Vanilla Ice Cream: Take 2

Welcome back to the blog, friend’os.

Last time, I discussed this really bangin’ Salted Caramel Ice Cream that I made. I’m still salivating over how delicious it was (partially because there’s still a bit left in my freezer), and I definitely plan on making (and eating) more of this in the future.

This time, we’re going to be discussing take-two of a previous experiment: Vanilla Ice Cream. I’ve been wanting to give Vanilla Ice Cream another go since the last time I made it, which was also the first time I had ever made ice cream myself.

Without further adieu, in the words of Super Mario, here we goooo!

What happened last time I made Vanilla Ice Cream, and how will this time be different?

The last time I made Vanilla Ice Cream, it tasted pretty spot-on, but the consistency was a bit too icy. In fact, it was so very icy that it would make Eskimos shiver.

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Guys, I’m really sorry about my terribly cheesy sense of humor…

I attributed this iciness to a few different issues. For one, I didn’t salt the ice in the ice bowl while churning the mix (like a noob), so the mix never really froze at all before going into the freezer for the deep freezing stage. Additionally, I used a high milk-to-cream ratio, resulting in a lower fat ice cream mix – and since we learned in a previous post that fat gets in between large ice crystals and prevents them from taking over, this lower fat content made for an icier ice cream.

This time around, armed with this knowledge and more experience making ice cream, I decided to seek out an ice cream recipe more suitable to my taste than the previous one I used. I came across this recipe from Serious Eats that uses a 2:1 cream-to-milk ratio. It also uses many more eggs yolks, which serve to greatly enrich the fat content of the mix. All of this should work wonders for the ice cream’s overall consistency, but it will undoubtedly increase the caloric impact of the ice cream. Many may view this as a negative, but I’m just fine with that 🙂

The thing that I really like about this recipe is that it is super straightforward. It gives you a basic recipe to start with, a cooking ratio if you will, that you can then work from in the future based on your personal preference. The basic ingredient ratio at play here is the following:

2 cups cream : 1 cup milk : 6 eggs : ¾ cup sugar

Add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract and salt to that, and voila, you’ve got yourself some amazing Vanilla Ice Cream. At first, this ratio may seem a little complicated and a lot to wrap your head around, but once you make it a few times, it will start to become second nature. Once you know a cooking ratio such as this, experimentation becomes much, much easier. Maybe next time, you’ll want to cut down on the cream, so you’ll add a little more milk. Or perhaps you find this ice cream to eggy so you’ll cut the number of eggs in half. Whatever the case may be, knowing this ratio can only help you along your path to making ice cream the way you love it.

Personally, I love super rich and creamy ice cream, so I’m really excited to see how this ice cream turns out!!

Making the ice cream

To make the Vanilla Ice Cream base, I followed this recipe from Serious Eats. Note that instead of using full eggs, I just used egg yolks – still not certain how this will impact the consistency or taste of the ice cream, so perhaps this should be the topic of a future blog experiment?

Making the ice cream base is super straightforward if you follow the recipe above. Just be sure to mix everything very well and to not cook the base too quickly – put it on medium heat and let it slowly heat up until it reaches approximately 170ºF.

After allowing the mix to cool in the fridge overnight, I then set up my ice bowl and followed this recipe to churn the mix.

Observations / Improvements for next time

I think that I whisked the ice cream with my hand mixer for too long, or perhaps on too high of a setting. Once I had finished whisking the first time, I realized that the mix was extremely fluffy, and it seemed to have expanded greatly in size, taking up more of the bowl than it previously had. Then, when I went to mix it the second time after the ice cream had sat in the freezer for a bit, I noticed that it was even more fluffy than before. I made 1 quart of ice cream mix initially, and once the ice cream had been whisked and was ready for deep freezing, I poured it into 2 1-quart containers. This means that the ice cream I made had a 100% overrun; in other words, this ice cream is 50% air.

I like ice cream that is very dense, so I’m a bit skeptical about this…however, girlfriend clearly approves:

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