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How do they make ice cream soft?
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pookel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject: How do they make ice cream soft? Reply with quote

I recently made a batch of excellent ice cream at home. As usual, it turned rock hard once it was in the freezer. I know this is normal for homemade ice cream. But I want to know how commercial ice cream is made softer, and if there's any way to replicate that at home. Even if it involves frightening chemical additives ... seriously. I'm willing to risk my health for soft ice cream.

If anyone is interested in the ice cream recipe, by the way, here it is:

2 cups cream
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks

I made a custard out of everything but the cream, chilled it, whipped the cream, and then stirred them together. I then put it in the ice cream maker, although I think I didn't really need to, since the whipped cream gave it volume already.
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Taamar



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three possibilities:
Carageenan. Higher fat content. More air whipped in.

Ice cream made with 2 yolks per cup of heavy whipping cream stays pretty soft. After freezing in your machine, try whipping air into it as well (if you have a good, strong mixer).
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pookel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's carageenan in the whipping cream I used, and I think the fat content must have been pretty high consider I used almost all cream and egg yolks to make it.

I may try the mixer idea with my KitchenAid, thanks.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: How do they make ice cream soft? Reply with quote

pookel wrote:
I recently made a batch of excellent ice cream at home. As usual, it turned rock hard once it was in the freezer. I know this is normal for homemade ice cream. But I want to know how commercial ice cream is made softer, and if there's any way to replicate that at home. Even if it involves frightening chemical additives ... seriously. I'm willing to risk my health for soft ice cream.

If anyone is interested in the ice cream recipe, by the way, here it is:

2 cups cream
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks

I made a custard out of everything but the cream, chilled it, whipped the cream, and then stirred them together. I then put it in the ice cream maker, although I think I didn't really need to, since the whipped cream gave it volume already.


The commercial SOFT ice cream you get is ice cream that isn't frozen, yet. That's all. So, don't get it so cold and keep it moving. Nuttin' to it.

Biggles
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, I have gotten Carvel soft ice cream and put it in the freezer and it was solid in the morning. It's really the only way you can eat one of their "flying saucers" and not have the ice cream come squeezing out as you bite into it.
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pookel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I'm talking about the kind of ice cream you buy at the grocery store and keep in your freezer. Like Ben & Jerry's. Why is theirs so much softer than mine?

I'm not talking about restaurant soft-serve, that's different.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would test out one of Taamar's options.

Also try LOCUST BEAN GUM and Guar Gum.. yeah, I know it sounds gross, but they are real, natural plant products used in stabilizing ice cream and its melting/freezing characteristics:

http://food.oregonstate.edu/gums/bean.html
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pookel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh, cool. Thanks for the tip. They don't sound gross to me at all, but then very little does. Wink
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opqdan



Joined: 25 May 2006
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that your recipe is fine, but your ice cream maker is suspect.

I've never seen this effect happen after ice cream came out of a professional ice cream maker (with the refrigeration built in and all that jazz). If I use the same recipe in my home maker, it will end up rock hard in the freezer over night.

I'm not saying you need to shell out the dough for a counter top self-refrigerating ice cream maker though. The one alton brown uses seems to produce ice cream that is soft even after removing it from the freezer. At least, in the episodes, he removes a tub of ice cream and easily scoops it.

I would think it has a lot to due with the speed of the churning and the size of the ice crystals. If the ice cream maker cannot get the ice cream completely frozen (into very small crystals), and there is a lot of fluid still flowing around, this will freeze solid. This could probably be solved by freezing the bowl to a much lower temperature, but it's possible that your home freezer may not even go low enough.

The worst part is that it can be difficult to find a good quality ice cream maker (I know I don't have one). If a store even carries them, it is normally only a single brand so you don't really have a choice. They also aren't the most popular of appliances.
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pookel
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the model I have, or a very similar one:

http://www.rivalproducts.com/athomeproductdetail.aspx?pid=2227&cid=229

Does anyone have a recommendation for a better one? I don't know how much money I'm willing to spend, but I'd at least like to know what the options are.
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snapknap



Joined: 17 Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you mentioned you have a Kitchenaid mixer. i've got the ice cream attachment for my mixer - you put the bowl in the freezer until your ready to mix. works pretty well - the bowl has to be completely frozen (at least overnight) when you start or the ice cream doesn't set right.

also, when you make your ice cream, put it in a microwave safe container and freeze it. when you want some, nuke it on high for about 10 seconds and it softens right up without melting.

<http://www.kitchenaid.com/content.jsp?sectionId=517>
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pbone



Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 99
Location: Dutchess County, NYS

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:44 pm    Post subject: making ice cream soft Reply with quote

Okay, this blew my mind, but a friend from California (where else) was visiting, and I got a pint of fantastic locally made ice cream (from dairy country, where I live) out of the freezer, and I was trying to get it into dishes for dessert. It was hard as a rock. She whipped the pint out of my hand, put the top back on and put it....in the microwave for 30 seconds. Well, of course I was horrified, but guess what: it worked PERFECTLY)))))
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hairpin



Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you should replace your ice cream machine with one that is electric run. If you are not churning it constantly, it can get icy. It will not freeze as well as it could, and basically will not become as creamy as it could be. Your ice cream machine should make a difference. It should entrain air into your mixture. It's like the difference between a french press coffe maker and an espresso machine... MMMM.

Anyways, I think the number one way to make it more creamy is more air and more fat. I wouldn't bother with caregenan (sp?) or preservatives. Stick to the good stuff. Also if you are making sorbet, be sure to include egg whites in the mix. You whip this with a hot sugar syrup, making the mixture frothy and making it softer. So in the end I think air is the number one answer.

Also I have the Krups machine, which is pretty good.
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YoKitty



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A small, very small, amount of alcohol in the custard mix will keep your icecream from freezing as hard.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

YoKitty wrote:
A small, very small, amount of alcohol in the custard mix will keep your icecream from freezing as hard.


That is a fantastic idea. Thank you. I have to try that. that also makes it possible to add other flavorings with liqueurs and vodkas, etc.
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