 

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A few pages back on this post I asked about adding body to oatmilk-based ice cream.  @andrewk512 responded with a suggestion of 4% inulin.  I have not had a chance to try this yet.

Meantime, I happened to be looking over ingredients for Bruster's oat-milk based ice creams, and in addition to a few other oils and creative ingredients, they add pea protein powder.  Could this be a way to add body as well?  I've had pea protein powder and it is quite strongly flavored and puts a very dry, powdery, mealy texture into any drink or food product.  They must be using very little, so perhaps this idea is not quite right.  It does appear towards the end of the base ingredients list before getting to the salts, gums, etc. while the rapeseed/canola oil is ahead of both it and dextrose.  Hmm, maybe it's the oil or a combination of both the oil and protein.  Link here as an example, click the "nutrition info & allergens" for the pdf.

Edited by jedovaty (log)
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9 hours ago, mgaretz said:

Because I’m also trying to lose a pound or two. I used glycerin long before the era/ monk blend as a freezing point depressor. If find that the ery/monk blend tastes pretty much like sugar but you need some sugar so the dessert stays scoopable. And Costco sells it. 

 

Thank you.  Is the vegetable glycerin an oil?  Looking on-line, that is all I can seem to find, and is touted as a skin care product.

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

 

Thank you.  Is the vegetable glycerin an oil?  Looking on-line, that is all I can seem to find, and is touted as a skin care product.

Not really an oil but yes, it is sold as a skin care product but it is food safe. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, jedovaty said:

A few pages back on this post I asked about adding body to oatmilk-based ice cream.  @andrewk512 responded with a suggestion of 4% inulin.  I have not had a chance to try this yet.

Meantime, I happened to be looking over ingredients for Bruster's oat-milk based ice creams, and in addition to a few other oils and creative ingredients, they add pea protein powder.  Could this be a way to add body as well?  I've had pea protein powder and it is quite strongly flavored and puts a very dry, powdery, mealy texture into any drink or food product.  They must be using very little, so perhaps this idea is not quite right.  It does appear towards the end of the base ingredients list before getting to the salts, gums, etc. while the rapeseed/canola oil is ahead of both it and dextrose.  Hmm, maybe it's the oil or a combination of both the oil and protein.  Link here as an example, click the "nutrition info & allergens" for the pdf.

Hm.. I've never tasted pea protein powder but from my experience with protein powders and pea protein based foods I can imagine it would not be the greatest flavor. You'd probably have to "hide" it under a strong flavor like chocolate... not the greatest start for a home recipe. Emulsified oil could probably add body as well but I am not sure how you would predict the effects on the freezing point.

 

I was experimenting with maltodextrin and modified starches like ultratex for a while. The maltodextrin added body but I really couldn't reconcile with the flavor (this may have just been the quality of the ingredient I had, haven't bought from anywhere else to test it yet). The ultratex had a cleaner flavor but was unpredictable and made everything really gummy. I was never really satisfied with my experiments, but one of the issues I faced was I was trying to thicken very thin clean flavors where you could easily tell if anything was clouding them (I was trying to make both a white and a red wine sorbet, after about 20 tests I realized that the best wine sorbet just tastes like a crappy grape sorbet). Inulin has its own flavor but it is only minimally perceptible in a light flavored fruit base and I find the texture improvements worth it.

 

I think in a oat milk base you might be able to hide things more easily. You could try 2% maltodextrin.

Edited by andrewk512 (log)
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Thanks @andrewk512.  After I posted, I did a search and found this article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772502222000269  which has some interesting results.

I think I am going to skip the pea protein just for the flavor alone.  When I read up on it last year for another project, I think it's just ground up dried peas...  I tasted a few shakes made with it and they were awful.  Somehow, the Bruster's ice cream was able to completely conceal that flavor in their ice creams. 

 

Will post back later this week when I try a few more variations.

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On 8/8/2022 at 2:10 PM, blue_dolphin said:

Coffee maven James Hoffman dives in


Edited to add that you can follow the YouTube link and read the recipe in the comments if you’d rather not watch:

https://youtu.be/CHPn77jpt2w

 

I mixed up a batch of this and put it in the freezer to spin tomorrow. It seems quite salty and I wish I’d used less. 5.5g salt in a pint is a lot. There's a comment on YouTube that says it's disgustingly salty. I wouldn’t go quite that far. Cooled down to 25F and starting to freeze, I’d describe the flavor as salted caramel coffee. We'll see how it tastes after spinning.
For comparison, the Hello, My Name is Ice Cream recipe for avocado-grapefruit sherbet that I made last week uses 2g salt/pint. I thought that was a lot but it doesn’t taste salty at all, just accents the savory notes of the avocado and tempers the bitterness of the grapefruit.  
I’ll report back. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

I mixed up a batch of this and put it in the freezer to spin tomorrow. It seems quite salty and I wish I’d used less. 5.5g salt in a pint is a lot. There's a comment on YouTube that says it's disgustingly salty. I wouldn’t go quite that far. Cooled down to 25F and starting to freeze, I’d describe the flavor as salted caramel coffee. We'll see how it tastes after spinning.
For comparison, the Hello, My Name is Ice Cream recipe for avocado-grapefruit sherbet that I made last week uses 2g salt/pint. I thought that was a lot but it doesn’t taste salty at all, just accents the savory notes of the avocado and tempers the bitterness of the grapefruit.  
I’ll report back. 

 

5.5g salt is hefty, seems like salt would become one of the labelled flavors at that point

 

I made the popcorn ice cream in HMNIIC this week. Tasted a bit like kettle corn or caramel corn. I cheated and used microwaved popcorn. First process was powdery and so I tried processing again but got no improvement. I find when starchy things are blended in that I get this sort of texture - happened with a doughnut ice cream and with a koji ice cream. It was interesting, perhaps as part of a plated dessert, but not something I'd sit down to eat spoonfuls of. My gf felt it was waxy, maybe because of the blending in of the popcorn and then the multiple processings.

 

 

Unrelated, regarding serving temps: this week's Cooking Issues briefly mentions the Ninja Creami at the end. Dave suggests you cannot make an ice cream in the Creami that has a post-processing temp of -18C because the blades would heat things up too much. My first ice creams in the Creami had ideal post-processing temp of -18C and came out fine. I think the key is to chill them in a deep freeze, their preprocessing temps were around -30 to -36C, achievable in my small cheap Costco deep freeze. Regardless, I am not sure this is a great idea anyway due to potential to wear out the Creami motor.

 

I have this theory that actually the post-processing temp of a dessert in the Creami is more of an inherent function of the ice cream mix than the pre-processing temp and Creami motor action, but have not tested this thoroughly. I moved closer to a post-processing target of -13C after I found that ice creams at this temp had a longer freezer life, and on reading that warmer temps are more ideal for flavor release (and they require less solids added which would also affect flavor release). I enjoy ice cream even warmer at around -10 C but am not comfortable keeping my kitchen freezer this warm. I have a small third freezer in my basement that targets -10C which I keep ice creams in from time to time if I am serving a lot of people, the ice cream never stays in that freezer long term though - it functions a bit like a dipping cabinet.

 

 

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Edited by andrewk512 (log)
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The plunge has been taken and our Ninja Creami should be with us tomorrow.  My last visit to eGullet was in 2018, I’ve looked for an appropriate place to briefly explain the long absence but pending that I will just say”reasons”, nothing whatever to do with eGullet but somewhat diverting.

 

Back to the NC, I have really enjoyed reading this topic from start to finish.  I have seen numerous reviews (a generous term in many cases) but it wasn’t until I came across Chris Young’s critique that I began to feel my stubby little finger heading towards the Amazon “buy now” button.  Finger hit button this afternoon, £179 for NC plus 3 containers + £15 for 3 year guarantee.  Amazon UK give decent service under guarantees, we have used them previously without any difficulty. 
 

I have been making everyday ice creams and sorbets for years using a basic quality freeze the bucket type device that set me back about £20 back in the day.  I make a vanilla crème anglaise base as a starting point for “ice cream”, I have found that invert sugar improves the texture, also addition of a stabiliser sold by a speciality ingredient store in the UK.  They have just switched their formula so I’m hoping that the new will be as successful as the old.  I’ve made a litre of this base just now so that we will have something to freeze once those “pints” arrive.

 

I have used invert sugar and a different pre-mixed stabiliser for sorbets.  This has been a way to use up fruit from the garden, at the moment the freezer is filling fast with blackcurrants , gooseberries, rhubarb and blackberries.  Looking forward to experimenting with different flavour combinations and additions.  Husband and I are particularly interested by the discussion above on adding Campari, Aperol and similar.  After managing to stay virus free we both managed to get Covid infections last week and I have found that for some odd reason Campari now tastes like an elixir from heaven!  So glad we didn’t get the earlier variants that threw in loss of taste and smell as a starting point.  I digress, apologies.

 

Having read this topic I think that we are perhaps unusual in making such basic ice cream.  The vanilla is tasty though, addition of a handful of rum soaked raisins makes for a delicious if more wintery treat.

 

Should we manage to create anything of interest I’ll post again; for now I’m enjoying finding names of members that I still recognise and exploring the wealth of content accrued in the past 4 years.  

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17 hours ago, andrewk512 said:

My first ice creams in the Creami had ideal post-processing temp of -18C and came out fine.

 

17 hours ago, andrewk512 said:

I moved closer to a post-processing target of -13C

@andrewk512, can you explain (to an ice cream imbecile🙃) what you mean by ideal post-processing temp and post-processing target?  Are these calculated or measured values?

 

17 hours ago, andrewk512 said:

I have this theory that actually the post-processing temp of a dessert in the Creami is more of an inherent function of the ice cream mix than the pre-processing temp and Creami motor action, but have not tested this thoroughly

How would you test this?  I've been trying to measure pre- and post-spin temps and cycle times on my batches. Pre-processing temps are at the whim of my freezer and have ranged between -7F to 3F and mixes vary. The longer cycles (sorbet, lite ice cream) result in temp increases ~ 15F, while the ice cream cycle, which is significantly shorter, increases the temp ~ 9 or 10F.  I have no way of assessing the Creami motor action but I concluded that longer cycle times result in greater temp increases. 

 

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45 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

@andrewk512, can you explain (to an ice cream imbecile🙃) what you mean by ideal post-processing temp and post-processing target?  Are these calculated or measured values?

 

How would you test this?  I've been trying to measure pre- and post-spin temps and cycle times on my batches. Pre-processing temps are at the whim of my freezer and have ranged between -7F to 3F and mixes vary. The longer cycles (sorbet, lite ice cream) result in temp increases ~ 15F, while the ice cream cycle, which is significantly shorter, increases the temp ~ 9 or 10F.  I have no way of assessing the Creami motor action but I concluded that longer cycle times result in greater temp increases. 

 

Admittedly I am just following others' math and expertise. When I make a sorbet recipe I put the ingredients in the Ice Cream Calc app and it gives a "serving temp" calculation - this is the temp that which 75% of the water in the mixture is frozen. This is basically what I am targeting when I spin the dessert.

 

What I have found, without any regimented testing, is that if I freeze my base in my -14C freezer or my -30C freezer that after I process it I am getting very similar temps. They are generally a few degrees below the calculated "serving temp". When I switch the "serving temp" such as making a snow that's expected to be around -6C or when I was doing -18C ice cream, I would still get a few degrees below the calculated temp.

Good point about the cycle type though. I generally run all my sorbets on one setting and all my ice creams on another, and most of my ice creams are from HMNIIC and most of my sorbets are calculated in the Ice Cream Calc, so maybe that is why I didn't see that

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1 hour ago, andrewk512 said:

Admittedly I am just following others' math and expertise. When I make a sorbet recipe I put the ingredients in the Ice Cream Calc app and it gives a "serving temp" calculation - this is the temp that which 75% of the water in the mixture is frozen. This is basically what I am targeting when I spin the dessert.

 

What I have found, without any regimented testing, is that if I freeze my base in my -14C freezer or my -30C freezer that after I process it I am getting very similar temps. They are generally a few degrees below the calculated "serving temp". When I switch the "serving temp" such as making a snow that's expected to be around -6C or when I was doing -18C ice cream, I would still get a few degrees below the calculated temp.

Good point about the cycle type though. I generally run all my sorbets on one setting and all my ice creams on another, and most of my ice creams are from HMNIIC and most of my sorbets are calculated in the Ice Cream Calc, so maybe that is why I didn't see that


Thanks!  Now I understand what you mean and I do agree with you that the ideal serving temp is a characteristic of the particular recipe.  I usually spin when it’s convenient and store in the freezer for later consumption.  If anything, I aim for mixes that are scoop-able at or a little above freezer temp rather than trying to hit that sweet spot directly from the machine but I can see why that could be a good thing. 

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On 8/15/2022 at 10:10 AM, blue_dolphin said:

I mixed up a batch of this and put it in the freezer to spin tomorrow. It seems quite salty and I wish I’d used less. 5.5g salt in a pint is a lot. There's a comment on YouTube that says it's disgustingly salty. I wouldn’t go quite that far. Cooled down to 25F and starting to freeze, I’d describe the flavor as salted caramel coffee. We'll see how it tastes after spinning.
For comparison, the Hello, My Name is Ice Cream recipe for avocado-grapefruit sherbet that I made last week uses 2g salt/pint. I thought that was a lot but it doesn’t taste salty at all, just accents the savory notes of the avocado and tempers the bitterness of the grapefruit.  
I’ll report back. 

OK, back to James Hoffmann's recipe.  I gave it a spin earlier today.  Here is it immediately post-spin:

96B58594-4628-4985-8A5E-3DB2398F9E5F_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.eed5a35f3d4ad0fbb6b10a51e9b49ffb.jpeg

The texture is very creamy. The icy layer on the sides and bottom was especially noticeable so I spatula-mixed them in and ran a re-spin, at which point it was too soft, as I expected.  Back in the freezer and a few tastes later, I find the salt still too much. That said, the salt does add a certain more-ish quality, as in, "just one more spoon..." and the texture is smooth throughout.

I think I'll make another batch with half the salt and compare to this.  I'm fairly sensitive to salt and usually start with half of what any recipe calls for. If you're one who adds more salt to everything, this may not be over the top but I suspect it takes some dialing in for personal preference. 

 

I should also say that I subbed white chocolate (Aneo 34% from Weiss) 1:1 for the cocoa butter the recipe calls for. I adjusted the sugar but the overall fat in my recipe was lower than the original so it's possible the called for amount of salt would make sense with a higher fat mix. 

I also used Avacream instead of carrageenan and locust bean gum.  I don't think that would be an issue.

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12 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

OK, back to James Hoffmann's recipe.  I gave it a spin earlier today.  Here is it immediately post-spin:

96B58594-4628-4985-8A5E-3DB2398F9E5F_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.eed5a35f3d4ad0fbb6b10a51e9b49ffb.jpeg

The texture is very creamy. The icy layer on the sides and bottom was especially noticeable so I spatula-mixed them in and ran a re-spin, at which point it was too soft, as I expected.  Back in the freezer and a few tastes later, I find the salt still too much. That said, the salt does add a certain more-ish quality, as in, "just one more spoon..." and the texture is smooth throughout.

I think I'll make another batch with half the salt and compare to this.  I'm fairly sensitive to salt and usually start with half of what any recipe calls for. If you're one who adds more salt to everything, this may not be over the top but I suspect it takes some dialing in for personal preference. 

 

I should also say that I subbed white chocolate (Aneo 34% from Weiss) 1:1 for the cocoa butter the recipe calls for. I adjusted the sugar but the overall fat in my recipe was lower than the original so it's possible the called for amount of salt would make sense with a higher fat mix. 

I also used Avacream instead of carrageenan and locust bean gum.  I don't think that would be an issue.

This is really interesting, we have followed James Hoffman for a while (husband’s retirement has allowed him time to finesse his coffee making),  I now realise that I have never made coffee “ice cream” of any kind.  An omission that I look forward to addressing in the next few days.  
Ninja Creami due for delivery between 2.15 pm and 4.15 pm BST.  Can’t wait!!  🍦🍨🥤🍨🍦

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