Saturday, January 26, 2008

1 month, 5 flavors and lots more to go

So its been 1 month since I made my debut into the ice cream making world and so far so good and I thought I'd share a few things I've learned and tips I'd give others just starting out.

Since I always have to do tons of research about anything I do I spent my first week or so reading, searcing the web for tips, and just soaking in anything I could learn to make ice cream perfection. What I quickly learned is that there are two types of ice cream, custard based(with eggs) and Philadelphia style(no eggs) which through the experiment of both the custard wins big. Who would have thought that its egg yolks in ice cream which give it a creamy smoooth consistency but this is the secret ingredient in the custard base style ice cream that makes all the difference. I made one batch of the Philadelphia style and it was my first and last.

So what else have I gotten out of my first month of churning? I quickly learned how crucial it is to master the technique of heating of the custard. Since there are eggs in this its important to slowly heat, consistently stir, and wait for the moment of perfect consistency(sort of like Pepto Bismol thickness) or the result is this scrambled egg mixture we've mentioned before. The custard needs to heat to 175 degrees (to avoid bacteria from the eggs) and it should lightly coat the spoon. Through experience, use your eye over the thermometer...I learned the hard way when my thermometer was wrong. After 5 flavors I am still battling this one but give me a few more tries and I'll be golden. But regardless, the resulting ice cream still ended up worth every bite.

Here are the five flavors I have made so far and results of each.

Peppermint Stick
(careful how much extract, mine was strong and I think because of this the alcohol in the extract

stopped it from freezing hard but it was super creamy and really good)

Butter Pecan
(tried this Philadelphia style...icy and not enough flavor...not a winner)

(infused actual giner into the base, hardened well and the creaminess and flavor was awesome.
Just bought crystalized ginger that will add a nice crunch next time)

Triple Chocolate
(bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate, cocoa & dark chocolate rave reviews by my testers)

Mint Chocolate Chip
(infused mint leaves and added dark chocolate resulting in a unique herbal flavor for the mint
but it was really good with a great consistency)

Lessons learned..
-the more egg yolks the smoother and creamier
-slowly heat the base
-infusing flavors gives a stronger and more natural flavor
-after base is heated, cool over an ice bath for better consistency
-seal the top of the ice cream with plastic wrap before putting the lid on the container, it keeps the this layer of the ice cream from drying out

So although this may not be the most exciting post I think its important for anyone starting out to understand the basics, this is where this blog came from. I couldn't find anyone talking about their adventures in ice cream making so why not do it ourselves.

Happy ice cream making...I am off to make Oreo Cookie!


Cakespy said...

The peppermint sounds WONDERFUL to me.

Lyra said...

See I actually prefer Philadelphia style ice cream. While the egg-based ice creams are ver rich, and good, I find them to be almost greasy to the taste. The mouth-feel is just too fatty for me. I also feel that the flavours shine brighter if the fat content is a bit lower, but that is just my personal preference.

By the way, have you checked out Desert Candy and the 20 day ice cream challenge? Key lime pie ice cream and beet ice cream are among the offerings:

Bethany said...

Cakespy -- Doesn't it?

Lyra -- Thanks for the post. It is always great to have other opinions -- that is what is so fun about a blog! Also, no, I haven't checked out that challenge yet, but it sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing and I will be sure to go!



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