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Old 02-14-2006, 07:25 PM   #1
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Ice Cream that freezes too hard

I have tried making ice cream using several different recipes. The ice cream always turns out great when it's first made but, when I freeze it, it freezes so hard you literally cannot cut it with a knife. Is there a way to make ice cream that stays a little softer when frozen? Thanks.

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Old 02-14-2006, 07:46 PM   #2
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In order to attain a smoother, creamier and less rock-solid texture, you need to add a bit of emulsifier/stabilizer to your mixture, though even with that we usually let it sit on a counter for a couple of minutes after taking out of the freezer, before we dig in though...

Here is a link to a good explanation and despcription... (scroll down to the lower half of the page...)
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:47 PM   #3
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also... try putting it in another part of your freezer. Mine freezes things much quicker towards the back.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:15 PM   #4
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Or turn the temp down a bit. I had to adjust ours to maintain a freezing temp without turning ice cream into a building block. Our chest freezer makes building blocks, but our kitchen freezer maintains frozen state but doesn't make building blocks.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:28 PM   #5
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Actually, the showcase on the ice cream shop is set on a higher temperature than a regular freezer. That is why they always have the creamy texture right out of it, the server not having to use an icepick but effortlessly scooping them out with the scooper. So the ideal would be a separate freezer for the ice cream, though it may be a bit unrealistic in a regular household. Actually we do have a big separate freezer, so we are musing about the idea of using the freezing compartment above the fridge exclusively, resetting the temperature for the ice cream when the warmer weather arrives!!
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
. . . . . . resetting the temperature for the ice cream when the warmer weather arrives!!
Aw, c'mon! Ice cream is not just a warm weather treat! I consume it year round, and I live in some of the coldest area of the contigent United States!
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:20 PM   #7
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There is a freezer being made now (for over a year, but not quite 2 if I remember correctly) that is a chest, but has a bottom drawer instead of being as deep as a typical chest drawer. The drawer isn't quite as cold as the chest portion and is recommended for those items you'll be into more often, ie. ice cream. If you do go and get one, make sure you're keeping an eye on the drawer's ice buildup as it can cause trouble if you aren't vigilant.

Chris
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:34 PM   #8
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The hardness of your ice cream will also be a function of the composition of the mix. As someone else has already pointed out, you may need more emulsifiers in the recipe to keep the fat droplets and air bubbles which are incorporated into the mix during the churning process suspended in the frozen ice cream. The most frail components of the mixture are these bubbles and the fat droplets. If they are broken or do not stay mixed then you are freezing mainly water which can comprise 65 to 75 percent of the mixture. You know how hard water can get (ice).
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BigDog
Aw, c'mon! Ice cream is not just a warm weather treat! I consume it year round, and I live in some of the coldest area of the contigent United States!
You and my mother would be very good friends! She lives by herself and never has less than 6 cartons of ice cream in her freezer. She eats ice cream every day so when she doesn't, we worry.
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Old 02-15-2006, 03:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora
The hardness of your ice cream will also be a function of the composition of the mix. As someone else has already pointed out, you may need more emulsifiers in the recipe to keep the fat droplets and air bubbles which are incorporated into the mix during the churning process suspended in the frozen ice cream. The most frail components of the mixture are these bubbles and the fat droplets. If they are broken or do not stay mixed then you are freezing mainly water which can comprise 65 to 75 percent of the mixture. You know how hard water can get (ice).
An emulsifier doesn't prevent air bubbles or fat droplets from being 'broken.' Emulsifiers break down the globules of milkfat into tinier droplets, dispersing them among tinier droplets of water. The smaller the droplets of water, the less structural integrity they will have when frozen, i.e. the softer the ice cream and the better the mouthfeel. Stabilizers, on the other hand, play a role in maintaining the foam matrix as well as prevent water activity during prolonged storage.

Nodakkid, to achieve scoopable ice cream, I would try these three things:

1. Additional freezing point depressors. Ice cream contains a certain percentage of unfrozen water. By adding freezing point depressors, this percentage increases and you get a softer, more scoopable end product. Freezing point depressors include:

Sugar (if you can handle additional sweetness, add more sugar, if not, turn to monosaccharides such as glucose or fructose, i.e. try adding some corn syrup or inverting sugar with some acid/heat)
Glycerin
Alcohol
Salt (All desserts can handle/are improved by a small amount of salt)

2. Foam forming ingredients. Just about any ingredient that adds viscosity to the mix will aid in the formation of foam. Proteins work well, such as gelatin or powdered milk. Soluble fiber gum stabilizers also help, such as xanthan gum, guar gum and carageenan.

3. Additional emulsifiers. Egg yolks work well in this regard. Lecithin works even better and impacts the flavor profile less than yolks do.

You can also try whipping the chilled ice cream base before you put it in the machine. You have to be careful with this, though. If you mix contains too much milkfat, the whipping + the churning will create butter.
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