Whether it is a hot summer day or even a cold winter night, no doubt ice cream will always lighten up your mood. But while most people across the world regularly indulge in this creamy, delicious dessert treat, few know exactly how ice cream is made. In this article, we take a look at the basic process with the use of the best ice cream maker.
First, you will need to select the ingredients to use, weigh them and then blend them together for about eight minutes. This ensures complete mixing of dry ingredients and liquid. Blending the ingredients results in what is known as the “ice cream mix”. This part of the process requires rapid agitation to incorporate powders and usually high-speed blenders are more preferred.
The mix is then pasteurized at 155 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 seconds. Both continuous(HTST) and batch pasteurizes methods are used. Pasteurization helps in killing any existing bacteria while reducing the number of spoilage organisms.
The ice cream mix is then homogenized to reduce the size of the fat particles present in the cream or milk. Two stage homogenization is normally preferred and should take place at the pasteurizing temperature for great results. This part of the process allows better emulsion to be formed thereby resulting into a smoother and creamier ice cream. It also produces better whipping ability and improves melt-down.
Next, the blend/mix is aged at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Aging should take a minimum of four hours or overnight for the best results. This allows the mix to cool down and the milk fat to (partially) crystallize. It also gives the protein stabilizers enough time to hydrate while improving the whipping qualities of the ice cream blend.
Liquid flavors and colors are added at this stage but they can also be added before aging. However, only the liquid ingredients can be added before the freezing stage. This ensures the blend flows with ease through the freezing machines.
In this part of the ice cream making process, the mix can be frozen in continuous or batch freezers. Portion of the water is frozen (about 50%) and air is whipped into the frozen mix to give the ice cream its characteristic lightness. The ice cream mix is usually pumped through the freezer and then drawn off the other end in 30 seconds or 10-15 minutes (for the case of batch freezers). By the time the mix leaves the freezer, it is often in the form of soft-serve ice cream.
To the soft serve ice cream, add your fruit purees and any bulky type of flavorings you might have such as nuts, candy. The ingredients are added at this point because if added before the freezing stage, they would not allow a smooth flow of the ice cream blend through the freezer.
Finally the ice cream is packaged as desired.
The step involves static freezing of the packaged ice cream in blast freezers at -30 degrees to -40 degrees Celsius. At this point, the remaining unfrozen water is frozen. The ice cream should then be allowed to remain at a holding temperature of less than -13 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain product quality by preventing development of ice crystal.
Knowing what is the ice cream making process will serve you well in life. Plus, once you master the process, you are well on your way to making the ice cream of your dreams.