Cuisinart ICE-100 Ice Cream and Gelato Maker – Review

A big improvement on the ICE-50

I wrote a blog post a while ago discussing the shortcomings of the Cuisinart ICE-50. It looks like the chaps at Cuisinart have acted on customer feedback and launched an upgrade; the ICE-100.

The first improvement is the noise level. Whereas the grinding and squeaking of the ICE-50 could be heard for miles and miles, the ICE-100 is much quitter and you can easily sit in the same room with the machine churning away. I still don’t think noise level in an ice cream machine is really that important and shouldn’t be taken into consideration when buying a machine; I am more interested in the quality of the ice cream. However, this was an issue many customers had with the ICE-50 and one that Cuisinart has, in my opinion, addressed.

The motor arm has also been moved underneath the bowl. This gives the machine more power to drive the dasher and I didn’t have the problem of the dasher sticking when the mix began to freeze that I had with the ICE-50.

Cuisinart ICE 100Ice cream and gelato paddle
The ICE-100 comes with both an ice cream and a gelato paddle. The idea is that because of its shape, the gelato paddle will incorporate less air into the ice cream during the churning process and make a dense ice cream with about 30% overrun. The ice cream paddle will incorporate slightly more air and will make an ice cream that is slightly lighter in texture.

During testing, I found that the gelato paddle made excellent ice cream with creamy, dense texture, which I preferred to the lighter ice cream made using the ice cream paddle. Both the ice cream and the gelato paddle made batches that were extremely smooth and creamy.

The 1.5 litre removable bowl

My only complaint about this machine is that I would have liked to have seen the same 2-litre bowl found in the ICE-30 in the ICE-100. The 1.5 litre removable bowl allows you to make no more than a litre of ice cream in one batch. The advantage of having a machine with an in-built compressor is that you can make batch-after-batch of ice cream without the need to freeze the bowl overnight. You will have to prepare each batch individually though, which will take more time.

This remains the only issue I have with the machine. I would still like to see a 2 litre removable bowl on a future machine with an in-built compressor.

Cuisinart ICE 100 Cuisinart ICE 100Churning time

It took about 40 minutes for the machine to churn a batch of ice cream and get the temperature down to around -5°C. You can serve the ice cream directly after the machine finished churning but the consistency will resemble something similar to soft-serve ice cream and will melt relatively quickly. Commercial ice cream is served at around -15°C and I would recommend placing your ice cream in the freezer for about 4 hours after it has been churned. This will give the ice cream a firmer and more scoopable texture.

The 40 minute freezing time isn’t bad and is one of the fastest for a machine with an in-built compressor, although not as good as the 20-22 minutes it takes the ICE-30 to freeze a 1 litre batch (a commercial Emery Thompson ice cream machine takes about 8 minutes to churn a batch of ice cream).

The time it takes for a machine to churn a batch is very important as the longer a batch spends in a machine, the bigger the ice crystals are likely to grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be.

I would strongly recommend switching the machine on and leaving it running with the bowl in place for about 15 minutes before you add the mix. This will freeze the bowl and help to increase heat transfer from the mix to the bowl, which will in turn mean that the mix is frozen quicker. The quicker you can freeze your batch of ice cream, the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be and the creamier the texture.

Cuisinart ICE 100Appearance and cleaning

The machine comes in a nice stainless steel finish and isn’t an eye sore in the kitchen. It is a fairly large machine so you will need some room in your kitchen to store it. Cleaning the machine is very easy as the bowl and dasher are the only things that come in contact with the machine and are both easily removed.

Ice cream quality

As with any ice cream machine, the most important characteristic should always be the quality of the finished ice cream. The ICE-100 is the only machine with an in-built compressor that I have tried that makes excellent ice cream with a smooth, creamy, and dense texture.

The ICE-100 is also the only machine I have tried that makes ice cream comparable in quality to that made in my beloved ICE-30.

I didn’t try any of the recipes that came with the machine so I can’t say that it will always make excellent ice cream. A good ice cream mix is just as important as a good machine. You can use the best machine in the world but if you don’t have a good ice cream mix, the texture is still likely to be sandy and grainy.

I used my Roasted Almond Ice Cream recipe when I tested this machine. The recipe does involve a lot of work but the smooth and creamy results are, I think, makes the sweat and tears worth it.

Cuisinart ICE 100Conclusion 

So, would I recommend this machine? Absolutely. I still think that machines with an in-built compressor simply aren’t worth the extra money because you can make excellent ice cream in the cheaper ICE-30 model that doesn’t have an in-built compressor.

I appreciate that compressor machines are more convenient to use and allow you to make batch after batch but I still don’t think these machines are worth the extra money. The ICE-30 still remains my number 1 machine and I recommend it every time someone asks me for a recommendation. However, if you are set on buying a machine with an in-built compressor, the ICE-100 is the only compressor machine that I have tried that makes ice cream comparable in quality to that made using the ICE-30.

If you don’t mind freezing your bowl overnight before making your ice cream and are interested in making only one batch at a time, definitely go for the ICE-30 at more than half the price of the ICE-100. If money is not an issue and if you are looking for a convenient machine with an in-built compressor that will make batch-after-batch, I would certainly recommend the ICE-100.

If you found this review helpful and are thinking about buying the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker, you can support the blog by purchasing your machine from the chaps at amazon.com using the link below. All orders are processed and delivered by those chaps at amazon.

       amazon.com                                  amazon.co.uk 

                 

Pros

  • Excellent smooth and creamy ice cream texture.
  • 2 paddles; a gelato paddle that incorporates less air and makes a denser ice cream and an ice cream paddle that incorporates more air and makes a slightly lighter ice cream.
  • In-built compressor means that you don’t have to freeze your bowl overnight before making your ice cream. This is also good if you intend on making a lot of ice cream for a party or large group. I recommend switching the machine on and leaving it to chill the bowl for 15 minutes before you add your mix.
  • Nice stainless steel finish.
  • Quieter than the ICE-50.

 Cons

  • Still no 2 litre bowl. The 1.5 litre bowl allows you to make no more than 1 litre at a time.
  • More than twice the price of the ICE-30.

My Top 6 Ice Cream and Food Science Books

1. Ice Cream by Douglas Goff and Richard W Hartel

This is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive book on the science behind ice cream making and has formed the backbone of my research. Professor Goff is a Professor of Food Science at the University of Guelph, Canada. Professor Hartel is a Professor of Food Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.A.

It is certainly a must-read for any ice cream enthusiast but isn’t the type of book you can easily browse through. It is a heavy read and requires patience to get through. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you are after a brief introduction to the science behind ice cream making. Instead, I would recommend On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee.

Ice Cream by Goff and Hartel is more for those who have been making ice cream at home for a while and want an in-depth understanding of the process and the science involved. It has an excellent section on formulating your own ice cream recipes for those who are ready and keen to play around with ingredients and quantities. This book is a must-read for anyone considering starting an ice cream business.

The book includes recipes aimed at commercial ice cream makers and has not been written with the home ice cream maker in mind.

2. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Dr Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet

Written by the former Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, Modernist Cuisine is an excellent source for the science behind cooking. It is an invaluable source of information for anyone who is passionate about molecular gastronomy and wants to understand the intricacies and the science. It has an excellent chapter on flavour extraction and another on vacuum reduction, which I have found pertinent to ice cream making.

I have used this book extensively in my  research and would most certainly recommend it. It is an expensive and dense book and so probably not the best buy if you are only after basic ice cream recipes. I would recommend On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee as a starting point before investing in Modernist Cuisine.

3. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

Written by the founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, this book has a plethora of interesting and unique ice cream flavours. Jeni takes a unique approach to ice cream making in that she uses cornstarch, cream cheese, and corn syrup to make her ice creams. Packed full of vibrant pictures, detailed step-by-step instructions on making ice cream, and a nice introduction to the science behind ice cream making, this is certainly a must-read for anyone looking to improve their ice cream making at home.

4. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

Another must-read for any home cook. An excellent introduction to the science behind cooking with an easy-to-read section on ice cream. I would recommend this as a good starting point for anyone interested the science behind cooking. It isn’t solely a book on ice cream but does cover the main points on the science behind ice cream making.

It doesn’t include ice cream recipes and focuses solely on the science and history of cooking.

5. Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery by Kris Hoogerhyde and Anne Walker

Written by the owners of the legendary Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, this book is packed with interesting  recipes, including the legendary salted caramel. Another valuable resource for recipes, with vibrant pictures and a step-by-step guide that walks you through the ice cream making process.

It has a good introduction section to ice cream making but doesn’t focus on the science. A good resource for anyone starting out as an ice cream maker.

6. The Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal

Written by world renowned chef Heston Blumenthal, this another excellent resource for anyone interested in molecular gastronomy. Packed full of detail on the science behind taste and food chemistry with an excellent section on the science behind ice cream making.

Like Modernist Cuisine at Home, this book is not for those looking for quick, simple recipes. The recipes in this book are complicated and time consuming and aimed at the professional chef. It has an excellent section that discusses published essays on food science.

I would recommend this book as an excellent source on food science and perfect for those who like to sit down with a highlighter as they read.

If you found this post helpful and are thinking of buying a book on ice cream, you can support me by clicking on the links on this page and buying your books from the chaps at amazon.com.

Hope that helps,

Ruben

Ice Cream Adventures! Fried ice cream in Kuwait!

This was my first encounter with fried ice cream! The vanilla ice cream came encased in fried cornflakes covered in a delicious cinnamon and ginger sauce. I was expecting the outer layer of cornflakes to be warm but this was sadly not to. The hard and crispy outer layer did contrast well with the smooth ice cream though.

Definitely a recipe for me to get my head around and hopefully put up on the blog sometime soon!

Fried Ice CreamFried Ice Cream (3)Fried Ice Cream (2)

 

Vanilla Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker

This recipe will make a rich, sweet, and extremely creamy organic Vanilla Bean ice cream without an ice cream maker. Instead, we will use a food processor to create the many small ice crystals that are paramount for a creamy texture.

To make this ice cream you will need:

  • A plastic zip-lock bag
  • A food processor

As is with any other food, it is very important to use good quality organic ingredients to get the best flavour possible. Using free-range organic eggs will give the ice cream a strong creamy colour that you cannot get using eggs from caged birds.

IMG_6246This recipe will produce about 750ml of ice cream.

Ingredients: organic cream, organic semi-skimmed milk, organic unrefined sugar, organic egg yolks, an organic vanilla bean, organic vanilla extract.

If you are using cream at 36% fat:
Cream 474g
Semi-skimmed milk 413g
Sugar 186g
Egg yolks 72g
An organic vanilla bean
Organic vanilla extract 2 teaspoons

If you are using cream at 38% fat:
Cream 448g
Semi-skimmed milk 440g
Sugar 141g
Egg yolks 72g
An organic vanilla bean
Organic vanilla extract 2 teaspoons

If you are using cream at 50.5% fat:
Cream 333g
Semi-skimmed milk 555g
Sugar 141g
Egg yolks 72g
An organic vanilla bean
Organic vanilla extract 2 teaspoons

The tables below show the composition of the ice cream mix before and after heating for 60 minutes. The totals are expressed as a percentage of the mix.

Mix composition before heating
Mix composition before heating
Mix composition after heating for 60 minutes at 71.4°C in a large pan with a 23cm diameter


1.
 Setting the fridge and freezer temperature

It is very important that set your fridge to between 0 and 2°C to increase the rate of crystallisation when you  age your mix in the fridge overnight. Crystallisation of fat during the aging process helps maintain the shape of ice cream when it is served and also helps minimise the rate at which the ice cream melts.

Set your freezer to around -25°C, or as cold as you can get it.  Once churned in the food processor, the quicker you can get your ice cream to below -18°C, the smaller the ice crystal are likely to be. The temperature and rate of hardening determine the final ice crystal size . Hardening is complete when the temperature at the centre of the container drops to -18°C or lower, preferably -25 to -30°C. The longer it takes for the ice cream to reach these temperatures, the larger the ice crystals will grow and, subsequently, the sandier the texture.

2. Preparing an ice bath

Before you can start preparing the mix, freeze enough water to make an ice bath. I recommend freezing water in small 6cm by 6cm plastic containers.

It is also important to place a 1 litre plastic container in the freezer, which will be used to store the ice cream once it has been churned in the food processor. Freezing will remove any heat stored in the container. Heat that is transferred to the ice cream during freezing from the container increases ice crystal size, by melting the ice cream that comes in contact with the sides of the container, contributing to a sandy texture.

Once you have allowed the water to freeze, take a large pan and fill it with enough ice to make an ice bath. Have a large zip-lock freezer bag ready next to the bowl, along with some table salt.

The purpose of using a zip lock bag and water bath is to ensure that the mix is cooled as quickly as possible, minimising the time the mix spends in the ‘danger zone’; between 5 and 65°C. In this temperature range, bacteria in your mix is likely to multiply, imparting a very undesirable smell and taste. Allowing bacteria to multiply is also not the best thing for your health.

Have your vanilla bean, a chopping board, and a sharp knife out ready for later.

3. Size of pan

As strange as it sounds, the size of the pan in which you heat your mix is very important. The larger the diameter of your pan, the more water will evaporate during heating. This is important because the fundamental reason for heating your mix for 60 minutes is to concentrate the milk solids non fat, more specifically the protein. By concentrating the mix, you increase the percentage of protein. Protein plays a significant role in limiting the size of ice crystals, thereby improving texture, so the higher the percentage of protein in your mix the better.

I recommend using a large pan with a 23cm diameter. This will allow you to concentrate your mix by about 32%. If you use a pan with a small diameter, you won’t be able to reduce the mix by the same amount in 60 minutes. The texture won’t be as smooth and creamy as a that prepared in pan with a larger diameter.

Large Pan 2

It is important to use a large pan with a 23cm diameter, similar to the pan on the left

4. Heating your mix

Once you have prepared an ice bath, add the sugar and the egg yolks to the large heavy pan. Mix the eggs and sugar together until both ingredients have combined. The sugar mixed with the yolks will help prevent the yolks from curdling. Add the cream and milk and gently stir the mix before you switch the heat on.

Over a medium-to-low heat, heat the mixture until the temperature reaches 70°C, making sure that you are constantly stirring the mix. You will risk burning the proteins and curdling the egg yolks if you do not constantly stir.

Once the temperature reaches 70°C, turn the heat down to low and continue heating until the temperature reaches 71.4°C. Use a kitchen thermometer to keep the temperature at 71.4°C for 60 minutes. This will ensure that the whey proteins undergo reversible unfolding, but not aggregation, which will significantly improve the texture of the finished ice cream.

Do not let the temperature rise above 71.4°C. You will risk aggregating the proteins, which is detrimental to texture, and developing the unpleasant and eggy hydrogen sulphide taste if you heat the mixture above71.4°C.

Heating the mix for 60 minutes may sound like a long time but believe me it is a small price to pay for extremely creamy ice cream.  Holding the mix at 71.4°C for 60 minutes will mean that you will concentrate the mix by about 32%. Concentrating the mix will increase the percentage of protein, which contributes significantly to a smooth and creamy texture.

After testing heating times, I have found that a mix heated for 60 minutes will produce a much creamier  and smoother ice cream than one heated for 15, 30, and 45 minutes.

5. Preparing the vanilla bean

Once you have heated your mix for 60 minutes, use a sharp knife to cut the bean in half lengthways. Using the back of your knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds and add the bean and the seeds to the mix.

Continue stirring for another 2 minutes or so to help release the vanilla flavour.

Organic Vanila Bean6. Cooling the mix

Once you have stirred in the vanilla bean and seeds,  take the pan off the heat and carefully pour the mix into the zip lock bag. Add the vanilla extract and close. It is important to add the vanilla extract right at the end to minimise the loss of the volatile flavour compounds.

Add about 3 tablespoons of salt to the ice in your ice bath. This will significantly lower the temperature of the ice, thereby cooling your mix faster.

Once the mix has cooled to about 10°C, place it in the fridge and leave overnight. It is important to allow enough time for the ice cream mix to age. Remember that crystallisation of fat during the aging process helps maintain the shape of ice cream when it is served and also helps minimise the rate at which the ice cream melts.

7. Freezing the mix

Once you have allowed the mix to age overnight, simply place the mix, in the zip-lock bag, in the freezer and freeze until solid. This usually takes around 4 hours, depending on how cold and how full your freezer is.

8. Processing the mix in the food processor

Once the mix has frozen, peel off the zip lock bag and add the mix to the food processor. It is important to process the mix on a low setting. High processing speeds will cause the temperature of the mix to rise, increasing the size of ice crystals, thereby causing a sandy texture.

Use a knife to cut up any large pieces to ensure that all of the mix is processed. Once you you have processed the mix down to a creamy consistency, place it in the chilled 1 litre container and place back in the freezer until it has hardened to below -18°C.

Make sure that there is enough space in your freezer for the air to circulate freely. The more cluttered your freezer, the longer it will take for the churned ice cream to reach -18°C and the bigger the ice crystals will get.

At -18°C, it is recommended that homemade ice cream be kept for about a week. This is because some bacteria are still able to multiply at -18°C. Below -18°C, it becomes too cold for bacteria to multiply and so ice cream can be kept for longer.

How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker9. Serving the ice cream

When you are ready to serve your ice cream, take it out of the freezer and let sit to thaw for between 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is soft enough to scoop. Serve the ice cream at below -12°C. As the serving temperature is increased from -14.4 to -7.8°C, flavour and sweetness become more pronounced.

Let me know how you get on with the recipe if you try it!

Organic Vanila Ice Cream 1

Roasted Almond Ice Cream – Recipe

Roasted Almond Ice Cream RecipeRoasted Almond Ice Cream – Recipe

For this recipe, I use a fine roasted almond paste from http://whynutshop.co.uk/. Whynut is a small artisanal company, based in the UK, that focuses on making fine nut pastes and nuts from Turkey. They sell pastes in 110g pots, which is perfect for 1 litre of ice cream. They won a Great Taste Award for their Lightly Salted Antep Pistachios, which is great to see.

This recipe makes an extremely smooth and creamy ice cream with a nice roasted almond flavour.

Ingredients: organic cream, organic semi-skimmed milk, organic un-refined sugar, organic free-range eggs, roasted almond paste.
This recipe will make about 800g of ice cream.
If you are using cream at 36% fat:
Cream 474g
Semi-skimmed milk 413g
Sugar 141g
Egg yolks 72g
Roasted Almond Paste 110g

If you are using cream at 38% fat:
Cream 448g
Semi-skimmed milk 440g
Sugar 141g
Egg yolks 72g
Roasted Almond Paste 110g

If you are using cream at 50.5% fat:
Cream 333g
Semi-skimmed milk 555g
Sugar 141g
Egg yolks 72g
Roasted Almond Paste 110g

Roasted Almond PasteThe tables below show the composition of the ice cream mix before and after heating. The totals are expressed as a percentage of the mix.

Composition of the mix before it has been heated

Composition of the mix after  it has been heated

1. Freezing the freezer bowl

For this recipe, I use the Cuisinart ICE-30 which comes with a large 2 litre bowl. I have used this machine for a very long time and would highly recommend it. The day before you start making your ice cream, take the removable bowl and cover the top with cling film;  use an elastic band to help keep it in place.

Put the bowl in a plastic bag and tie the ends. The plastic bag and cling film will help prevent water from freezing to the inside of the bowl whilst in the freezer. Any water that is frozen to the inside of the bowl will melt into the mix and is likely to have an adverse effect on ice cream texture.

Take a 1 litre plastic container, the freezer bowl, and the ice cream dasher and place them in your freezer overnight. Freezing will remove any heat stored in the dasher and container. Heat that is transferred to the ice cream during freezing from the container or dasher increases ice crystal size, by melting the crystals, contributing to a sandy texture. If you add ice cream to a plastic container that is at room temperature, you will notice the ice cream that comes in contact with the side of the container quickly start to melt, which is a big no no as is likely to cause a sandy texture.

It’s also important that you freeze enough water to be able to make an ice bath. Freeze water in several ice trays or small plastic containers.

2. Setting the fridge and freezer temperature

It is very important that set your fridge to between 0 and 2°C to increase the rate of crystallisation of the fat globules when you age your mix overnight. Crystallisation of fat during the ageing process helps maintain the shape of ice cream when it is served and also helps minimise the rate at which the ice cream melts. If you don’t allow these fat globules sufficient time to crystallise, it is likely that your ice cream will suffer from relatively fast meltdown and less retention of shape.

Set your freezer to around -25°C, or as cold as you can get it.  Once churned in the ice cream maker, the quicker you can get your ice cream to below -18°C, the smaller the ice crystal are likely to be, and the creamier the texture. The temperature and rate of hardening determine the final ice crystal size . Hardening is complete when the temperature at the centre of the ice cream container drops to -18°C or lower, preferably -25 to -30°C. The longer it takes for the ice cream to reach these temperatures, the larger the ice crystals will grow and, subsequently, the sandier the texture will be.

The importance of a really cold freezer

I cannot stress enough the importance of setting your freezer as cold as you can get it. An extremely cold freezer is not only important when storing your ice cream, but is also extremely important for your machine’s removable bowl.

I’ve noticed that a bowl frozen to around -14°C takes longer to churn a batch of ice cream, compared to a bowl frozen to around -18°C or below. Because a bowl frozen at around -14°C will take more time to churn a batch of ice cream, it is more likely to produce a colder, sandier, and wetter texture. I set my freezer to around -25°C and the resulting ice cream is much drier, smoother, and holds its shape better, compared to when I use a bowl that has been frozen to around -14°C.

At about -25°C, it takes me about 16 minutes to churn a batch of ice cream, which is very good for a domestic ice cream maker (professional ice cream makers take about 8 minutes). If I set my freezer to around -14°C, it takes between 20-25 minutes for the bowl to churn a batch. Remember, the quicker you can churn your mix, the smaller the ice crystals are likely to be and the creamier the texture of your ice cream.

3. Preparing an ice bath

Once you have allowed enough water to freeze, take a large pan and fill it with enough ice to make an ice bath. Have a large zip-lock freezer bag ready next to the bowl, along with some table salt.

The point of using a zip lock bag and water bath is to ensure that the mix is cooled as quickly as possible once it has been cooked, minimising the time the mix spends in the ‘danger zone’ where bacteria likes to multiply; between 5 and 65°C. The longer your mix spends in this temperature range, the more bacteria is likely to multiply, imparting an undesirable taste and smell.

4. Size of pan

As strange as it sounds, the size of the pan in which you heat your mix is extremely important. The larger the diameter of your pan, the more water will evaporate during heating. This is important because the fundamental reason for heating your mix for 60 minutes is to concentrate the milk solids non fat, more specifically the protein.

By concentrating the mix, you increase the percentage of protein. Protein plays a significant role in limiting the size of ice crystals, thereby improving texture. The higher the percentage of protein in your mix, the creamier the texture is likely to be.

I recommend using a large pan with a 23cm diameter. This will allow you to concentrate your mix by about 32%. If you use a pan with a smaller diameter, you won’t be able to reduce the mix by the same amount in 60 minutes. The texture won’t be as smooth and creamy as a mix prepared in pan with a larger diameter.

Large Pan 25. Heating your mix

Once you have prepared the ice bath, add the sugar and the egg yolks to the pan. Mix the eggs and sugar together until both ingredients have combined. Mixing the sugar with the yolks will help prevent the yolks from curdling. Add the cream and milk and gently stir the mix before you switch on the heat.

Over a medium heat, heat the mixture until the temperature reaches 70°C, making sure that you are constantly stirring. You will risk burning the proteins and curdling the egg yolks if you do not constantly stir the mix.

Once the temperature reaches 70°C, turn the heat down to low and continue heating until the temperature reaches 71.4°C. Use a kitchen thermometer to keep the temperature at 71.4°C for 60 minutes. The aim is to promote reversible unfolding of the whey proteins but not aggregation, which will significantly improve the texture of the finished ice cream.

Try not to let the temperature rise above 71.4°C. It will be difficult to keep the temperature at 71.4°C and you will find it quickly fluctuating between about 71.2°C and 71.8°C. It’s not the end of the world if you do briefly go above 71.4°C but do quickly bring the temperature down if you notice it creeping up. You will risk aggregating the proteins, which is detrimental to texture, and developing the unpleasant and eggy hydrogen sulphide taste if you heat the mixture above 71.4°C.

Heating the mix for 60 minutes may sound like a long time but believe me it is a small price to pay for extremely smooth and creamy ice cream.  Holding the mix at 71.4°C for 60 minutes will concentrate the mix by about 32%, thereby increasing the percentage of protein. After trying different variations, I have found that a mix heated for 60 minutes produces a much creamier  and smoother ice cream than one heated for 15, 30, and 45 minutes.

6. Cooling the mix

After 60 minutes, take the pan off the heat and carefully pour the mix into the zip lock bag. Pour about 2 tablespoons of salt onto the ice to lower its temperature. This will cool your mix faster.

Once the mix has cooled to about 10°C, place it in the fridge and leave overnight to age. Remember that crystallisation of fat during the ageing process helps maintain the shape of ice cream when it is served and also helps minimise the rate at which the ice cream melts.

Almond ice cream recipe7. Churning the mix

Once you have allowed the mix to age overnight, place the freezer bowl in the machine and add the dasher. Put the lid on and, with the machine switched on, pour in the mix followed by the almond paste.

If you’re using a machine with an in-built compressor, switch the machine on and leave it for about 20 minutes before you add the mix. This will ensure that the bowl gets as cold as possible.

As soon as you pour in the mix, use your thumb to push the dasher against the side of the bowl. Pushing the dasher against the bowl will prevent any ice from freezing to the side. Any ice that is frozen to the side of the bowl will act as an insulator, slowing the release of heat from the ice cream to the bowl.

If the transfer of heat from the ice cream to the freezer bowl is reduced, the ice cream will take longer to freeze. The longer the ice cream takes to freeze, the larger the ice crystals will grow and the sandier the texture is likely to be. Keep the dasher pushed against the side of the bowl until you have finished churning the mix (a sore thumbs is yet another price to pay for smooth creamy ice cream).

Use a spoon to push along any static lumps of ice cream. Any static lumps will start to melt, causing a sandy texture. Ensure that the mix is constantly moving whilst in the machine.

After about 20 minutes (or about 16 minutes if your freezer was set to around -27°C), the mix should have a nice dry, stiff texture and should stick easily to the dasher when you take it out of the machine. If the mix drips too easily off of the dasher and has a wet shine, churn the ice cream for another 5-10 minutes.

Quickly empty the mix into the pre-chilled container. The longer you take to empty the ice cream into the container, the longer the ice cream will spend at room temperature. At room temperature, ice crystals will start to quickly melt. If ice crystals melt, they will grow bigger in size when the ice cream is placed in the freezer. The longer the ice cream spends at room temperature, the sandier the texture is likely to be. Be as quick as you can when emptying the ice cream into the plastic container.

8. Hardening the ice cream

Once the mix has been churned, it will have a consistency similar to soft-serve ice cream (Mr Whippy). Although you can eat the ice cream straight after it has been churned in the machine, I recommend hardening it in a plastic continaer in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving. After about 4 hours, depending on your freezer, the ice cream will have a nice firm scoopable consistency, somewhere around -15°C, and be ready to serve.

9. Serving the ice cream

Scoop and serve the ice cream at around -15°C. If you can wait, allow the ice cream to warm to below -12°C before eating.  As the serving temperature is increased from -14.4 to -7.8°C, flavour and sweetness become more pronounced.

Roasted Almond Ice Cream10. Storing the ice cream

Ice crystals will continue to grow until the temperature drops to below -18°C. It is therefore critical to get the your ice cream into the freezer and down to below -18°C as quickly as possible to prevent a sandy and coarse texture from developing. Make sure that there is enough space in your freezer for the air to circulate freely. The more cluttered your freezer, the longer it will take for ice cream to reach -18°C and the bigger the ice crystals will get.

At -18°C, it is recommended that homemade ice cream be kept for about a week. Ice cream can be stored for several weeks at -25°C, and several months at -30°C. Even at these low temperatures, ice crystals will eventually start growing in size. The longer you store your ice cream in the freezer, the larger the ice crystals are likely to be and the sandier the texture.

Let me know how you get on if you try the recipe! :)

IKA C-MAG HS 7 Magnetic Stirrer

Protein found in milk and cream plays a significant role in giving ice cream a smooth and creamy texture. Flores and Goff (1999) demonstrated that milk proteins had a large impact on texture by limiting ice crystal size and enhancing their stability.

The easiest and cheapest way of increasing the protein content in ice cream is through the addition of skimmed milk powder. In keeping with my ethos of using only natural ingredients in my ice cream, I avoid using this heavily processed powder by heating my mix for 60 minutes. This evaporates water and increases the percentage of protein in my ice cream. I think this is a much better, albeit more tiresome, way of increasing the protein content in ice cream as it avoids the addition of heavily processed ingredients.

After years of standing over my ice cream batches stirring away for hours on end, I decided to search far and wide for a way of maintaing a mix at a constant temperature whilst stirring it at the same time. After a lot of research, I stumbled across a magnetic stirring hot plate, a device more commonly found in science labs than in kitchens. Could this be adapted to the kitchen I wondered.

Although these machines aren’t cheap, they are much cheaper alternative to a £14,000 ice cream pasteuriser, and so I took the plunge and invested in one. A magnetic stirring hot plate is my first step towards increasing production!

After a LOT of trial and error, I finally figured out how to adapt this device for ice cream making! Here is my first IKA magnetic stirring hot plate in action. :)

IKA magnetic stirring hot plate IMG_0286IKA magnetic stirring hot plate IKA magnetic stirring hot plateIf you found this post helpful and are considering purchasing an IKA magnetic stirring hot plate, you can support the blog by using the amazon link below. All orders are processed and delivered by the chaps at amazon.com. :)

References

Flores, A. A., and H. D. Goff, 1999, Ice crystal size distributions in dynamically frozen model solutions and ice cream as affected by stabilizers, J. Dairy Sci. 82:1399-1407.

Selling Ice Cream at Oxford Brookes University!

Despite some cold and cloudy weather, we still managed to get the Batmobile down to Oxford Brookes University to get some feedback on our flavours. We also wanted to get people’s opinion on our portable ice cream trailer (the Batmobile) made by Ben using recycled wood.

The idea is to use renewable energy to power the portable freezer using our mounted solar panel. Coupled with good old leg power to power the bicycle, these small ideas get us one step closer to being the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ice cream company in the world!

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Using renewable energy to keep the ice cream cold

Using renewable energy to keep the ice cream cold

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Preparing to sell ice cream at Oxford Brookes University!

Hellllooo! :)

We are preparing our homemade ice cream trailer to sell ice cream at Oxford Brookes University! Ben has been working non-stop for the past week adding the finishing touches to the bat mobile. What better way to start a business than to make equipment yourself from recycled wood! We have nearly finished adding the solar panel that will power our portable freezer.

We will be at:
Harcourt Hill Campus on Wednesday 18th September 2013
Wheatley Campus on Friday 20th September 2013
Gypsy Lane Campus on Monday 23rd September 2013
Marston Road Campus on Wednesday 25th September 2013

Come and say hi!

Ruben and Ben :)

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