The multi-faceted scientific composition aside, ice cream is not just a block of frozen cream, it is an orchestra of the original ingredients that, when combined, form a symphony of flavours that explode in your mouth. So, what really goes into making the most delicious ice cream to ever touch your lips and turn your tastebuds into a frenzy?
The ice cream industry is mammoth and has grown exponentially through the years, with many ice cream variations being sold across the world. In saying that, it would seem that truly phenomenal ice cream is difficult to come by these days. So many creameries have changed their recipes and tried to get more money for less product. However, the real ice cream makers stick to the original recipe, which means there is no skimping on the milk and cream, and they don’t up the ice cream volume with loads of air.
Many creameries incorporate air into their churning processes. The idea is that the air makes the ice cream light and fluffy, however, true traditional creameries avoid the air and allow their ice cream density to run high, ensuring more delectable ice cream, bursting with flavour.
The best part of any ice cream dream. There are so many heavenly flavours, such as Cookies ‘n Cream, Mint Choc, Coffee, Praline and Double Chocolate, amongst hundreds of others. It’s essential to find just the right amount of flavouring and mixing in the correct amount of chunks is completely crucial. Mushy crumbs don’t add flavour and they certainly don’t instigate a need for more ice cream. The correct ratio of flavour to chunks that don’t go soggy, or just plain flavour, is imperative to exquisite and luscious gelato.
An emulsifier that not only adds richness and texture to ice cream, it also improves the density, and actually boosts the flavour, giving you the creamy part of the ice cream. Ice cream wizards never leave home without it.
This ingredient can contain up to 16% fat, which is the most fat that ice cream makers put into their gelatos. Any more fat than this and the product becomes a highly calorific cholesterol fest that is extremely rich and can only be consumed in small portions. Less fat, more consumption.
Granted, it’s not an ingredient to make your taste buds cry with anticipation, but it holds your ice cream together. It’s an essential component, unless you want a milkshake. Stabilisers provide the texture in ice cream, holding the air bubbles in place. This particular compound also assists in evenly distributing the fat particles throughout the ice cream, ensuring each mouthful is rich and tasty.
Sugar obviously gives ice cream its delicious sweetness, but it also prevents the ice cream from crystallising. In syrup form, the higher the sugar content, the lower the freezing point.
Certain creameries are ice cream assassins. They add more air to their ice cream to pump up the ice cream volume, skimp on the flavour, milk and cream, and try to convince their patrons that theirs is true gelato. Professionally produced gelato is dense ice cream, as one would expect. Correctly-made gelato is decadent, dense and deliciously creamy with just the right ratio of sugar, flavour and stabilisers. Know the difference. It’s what separates the consumers from the connoisseurs.