Friday, April 20, 2007

Ice cream, in practice

For the first two days of class, see here.

The third day of class was given over to hands-on ice cream production.

I made my fair share of ice cream when I was in the States for the summer there nine months ago, sometimes by myself, sometimes with a partner in crime. There was strawberry, black raspberry, peach and apple cider ice cream. (Are you seeing a farmers market seasonal progression?) Oh, and olive oil ice cream, too.

But those were all in a little $50 Cuisinart ice cream maker. Don't get me wrong. I love that thing. And I miss it now that I'm here and it's in the States.

But in class here, we were using a $20,000 Italian machine.

We made 12 batches, some of which were slight variations on another. For example, we made two lemon ice creams, one with emulsifier and another with emulsifier and stabilizer.

We also made two versions of dulce de leche, one with an almost black, highly concentrated, prescription-only dulce de leche. It gave the ice cream such a toasted flavor that it was almost coffee-like. Then we made another with a combination of the super dulce de leche and standard-issue dulce de leche. The flavor was more balanced and less aggressive.

The flavors we made:

limón al agua
pomelo al agua
frutilla al agua
crema americana
dulce de leche
chocolate granizado con café

Crema americana was the most interesting for me. I never really had a good handle on what this was, even though it's on every menu. It's just milk ice cream. No vanilla. No lemon zest. No cinnamon. It takes like sweet milk.

It might seem odd for a product that is frozen, but there is really nothing better than freshly made ice cream right out of the machine.

By the end of the day, we had made dozens of kilos of ice cream. They offered to let us take some home, but at that point, the last thing I wanted was more ice cream.

I asked what they did with all the leftover ice cream.

Some of it they give away to people in the neighborhood. A little of it goes to the vegetable stall down the block in trade. And the rest of it they give away to the old folks home.

I hope when I am old, someone brings me ice cream.

1 comment:

miss tango in her eyes said...

OMG! Ice cream school. I have two favorite flavours of gelato back home. Ginger and Chocolate Chili.