Saturday, February 3, 2024

Ice Cream Recipe Review #1: Dana Cree's Vanilla Ice Cream

“Vanilla Ice Cream” on page 52 of Hello, My name is Ice Cream by Dana Cree

  • The online recipe can be found here.
  • My other vanilla ice cream reviews can be found here.

Note: this is my favorite ice cream recipe book. Not because all the recipes are to my taste (though they mostly are), but because the book explains the chemistry of ice cream, allowing the churner to truly understand what is going on.  If you want to invent your own flavors (or not!) this is the book you need.

This is actually my favorite (thus far) of the vanilla recipes I’ve tried over the years, but I’ve never done a comparison taste test, so I could be misremembering.  And because of that, I'm trying 6-8 different recipes just to see which one is the best.

Substitutions and Techniques:

  • Glucose (that's what the recipe calls for, but I'd normally use tapioca syrup as it's less messy).
  • Madagascar vanilla bean (not vanilla extract),
  • Tapioca starch as the texture agent (the online recipe just says "texture agent of your choice" in the ingredients list).
  • Turbinado sugar instead of white sugar (always) as I prefer the flavor.

I followed the recipe as written except:

  • I didn't remove the bean during step 4, but left it in the custard overnight and fished it out just before churning. 
  • I also added the tapioca starch slurry right at the end of step 5. 
Oddly the online recipe doesn't mention when to use the texture agents, but the book does.  So before you begin cooking the dairy, reserve the appropriate amount of milk in a small bowl and add the texture agent according to the following directions:

If using cornstarch:
  • Use 3 tsp (10g) cornstarch with 2 tbsp (20g) milk and stir to make a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the hot dairy mixture at the beginning of step 5 in the online recipe and stir.  Then temper the egg mixture and continue on with the recipe.
If using tapioca starch:
  • Use 2 tsp (5g) tapioca starch with 2 tbsp (20g) milk and stir to make a slurry.
  • When the dairy mixture is done cooking, remove from heat, add slurry and mix well (at the end of step 5 in the online recipe).

Results:

  • Silky smooth without having to strain the custard (but I did just figure out the trick to reliable egg tempering with this recipe)
  • Nice amount of eggy-custardy flavor (I like that in a vanilla ice cream - it reminds me of the “French Vanilla” from Breyers before they went downhill).
  • Nice amount of vanilla flavor, though I wouldn’t mind it being a tad stronger.
  • It freezes pretty hard in my deep freeze, but perhaps not as hard as others. (A nice-to-have is an ice cream that I don’t have to leave out for 20 minutes before scooping), but I do have to leave this one out.

Uses:

  • I made mini-hot-fudge sundaes when my granddaughter was here several weeks ago, using my grandmother’s hot fudge recipe and it was a big hit.
  • I made a mini ice cream floats two weeks ago with the remaining ice cream: I used 16-ounces/470 ml of root beer/sarsparilla) divided 3 ways, with about 1/4 cup/60 ml of ice cream in each one, and it was the BEST float I’ve ever had - good ice cream really makes a difference.

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