On a hot summer day, there’s nothing quite like opening a fresh, cold, ice cream cup. But while many enjoy the ice cold treat,little know the scientific processes that go behind making the delicious icy treat. But worry not! Read on to discover exactly how ice cream and gelato is made. We promise it will be a spoon-licking great time!
So..What is ice cream anyway?
At its most basic, ice cream is milk, sugar, eggs, and air. When ice cream is churned, it adds about 50% more air into the mixture, helping it to be creamy and fluffy.
But I still don’t understand. How is it made?
Well now that you’ve asked…ice cream is pretty much a wacky science experiment, that requires the perfect conditions to make it the absolute perfect texture. To make ice cream, you need five components: fat, sugar, ice crystals, air, and other solids. The ice crystals put the ‘ice’ in ice cream. Typically, the smaller the ice crystal, the smoother and less gritty the ice cream will be. The fat is an important element too, because without it, the mixture won’t have a stable, smooth base. And of course, we need the sweet stuff because without sugar, ice cream is more like thick cold milk.
To make ice cream, an emulsion needs to happen. This is the process of combining two substances that would normally not go together. This is where the egg yolk comes in, it helps to emulsify the mixture. For homemade ice cream, one would typically take the ice cream shop supplies and combine the sugar, cream, and egg yolks and create a custard of sorts, allowing it to thicken over heat, stirring it constantly without letting it boil. Once it has thickened, put it into a container and put it in the freezer. For the next three hours, churn the ice cream by hand frequently, until the mixture has become a creamy, smooth ice cream.
Now, all that’s left to do is grab your ice cream shop supplies and get to eating your homemade ice cream!