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Aerating Donvier ice cream

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Any suggestions on how to aerate ice cream in a Donvier ice cream maker? Would whipping the cream before adding it to the custard do the trick? And if so, should it be done before chilling the mixture or after, but before stirring.
Or would it be best to get a refrigerating ice cream maker? If so, which would give the best results and be reliable?
post #2 of 12
Unless you have something specific in mind, you don't want to aerate the cream. You want as little air in there as possible for a smooth cream without ice crystals.

It's possible to make a very light frozen mousse by chilling the custard until it's almost set and folding whipped cream (and possibly egg whites) into it, dividing it into smallish, individual servings, chilling until set, then finally freezing as quickly as possible.

But, the dasher in most ice cream makers is an anti-aerator and will destroy your careful folding while it churns. So, you need some other way to make a frozen mousse -- a blast chiller or some sort of liquid nitrogen setup for instance.

Theory aside, and to give you a straight answer, the best way to hold air in ice cream is to use one of several stabilizers, chill the base as much as possible without freezing it, then freezing it as quickly and with as little agitation as possible.

Tell us a little about what kind of ice cream you enjoy, and how much of it your family manages to pack away -- and we can straighten you out on the theory and technique of ice cream, and hook you up with something nice. Chances are a simple Cuisinart will serve you well and cheaply.

post #3 of 12
strange, i had replied to this yesterday but the posts i made before the forums were closed didn;t get saved.
Anyway, I make ice cream (based on julia child et al's mastering the art of french cooking, i think vol 2) with a meringue italienne base. You boil the sugar syrup and pour slowly, beating, over beaten egg whites. Then add melted chocolate, or nothing, and when it's cool you fold in whipped cream. The meringue keeps the ice cream soft and fluffy, even just putting it in the freezer without stirring, and without an ice cream maker. It never forms crystals. It doesn;t work for formulas with too much water - like with high water fruit like strawberries - though i have managed to do it with bananas and i think apricots.
I never tried adding meringue italienne to an ice cream maker because i don;t have one, but it would be pointless, since the resulting ice cream is creamy and smooth, absolutely wonderful. I can give you the recipe fi you don;t have M the A of F. C. - if you do it;s under "st cyr" i think.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks to both for your replies. Our situation is as follows: We live both in the US and abroad. The store-bought (French) vanilla ice cream that is available to us in the US is quite good enough, but that overseas is not, forcing us to make our own. The quantities are roughly one quart a week. We do prefer a moderately aerated ice cream.
BDL, you mentioned stabilizers-- even though our local favorite French Vanilla doesn't use any, I'd like to know what you recommend and where to get it.
Siduri--We do have MAFC and have found your reference. Thanks.
So it seems that we should be able to address our problem without either the Donvier or a Cuisinart ice cream maker. Some specific suggestions on techniques for making a simple good French vanilla ice cream would be welcome from both of you.
post #5 of 12
If you want to make a good, typical American ice cream you're going to need an ice cream churn. No two ways about it. The MAFC recipe is a frozen mousse and not "ice cream" in the sense we Americans normally use it. (Nor for that matter is it a gelato).

I'm hesitant to recommend a machine to take to Europe without knowing what's available there. Which country are you going to, BTW?

Here in the US, there are a number of good machines -- the obvious choices are the basic Cuisinart and the Kitchen Aid attachment for their stand mixer. Neither of these rely on ice and salt, but get their "cold" from pre-freezing the churn body. The Cuisinart is relatively inexpensive and relatively well made (especially compared to the Donvier), and the KA is more expensive and fairly well made. IMO the Cuisinart is more than good enough. If the differences in current mean you don't want to take an American electrical appliance to Europe -- that's probably a smart thing.

Rather than recommending a hand cranked machine, I'd suggest purchasing something overthere. There are a bunch of very good European manufactuers -- and the appliance itself doesn't need to be expensive.

French vanilla ice cream is really a case in point for using a machine. If you want the dense, heavy smoothness of that style of ice cream, you need to churn. The only alternative methods mean making a very different product. A French vanilla is more frozen custard than an "iced cream," and accordingly it's very important to keep the texture very smooth, dense and free from air bubbles. Also, bear in mind that you have to make a cooked custard before you freeze it -- which obviously means going through all the steps to cook a custard.

If you want something more convenient and less rich, you can beat four egg yolks very smooth, and add them along with vanilla extract and sugar (to taste) to a pint each of half and half and cream, chill in the fridge, and then freeze in your maker. But ... you'll be missing something special.

The following recipe is for a very rich French vanilla ice cream in the "boutique ice cream" style, rather than even a high-end like Ben and Jerry's. If you prefer it lighter, cut down the number of egg yolks to 9, and use regular milk instead of light cream. If you prefer richer, go all heavy cream, and enjoy your nap.

High Maintenance, But Worth It

(Makes about 1-1/2 qt)

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup light cream, very cold (Alterantively, you may use all heavy cream or all light cream, divided)
2 vanilla beans
12 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar, divided
3 tbs honey, or light brown, or muscovy sugar
pinch table or fine sea salt (not iodized if possible; and note: kosher salt won't dissolve correctly)
(Optional) Liqueur or spirt for flavoring

Put the the cream, remaining sugar, honey and salt in a pan. Split the vanilla beans, remove the seeds by scraping with a knife and transfer the seeds to the pan. When the pods have been scraped as best you can, add them to the pan as well. Set the pan over medium heat, and heat until just before boiling point, stirring occasionally. If the cream begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat and allow to steep.

Meanwhile, separate the yolks from the whites. Reserve the whites for another purpose. Whisk the yolks until they are combined; then add 1/2 cup of the sugar, a little at a time whisking between additions. Continue beasting after the sugar is completely added until the eggs are a light, lemony color and very smooth. This takes several minutes by hand.

When the eggs are beaten, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice, and setting a slightly smaller bowl in the ice.

The cream should still be very warm (at least as hot as hot chocolate for a child). If it isn't, reheat slightly. Using a wooden spoon, stir the egg mixture with one hand as best you can, while slowly pouring about 1/2 cup of the warm cream into them. This "tempers" the eggs so they won't scramble. Now reverse the process and gradually stir the egg mixture into the reamining cream.

Once the eggs are in, return the pan to low heat and cook until thickened, stirring slowly so as not to add air to the mixture. The mixture will thicken as it cooks. Every few minutes remove the spoon from the mixture and draw a line across the back of spoon's bowl with your finger. If the cream from above runs into the line, the mix needs to cook longer. When the line stays clean, the cream is done. (By the way, this level of thickening is called "nappe" and is a very useful thing to know.) Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the refrigerated light cream, to stop it from cooking. If you like you may add a shot of liqueur, rum, cognac or bourbon at this point.

Pour the base through a sieve coarse enough to allow the vanilla seeds to pass, but fine enough to catch any egg which may have scrambled and break up any bubbles, into the ice-bath. Stir occasionally until the mixture is cooled, careful not add air. Cover the top with of the small bowl with cling wrap, transfer to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly. At least two hours, preferably longer (even overnight). Note: The purpose of all this chilling is to allow the ice cream to freeze as quickly as possible, preventing the formation of large ice crystals which make the cream grainy instead of smooth.

Transfer the base to your ice cream maker, by pouring through the sieve again; and process according to directions. Be careful not to over-churn (makes it grainy). Remove from the ice-cream maker, transfer to the freezer to harden and fully ripen -- about two hours. Will retain its startling, homemade freshness for up to 24 hours.

Hope this helps,
post #6 of 12
I forgot to talk about stabilizers. I don't recommend them. They're useful for commercial purposes -- to help ice cream hold its texture when it undergoes a lot of temp changes from plant, to loading dock, to truck, to loading dock, to cold box and so on. If for some reason I wanted to stabilize home made ice cream, I'd look to locust, guar and xanthin in that order. I have no expertise in this area other than to say: Make it fresh and eat it before it gets old.

Not to hammer a point or anything, BUT: As a practical matter you can't make good ice cream without an ice cream churn. Mousse, yes. Granita, yes. Sorbet, okay. Sherbet, sort of. Ice cream, not really. I went back to MAFC, Vol II and reread the entire section. For whatever reason, Child worked around churns in MAFC -- I suspect because they weren't common in France then; but she certainly endorsed them in her later cooking; and they are certainly common all through Europe now.

post #7 of 12
They have home ice cream makers here, but i would hesitate to call them churns. They have this little cylindrical thingy that goes into the freezer with its cord through the door, and it makes a very small amount of ice cream. Of course they have them for gelaterie, but if someone has one at home, it;s a little thing to go in the freezer. (Natural, since there is no way to find ice here). The meringue-based ice cream is not at all like american ice cream or anything else for that matter. But since you were asking about aerating, i thought you might like this very airy version. I've made it in vanilla as well as chocolate. Just do everything like the recipe without adding the chocolate. Add vanilla to the whipped cream.

However don;t expect it to be like american "french vanilla ice cream" - it's a different thing, soft and airy.
If your purpose is to reproduce american french vanilla ice cream you'll have to use bdl's recipe or another.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, BDL. Very informative. The NY Times had a review of ice cream makers, and recommended the Salton ICM 15 (no longer being made), the Deni Compressor 5300 (some bad reviews as far as reliability-- would really hate to take it overseas) and the Cuisinart ICE-50BC (noisy, bulky but otherwise fine). So I'm inclined to go with the Cuisinart. I'd rather get the compressor model than the one where you have to pre-chill the bowl. I have a big enough transformer to run a US model from a 220V mains.
However-- Siduri, are you out there in Rome still following this thread? Are there any European equivalents of the Cuisinart, more or less in the $250 range?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 


Success! I bought a Cuisinart ICE 50 BC in the US for around $250. It is rated at 110V 1,8Amps. So any 220/110V transformer rated for over 250 Watts (500 Watts to be on the safe side) should do. The company won't give any assurances but mine worked just fine. (It is every bit as noisy as some reviewers have commented, but that can't be helped.)
There is a 220V model, the ICE 50 BCU, available only in the UK and costs twice as much as the US model. A transformer is much cheaper...
We used a recipe that calls for 2 eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 cup milk and 3" vanilla bean. Cook over low heat and cool. Add 2 cups cream and refrigerate.
Add the cold mixture to the Cuisinart. I set it for 50 minutes but it reached freezing and stopped at around 40 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plastic container without letting it melt and place in the freezer.
Result-- the best vanilla ice cream we have ever had!
post #10 of 12

Congratulations on your new ice cream maker, and especially on the vanishing vanilla ice cream.

post #11 of 12
Ok...here's another one of your recipies I've got to try.

I'm starting to wonder, is there anything you don't know?


post #12 of 12
According to Linda, pretty much everything.

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