Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ice Cream Junk and Stuff #3

I’ve got some more miscellaneous short topics to talk about...

Mini-Freezer Update: How to Minimize Frost

In “Ice Cream Junk and Stuff #2,” I talked about using a mini-freezer to finish the ice cream quicker, thus reduce ice crystal size and resulting in a smoother end product. However, the mini-freezer frosts up like crazy, especially when driven to the maximum coldness setting. The ice cream ends up tasting worse due to frost getting in the mix. Freezing ice cream at -30 °C (-22 °F) was the reason for buying another freezer in the first place, so raising the operating temperature isn’t an option. My workaround is quite simple: Turn on the mini-freezer two hours prior to making ice cream and leave it off when not in use. The mini-freezer will get down to its lowest temperature within 2-3 hours from room temperature. I leave the ice cream in there for a few hours to harden and then transfer it to my regular freezer. I immediately unplug the mini freezer and leave the door open so it can defrost completely.

The results have been outstanding. My “Low Carb 11.5% Fat Philadelphia-style Ice Cream Base” comes out as creamy as the higher fat / lower water content mixes.

Breyers CarbSmart

Take a look at the website and packaging for this product. Did you notice there is a common two word term conspicuously absent? Nowhere does it say “ice cream.” Legally it can’t. It’s not just the low carb stuff. Look at the rest of their line, too. It ain’t ice cream, buddy.

This ice cre... uh, product, is popular in the low carb community. Can’t blame people since there’s not much of a selection out there. I had an opportunity to taste it recently. It’s got a strange flavor to me. Not horrible, but not good. And the overrun! I can’t believe how much of it is air. I’d love to see an experiment where a carton of this frozen dairy product was left out to melt completely. It would be a very small puddle.

Here are the ingredients:
Skim Milk, Water, Cream, Sorbitol, Polydextrose, Whey, Contains 2% Or Less Of Each Of The Following: Glycerin, Natural Flavor, Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Cellulose Gel, Mono And Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carob Bean Gum, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Carrageenan, Sugar.
Not too surprising. They’re using sorbitol as their primary sugar alcohol. It doesn’t depress the freezing point as much as erythritol and perhaps not the most healthy choice. Polydextrose is another additive found in low sugar foods. I’m not fond of it, but it’s not a shock why it’s in there. What’s more interesting is their use of glycerin. It’s interesting how Breyers and I ended up with the same solution to the problem of lowering the freezing point without sugar.

Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream

I tried two flavors of good ‘ol Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Yep, I was off my keto diet. It was right at the beginning of my annual vacation where I allow myself to eat like a typical American: carbs and lots of them. I kicked it off with a two-for-one coupon and tried a scoop of their Peanut Butter Cup and Oreo ‘N Cake ice creams. I had assumed that they would blow my sugar-free attempts out of the water. Not so. First off, I noticed they were a little too gummy. If you want to emulate the chewiness of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream, just double the stabilizer I specify in my recipes. I was shocked at the lack of boldness. The peanut butter cup was very blah. Mine blew it away. The Oreo ‘N Cake was better, but again, it wasn’t as flavorful as I expected it would be. There were no big cookie and cake chunks like in the picture on the website. The ice cream itself had a cake batter flavor, but it wasn’t that great. The sugar cone was nothing to write home about, either.

Probably the most shocking revelation is that the sweetness from the sugar didn’t taste superior to the combination of artificial sweeteners used in my homemade ice cream. My blend of sucralose, erythritol, stevia and glycerine tastes just as good a sucrose!

Natures Flavors Flavor Concentrates

I ordered three unique flavors that are nearly impossible to find elsewhere: Sweet Corn, Fresh Baked Bread, and Maraschino Cherry. These are concentrates, so I can use then in baked good, too. Imagine making a mock corn bread using almond meal, but supplementing it with actual corn flavor? It took a long time for them to process my order, but I finally got it!

I’ll be sure to incorporate these into some new ice cream flavors real soon.

Milk Magic Caffeinated Infusions

I saw these little squeeze bottles in a store one day. I don’t care for coffee ice cream, but I’d love to try adding this to a low carb sweet cream base just to see how well it works.

Wilton Treatology Toasted Coconut sucks

I tried making toasted coconut ice cream and it was awful. I’ll preface my disdain for this flavoring by saying that maybe I used too much, but I don’t think that I did. Look elsewhere for flavorings to try.

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