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Rose Knows: Ice Cream

Rose Levy Beranbaum - February 25th, 2014

Rose Levy Beranbaum—award–winning author of The Cake Bible, The Pie and Pastry Bible, The Bread Bible, A Passion for Chocolate, and many more—will be answering baking- and pastry-related questions in her new column on, “Rose Knows.” Her latest cookbook, The Baking Bible, is due to hit the shelves in November 2014 but in the meantime, read more on her blog, Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Question: How do I get the creamiest texture in ice cream?

Answer: There is no excuse to have icy ice cream when you can use a commonly available ingredient such as glucose. Glucose is an invert sugar found in many plants and in great abundance in corn.

Glucose is an essential ingredient in pastry kitchens. It prevents crystallization in sugar syrups and increases the pliability of molten sugar for pulling and shaping without cracking and breaking. It is indispensable for making smooth and creamy ice cream.

Stabilizers such as trimoline can result in a gummy texture and “off” flavor in ice cream, but glucose, used in the proper amount, offers the ideal texture with no unpleasant aftertaste.

(Read more about sugars and their properties in Rose's Sugar Bible.)

For 1 1/2 cups (355ml) of liquid ingredients (not including egg yolks), use 1 Tbsp. (15ml or 21g) of liquid glucose. To maintain the same sweetness level, for every tablespoon of liquid glucose used, reduce the sugar by 1/2 Tbsp. (6.2g).

Additional Ice Cream Tips

  • Use 40 percent heavy cream. Higher butterfat makes for a better ice cream.

  • For the smoothest consistency, make and chill the ice cream mixture a minimum of 6 hours up to 24 hours before churning.

  • Allow the churned ice cream to “ripen” in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours before serving. If it's to be held longer, a neutral vodka or a compatible liqueur, added just before churning, is the best antifreeze to keep it from becoming rock hard. Alternatively, a few second microwave zaps help soften a solidified ice cream.

  • The amount of liqueur to add is: 2 Tbsps. (30ml) liqueur to 1 1/2 cups (355ml) of liquid ingredients.

A Note on Lemon Curd Ice Cream
Lemon curd contributes a fabulous texture to ice cream. The curd can be made several days ahead, and all you need to do is whisk in a few ingredients before churning. Less glucose and vodka are needed, as the lemon curd is already smoothly emulsified and stabilized.

  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml/348g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (118ml/121g) whole milk
  • 2 1/4 Tbsps. (28g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tsps. (25g) liquid glucose
  • 2 Tbsps. (31g) vodka
  • 1 1/4 cups (296ml/330g) lemon curd, chilled

Whisk together heavy cream, milk, sugar, glucose, and vodka; add lemon curd; whisk to incorporate; process according to manufacturer's instructions.

Excerpt from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Sugar Bible, published in Food Arts' April 2000 issue.

Containing 15 to 19.7 percent water, this is an invert sugar found in many plants and in great abundance in corn. It's also susceptible to fermentation if contaminated. Glucose browns at a lower temperature than other sugars and contains a high amount of dextrins (which break down starch)... It's also available as a powder, containing 95 percent solids but is half as sweet as granulated sugar and is effective in preventing crystallization in ice cream and reducing sweetness by replacing some of the sugar. It prevents crystallization in caramel syrups when about 4 percent the weight of the sugar is added.

Invented in Alsace, trimoline, produced from beets, contains about 25 percent water. It's made up of 22 percent invert sugar. It's used in sponges, ganache, ice cream, and anything high in fat because it emulsifies the fat by breaking it down into smaller particles. It's 28 percent sweeter than granulated sugar.