Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream
All about the scoop (and if you really need an ice cream maker for it)
Let’s start with a wild theory: Everyone loves ice cream!
As kids, we often couldn’t eat as much of our favorite ice cream as we wanted. Now, as adults, we’re much more open-minded—not only in terms of flavors, but also in terms of technique. Have you every made your own ice cream?
Here at Kitchen Stories, we’ve already developed several ice cream recipes. But the moment we held Dana Cree’s cookbook, “Hello My Name Is Ice Cream” in our hands, we got lost in it. There’s still so much to learn (we also never tire of looking at it). And who could be a better teacher than two-time James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef, Dana, who’s been selling her own line of gourmet ice cream in Chicago for years?
For everyone who wants to scoop deeper into the topic, consider this book your ice cream bible. From basic knowledge about chemical compositions, textures, and processes, to recipes and instructions for how to create your own ice cream, Dana’s got you covered.
Do you also have tips for making ice cream at home? Share them in the comments and tell us your favorite ice cream recipe!
1. About the process of making ice cream
So where to start? First let’s take a look at the five phases of making ice cream that are described in detail in the book. Here’s the short version:
Cooking the ice cream base is all about preparing a liquid base made of dairy products, sugar, and sometimes eggs. The mixture gets heated to dissolve sugar, denature proteins, and infuse flavors.
Afterwards, you need to chill the ice cream base quickly so as to not have bacteria in it. Simply do it with the help of an ice bath and your fridge.
Continue with curing the ice cream base. This is the toughest phase because it means having to let your ice cream base rest in the fridge for at least four hours (but better overnight). This will improve texture and flavor, so do not skip this step.
Churning the ice cream base into ice cream is when the magic happens. By freezing and agitating the liquid base, it turns into a wonderful smooth, soft-serve ice cream.
If you want the classic hard-pack-style ice cream, you now have to harden the ice cream in your freezer. Nevertheless, it is actually possible to skip this step. Italian ice cream is not hardened, but served freshly churned (this is the difference between gelato and ice cream, by the way).
2. The big question: Do you really need an ice cream maker at home?
« If you want to make ice cream, you have to have an ice cream machine. There are no two ways about it. »
Well, let’s agree to disagree here. Talking about classic ice cream with milk, cream, and eggs, it will be very difficult to go without an ice cream maker. There are different types of machines—from pre-frozen canisters to built-in compressors. The good thing: There is an ice cream machine for every budget—from basic to advanced and professional.
BUT—if you don’t have an ice cream maker, there’s always trusty sorbet and no-churn ice creams!
3. About different types of ice cream
Custard ice creams are ice creams made with egg yolks (also known as French-style ice cream). This is rich and smooth ice cream, which is a bit chewy and develops flavors slowly but long-lasting. Therefore, they are especially good for deep flavors, like this almond cinnamon ice cream or matcha ice cream.
Philadelphia-style ice cream is simply ice cream without egg yolks. You may not have heard of it, but it’s basically the most common ice cream style and probably what you are most often referring to when you say “ice cream.” It’s perfect for subtle flavors, and you can go really crazy with this as a base. From using mascarpone to créme fraiche, or flavors like basil or lavende—the sky is the limit!
Sherbets are like a creamy fruit sorbet, existing somewhere between a sorbet and an ice cream. It’s still a bit rich, and contains milk and cream, but you’ll also add puréed fruits to it.
Frozen Yogurt is NOT the low-fat version you’ll find in supermarkets, but “a celebration of the flavor of yogurt with the dense chewy texture” of normal ice cream. You’ll use Greek yogurt as the base, and, from there, you can use various spices, herbs, and flavors. Or simply start with our breakfast popsicles.
Published on June 25, 2017