Ice cream is a smooth, creamy frozen dessert that is often made with dairy products. It is eaten in most countries of the world. It was first eaten in 18th century England and America and is still extremely popular today. There are thousands of flavors of ice-cream ranging from plain vanilla to double choc chip. But how is ice-cream made and how do you make your own ice-cream? Read on to find out.
How Is Ice-Cream Made Commercially?
Since the development of industrial refrigeration by the German Carl von Linde in the 1870’s ice-cream has been manufactured commercially. There are numerous steps to making ice-cream commercially. First the ingredients of the ice-cream are blended together in large steel vats. The mixture is then forced through a fine nozzle at high pressure to homogenize it. This makes the fat molecules in the mixture the same size giving the ice-cream its smooth texture. The mixture is then heated at high temperatures for 15 seconds to pasteurize the ice-cream. It is then rapidly cooled to kill any unwanted and harmful bacteria. The mixture is left to stand for 2 to 4 hours to increase its thickness. The fat molecules solidify at this time and the colors and flavors are added to the ice-cream. After the set amount of time has passed the mixture is then frozen. While it is freezing the ice-cream is beaten to ensure no large ice crystals form in the mixture. The beating also adds air into the cells creating a creamer and smoother texture. The mixture is then molded and made into ice-cream sticks and cones and packaged into ice-cream cartons. Finally the ice-cream is frozen at a lower temperature to harden it before being transported to consumers.
Home-Made Ice Cream
There are a number of different ways that you can make ice-cream at home. The first and easiest is with an ice-cream maker. Simply mix together your ingredients and place them into your ice-cream maker as per the appliances instructions. But if you don’t have an ice-cream maker you can still make ice-cream at home.
Ice-Cream in a bag:
What you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup milk or half & half
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoons rock salt
- 1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
- 1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
- Ice cubes
How to make it:
- Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
- Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
- Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
- Shake until the mixture is ice cream (solid), which takes about 5 minutes.
- Wipe off the top of the small bag, and then open it carefully. Enjoy!
Ice-Cream in the Freezer:
- Decide on the flavor of ice cream you want to make
- Find a suitable recipe, get the ingredients, make up the mixture
- Pour your freshly prepared mixture into a fairly wide bowl and put in your refrigerator to chill for between 1 and 2 hours. How long will depend upon whether you’ve actually heated up or cooked any of the ingredients when making the mixture.
- When mixture is cold, remove from the refrigerator and put into your freezer for 30-40 minutes.
- Take the bowl out and check the state of the mixture – it should have started freezing from the outside edges in but not be fully frozen in the centre of the bowl.
- Place the bowl onto a work surface and beat the mixture well, breaking up any ice crystals and making it smooth again.
- Put the bowl back into your freezer and wait another 30-40 minutes.
- Repeat steps 5 through to 7
- Repeat steps 5 and 6
- Put the bowl back into the freezer for the final time and check every 30 minutes or so until your ice cream is frozen and ready to eat.
Ice-Cream the Original Way
You will need:
- Large bowl
- Smaller metal bowl to fit inside the large bowl
- Ice-cream mixture (cream, sugar, vanilla essence)
How to make it:
- Fill the large bowl ¼ of the way up with ice and salt mixture (make sure that the ice begins to melt a bit and that the temperature in the bowl in really, really cold)
- Place the smaller metal bowl inside the larger bowl. Make sure that the ice is surrounding the metal bowl completely (you may need to rotate the bowl to get in to sink into the ice)
- Place the ingredients for your ice-cream inside the metal bowl
- Stir the ingredients to combine and keep stirring so that the mixture does not freeze hard
- Continue to stir the ingredients until the mixture becomes ice-cream (it should harden to look a bit like soft serve ice-cream)