What is an Ice cream?
Ice cream is a soft and sweet frozen food made using milk, cream and typically some original fruit extract or ready-made flavours like vanilla, rose or any other such ingredients. It is eaten both as a snack and a dessert. It has been one of the most popular treats for hundreds of years but has commonly come into existence only after the introduction of the refrigerator. The dairy products like milk and cream were frequently used along with some dry fruits and real flavours like fruits etc. The popular rise of ice cream has led to a number of ice cream variations including frozen custard, frozen yoghurt and even non-dairy versions made using coconut milk. Lately with the introduction and the advancements in the equipment, the trend of custom ice cream flavours has come into force.
The United States has set standards regarding the composition that is to be considered while making ice cream. According to those standards, the ice cream must contain 10%-16% milk fat. It is because the higher milk fat gives a smoother texture to the ice cream as they contain a lower amount of water and therefore, fewer ice crystals. The ice-creams that contain less than 10% milk fat are referred to ‘ice milk’ and are ‘low fat’ ice cream.
Other than milk and cream, the ice cream also consists of some stabilizers such as gluten so as to help to maintain the mixture a consistent texture. To add sweetness, the sugar or sugar substitutes are usually added to the composition of ice cream. Although the sugar added ice creams have not gained much popularity as the maximum people loved to have ice creams flavoured and sweetened with the original fruit extracts or the ones with the natural milk sugar for subtle sweetness. Out of the exotic fruit flavours from mango and pomegranate to unusual flavours like coffee and basil, people prefer trying numerous flavours both savoury and sweet.
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How is it made?
A lot of special techniques are employed in the process of making ice cream with smaller ice crystals and also incorporates air, producing a soft and creamy texture. The experts keep on constantly churning the ice cream so that the stiff ice crystals do not form within the mixture. This process also serves to introduce air and create a foam-like texture, along with softening the mixture. Salt is also used in the process of making ice cream as it lowers the melting point of ice, helping it to freeze at a quicker rate.
When the mixture is into the freezing process, it produces smaller ice crystals and a softer final product. The salt used never comes in contact with the ice cream and therefore it does not affect the sodium content. The salt filled ice is therefore packed around an inner ice cream chamber that keeps the ice cream in and the salt out.
Along with the traditional methods and equipment for making ice cream, liquid nitrogen and dry ice can also be used to make custom ice cream in Florida as they are able to produce a quick freezing action.