Ice cream discussion

Last Updated: May 3, 2000
Date:    Sat, 08 Jan 2000 06:03:02 EST
Subject: Re Ice Cream Recipes
Having read some of the recipes on these sites I wish to make the following comments.

In the UK we have three main types of cream. Single Cream (18% Butter fat) Whipping Cream (38% Butter fat) Double Cream (48% Butter fat) There are other pure creams too such as Extra Thick creams but these contain the same amount of butter fat and are simply made thixotropic in order to appear thicker but not richer.

I note that the recipes mention refer to "bring the cream/milk almost to the boil but do not let it boil" Well it is always perfectly all right to let our cream boil (as in the making of Ganache) and when it is to be poured onto cold eggs yolk mixed with sugar there will be no chance of curdling the eggs as the coldness of the egg/sugar mix will immediately reduce the total mix to below the temperature at which any curdling can occur.

Of course, the cream in America seems to be of a much thinner nature than in England. Even our single (pouring) cream seems thicker than the thick cream sold in most supermarket stores in the US.

Even after pouring the boiling liquid onto the egg/sugar mix it will be necessary to place this in a Bain Maria or on a basin of boiling water whilst stirring it constantly and checking that the consistency reaches the level of viscosity to coat the back of a spoon. A stainless steel spoon is both better and more hygenic. It is better because if you have one handy that is cold it will save the product at the point of over heating and thus curdling as would the final inclusion of a good natural liquid vanilla just prior to the removal of the ice cream from the water bath.

There is a way for you to dispense with the expense of an ice cream machine all together and still produce a perfectly smooth ice cream. In this you will provide a product as is made into Bombes, Moulds and ice cream Gateaux and Parfaits.

In these recipes one pours boiling sugar syrup onto whipped egg yolks and then pours the mix into moulds. Traditionally these would be heavy copper bombe or cake moulds especially for this purpose. However, you can use any round or square cake tin provided it is well protected against any possible likelihood of rusting as in modern Teflon cake tins with easy out bottoms or not. China or glass would be usually preferred and the moulded ice cream turned out after having been plunged briefly into hot water to allow easy release from the mould.

A recipe for this kind of ice cream would be as follows:

Bombe Mixture:

8 egg yolks
10 fluid Ozs of stock syrup at 28% (220F)
15 fluid ozs of whipped  cream
Pour the boiling syrup onto the egg yolks and flavouring, after cooling it, gentle fold in cream and flavouring.

Parfait Mixture:

8 egg yolks
7 fl oz of stock syrup at 32%
15 fl ozs of whipped cream
The procedure is similar to the above.

Most chefs would cool the syrup and then cook the mixture in a water bath (over a pan of boiling water) but this is really a waste of time as by pouring the boiling sugar syrup over the egg yolks they are immediately cooked and ready to be cooled before freezing. All that remains is to whisk up the mixture before pouring into the mould and freezing.

It is important to whisk the mixture as it is poured over the egg yolks in the same way as you would make a butter cream using a sugar syrup instead making a custard. Most pastry cooks use the syrup method for making butter cream rather than the custard method as it is quicker.

You will be surprised to find that although no stirring or constant churning occurs during freezing the result will be a perfectly smooth textured ice cream.

It is true you will need a sugar thermometer or saccharometer but these tools are a lot cheaper than an ice cream machine. A thermometer measures the temperature and a saccharometer measures density. You would only need one or the other.

David Smith

Date:    Wed, 26 Jan 2000 10:31:36 EST
From:    Stephen Mann 
Subject: Re: Re Ice Cream Recipes 
Thank you for your comments on ice cream making. I avoid boiling the cream basically because most the recipes I have warn against it. The only bad effect I've noticed is that the cream/milk will scald, and essentially separate (all milk in North America is homogenized). But again, I have no strong reason for avoiding boiling the cream; I've just done it that way because that's what I've read and it works well enough for me.

However, I've never had luck with getting the mixtures to coat the back of a spoon. In short, a mix will always put a light coat on the spoon (it is milk, after all), and I never could get it to put a thicker coat. Since the mixes make good batches of ice cream regardless, I've ignored this step, although it usually appears in most recipe books.

Anyway, thank you again for your comments.

Stephen Mann

Date:    Thu, 27 Jan 2000 11:48:40 EST
From:    DSmith2979 @
Subject: Re: Re Ice Cream Recipes 

I did not realise that all milk in America was Homogenized. We have it here, of course, but we mainly use just pasteurised.

I have noticed when I have boiled Homogenized milk it seems to separate as you say.

The reason you cannot coat the back of the spoon could well be the homo milk (sounds funny when it's abbreviated like that). Many people may feel unsure of cooking it long enough for fear of its curdling. I tend to live dangerously on this which is why I stand by with a spare cold steel spoon and the pure essence of vanilla.

You may know, or not know, that this ice cream mix is the same as for making a bavarois (Bavarian Cream) with the exception that you must add enough gelatine to set it as you don't freeze it. This is for making Charlotte Royal, Charlotte Russe etc., Also for making bavarois in ribbon form of two tone mixes. A good one is half vanilla and half chocolate. You get the same delicious result as ice cream but to be used as a pudding for dinner parties et al.

I mention this as the gelatine that I will have soaking in a small amount of water is also standing by ready to be whisked into the cooking custard just as I think it may be getting too hot and also helps to prevent it from curdling. So the custard (Creme Anglaise) can be use as custard or set bavarois or ice cream as the case may be.

Very versatile I think you will agree.

Best wishes