Ice Cream Calculator

by 18 Jun, 2019Editorials, Recipes

I never thought making ice cream could be difficult until I started making them myself.

Ice cream is very different from cooking where you can adjust the taste and and flavour to your preferences. I tried making ice cream at home by using the “whipping cream” method where you fold in your milk and sugar to your bowl of whipped cream and freeze it overnight to get a bowl of smooth and silky ice cream.

These are the three biggest problem I encountered using such a method:

1.Crystallization.
My ice cream became grainy and it tasted icy or crunchy as a result of the little ice crystals which formed within the ice cream mix.

2. Inconsistent texture or structure
My ice cream was either too hard to be scoop out or it doesn’t get frozen enough even after storing in the freezer overnight.

3. Weird aftertaste
There is an eggy aftertaste that lingers in the mouth and throat. The ice cream also has a waxy and oily texture to it.

So I thought maybe I needed an ice cream maker to do the churning in order to get to the texture of a store-bought ice cream. It was not long later when my beloved husband gifted me with semi profession cusine art ice cream maker. Here I thought with the correct equipment I would be able to achieve a nice silky-smooth ice cream texture. But again, my ice cream failed again batch after batch. That was when I decided that I needed to sign up for some courses to equip myself with some ice cream making knowledge in order to make proper ice cream.

During the course, it felt like I was attending a science/ maths more than an ice cream making class. Throughout the course we were just glued to our calculators trying to work out formulas and percentages of fats, sugar and non fat milk solids to ensure we had the correct balance.

1. THE BASE MIX:

There were basically two types of ice cream base that we mainly used.

1.Hot base 50 – for making cream based ice cream
2.Fruit base – for making sorbet

With the base mix, you could customize your flavour with the fundamental rule that all the base mix ingredients (shown in the ice cream calculator below) had to fall within a certain percentage range.

For example if you wanted to do a chocolate and hazelnut ice cream, you would need to know the percentage of fats, sugar, total solids and MSNF that the chocolate and hazelnut paste contained (Our Ice Cream Calculator comes with the breakdown of these figures for many ingredients automatically). Just select the desired ingredient in the yellow dropdown box and the table would then auto generate the percentage of the sugar, fats, total solids and MSNF. In the bottom row of the box for BASE MIX, it shows you range of values of the ideal percentages of sugar, fats, total solids and MSNF for your cross reference. Once you have balanced out the percentages to ensure they are all within the green, you are now a a properly balanced BASE MIX.

There are 3 types of BASE MIX which involves the following ingredients 

White Base Yellow Base Chocolate Base

Milk

Cream

Sucrose

Dry Glucose

Skimmed Milk Powder

BASE 50 (Stabilizer)

Milk

Egg Yolk

Cream

Sucrose

Dry Glucose

Skimmed Milk Powder

BASE 50 (Stabilizer) 

Milk

Cream

Dark Chocolate

Cocoa Powder

Sucrose

Dry Glucose

Skimmed Milk Powder

BASE 50 (stabilizer)

The key here is balance! Every ingredients has to be in the correct proportion and ratio.

Example: If you want to make a chocolate hazelnut ice cream. You will take the chocolate base and add in hazelnut paste to it. However by adding the hazelnut paste, the sugar, fats, MSNF and solids will change. This is where you may use the excel sheet below to help you work out balancing those values. If the ratios falls out of the range of ideal percentage, you will need to add in more milk or sugar for example, to balance the proportions again.

2. PASTEURIZATION

There are a few reasons why we need to pasteurize the ice cream base.

1.This is is to kill pathogenic bacteria to make food safe for consumption
2.Melt the sugar properly
3.Melting the fat globules
4.Improving the final taste
5.activation of the stabilizers

3. AGING TIME

You need to leave your ice cream either in the pasteurizer or in the fridge for at least 4-12 hours. Aging the mix cools it down before freezing, allows the milk fat to partially crystallize and the gives the proteins stabilizers time to hydrate.

4. STABLISERS

There are 2 types of stabilizer which we are use here. One is called hot base 50 which is used in making milk based ice cream that requires pasteurization. The other one is called the fruit base FC. If you google online, you can probably find a few retailers selling them in smaller quantity. This kind of commercial stabilizers are more convenient and straight forward.
If you doesn’t want to use the commercial stabilizer, you can also stabilize your ice cream mix by creating your own.

The type of stabilizers ingredients that is found in ice cream mix are:
1.Sucrose – which is also basically sugar in layman terms. It helps to form small ice crystal to create the creaminess texture in ice cream.
2.Dextrose – it helps to create softness to the texture by reducing the ice crystals form during the freezing process.
3.Dry glucose – provides stability and structure to the ice cream
4.Skimmed milk powder – absorbs excess water and givers a milkier, creamier flavor.

5. TEMPERATURE

The ideal serving temperature for most packaged, scoopable ice cream is 5–10 degrees. Therefore it is important that we keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 40° F (4° C). The freezer temperature should be 0° F (-18° C).

In a commercial ice cream parlor, shock freezer is often used to freeze ice cream down rapidly so as to create a protective shell on it. It would also helps to reduce or eliminate crystallization. The fridge you have at home is not designed to rapidly bring down the temperature of the food which we store inside. Thus, while the ice cream is put in these kind of freezer, the ice cream would starts to melt and it gives the opportunity for ice crystal to be formed. If you are serious about making artisan ice cream at home, you might want to seriously consider investing in a blast chiller.

BOTTOM RULE

Making ice cream is more of a science and maths thing rather than going with your intuitive and preferences. Balancing the ingredients is essential in making a prefect ice cream and there is no shortcut to it. I hope the excel calculator will aid you in making your dream homemade artisan ice cream! Have fun experimenting!