Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 20: Homemade Ice Cream with Raspberry Swirl

Well, that was the idea anyway, it didn't quite work out that way.  I have done homemade ice cream several times before so I decided I was going to try something a little different this time.  I know you can add a layer of syrup to the ice cream just as its finishing up in the machine and you'll get a flavored swirl in the finished product.  So that's what I set out to try and do, unfortunately, it didn't quite work out properly, but it was close.

So, lets start with the basics, I really prefer a custard rather than a basic ice cream, so I start out scalding the milk (which you should always do) and separating a bunch of egg yolks.  The egg yolks get beaten together with my sugar while the milk scalds and then the most complicated part of the whole procedure starts, tempering the eggs.  Basically what that means is you very slowly add the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture while stirring constantly.  Especially at the start its a pain because the egg mixture is really thick and gloppy, but you have to add really really slowly and whatever you do, don't stop stirring, if you do you get very sweet scrambled eggs.  Anyway, once the mixture is combined and tempered properly I put it back on the heat and let it simmer until it thickened and darkened just a bit, causing it to look a bit like this:
With that done its time for phase one of the waiting game.  Let the mixture cool, then put it in the fridge and go to sleep.  Seriously, let it cool completely overnight before you do anything with it, it helps a lot and makes for a much better ice cream in the end.

With the next morning the waiting game part two begins.  Turn on the machine (I've got the kind with the frozen bowl that moves with a fixed scoop inside of it) and pour in the mix.  Mine took about 40 minutes before it had increased in volume by about 50% and started to thicken up, and honestly I probably should have waited a bit longer to let it firm up even further.  Just as I would normally go to take out the ice cream, I started pouring in my raspberry sauce from about two weeks ago.  This is where things kinda worked and kinda didn't.  I could see a seam form in the ice cream as it mixed and as I poured in the sauce, but unfortunately my sauce was too much sauce not enough syrup.  The result is that it started to just blend in rather than make a nice stream of sauce.  So it kinda worked.

After I finished with the sauce in the ice cream I started pouring it out into my final storage container, but instead of just pouring and scooping everything out at once I did it in layers with some more of the sauce in between each layer.  The mixture was a bit too soupy (from the extra liquid in my sauce I think) so it mixed more than layered, but it was close.  You can see what it looked like before I set it in to freeze hard below.
That's the mixture that went into the freezer for the final hard freeze.  Normally I like to leave it in there for at least 8 hours and get a good solid hard freeze, but I got a bit antsy tonight and pulled it out after 4 hours for a sample.  It hadn't quite frozen solid all the way through, but it was enough to give me some idea of how the experiment had gone.  In short, I had some streaks of syrup throughout, but not quite the layers you get from the store and that I had wanted, but for a first attempt, it wasn't bad.

Overall I would judge the experiment a mild success.  I got a good batch of ice cream, with a couple streaks of what I wanted, and enough knowledge that I think I'd be completely comfortable trying again.  It was also nice to push myself a bit after so many easy meals for myself.  I think I've got another couple good ones that I'll be trying during this week.  So far I've actually been coming up with things to try faster than I've burned through them, hopefully it keeps up.

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