DL’s chocolate sorbet is one of my favorite frozen things. It is rich, super rich, quintessential chocolate.
Yesterday I made David Lebovitz’s Rum Raisin Ice Cream.
Wow, it’s what I’m always hoping for when I eat rum raisin. You can really taste the rum which it the most important quality to me in rum raisin ice cream. The texture is lovely as the healthy dose of rum keeps it soft. Fair warning, my husband who doesn’t drink found the rum flavor too strong.
I soaked the raisins overnight.
This is the rum I used.
I’ve been making ice cream for a few years now. Perfect Scoop has some of the best flavor recommendations, but there’s much science not covered about how to tweak the ice cream base itself to improve its texture, mouthfeel and characteristics.
For example, most of the bases follow a pattern of egg yolks + a fairly high fat %. In my experience, this leads to an ice cream that freezes up firm in storage, spends too little time churning (< 15 mins) and has too high a fat %, which dulls some flavors.
I saw immense improvements to flavor and texture after researching things on my own.
Dropping the fat % leads to iciness, but there is where a little science comes in. Using skim milk powder + increasing the milk : cream ratio drops the fat % while simultaneously improving texture.
Replacing some of the sugar with alternate sugars drops the freezing point, improves the texture and reduces perceived sweetness at the same time, allowing the ice creams to be scooped straight from the freezer.
Knowing the why behind ice cream making is largely a matter of balancing these variables in a formula, allowing you to craft new combinations with confidence, knowing that the texture will turn out right.
For a book that covers this, I recommend peeking at “My name is ice cream” by Dana Cree. While I’m not crazy about the recipes themselves, Dana covers the science in a really approachable way, and that new found knowledge can be re-applied to Lebovitz’s excellent flavor ideas. For a less approachable intro, Underbelly covers this info in far more detail.
My favorite flavor so far is a Vietnamese Coffee flavor I developed on my own. It uses freshly pulled espresso and condensed milk, which delivers the most coffee flavor of all methods I’ve attempted.
I’ve been playing around with making vegan ice cream, which has turned out to be a rather tricky endeavor. While the science is the same, it’s tricky to get the right proportion of ingredients to taste right. Coconut milk, cashew milk, cocoa butter… it’s tricky to match up to dairy which is why many vegan shops stick to potent flavors and textures to hide this.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I plan to order Hello, My Name is Ice Cream.
However, I have not had the problems you describe with David Lebovitz’s recipes.
The flavors come through loud and clear. In fact, my husband complained that the rum raisin ice cream tasted too strongly of rum. I disagree; I thought it was perfect. I can’t imagine a more flavorful ice cream than the roasted strawberry/miso ice cream.
Many of his recipes call for alcohol which makes for a nice texture.
I don’t mind leaving it out of the freezer for a few minutes to soften; in fact, I always find this necessary with commercial ice cream.
Mine have been churning for about 25 minutes, not less than 15 minutes as you mentioned.
Enjoy the book!
I’ve done a few variations on strawberry ice cream, first a roasted strawberry and starting last year, I used uncooked strawberries macerated in salt + (half the total) sugar + balsamic to intensify their flavor before blending them into a chilled plain base. My recipe uses 40% strawberries by weight.
While the roasted strawberry flavor tastes great already, using uncooked, in-season fruit was a revelation. A lower fat % recipe let the nuances of the fresh fruit shine through.
I found the same when developing a matcha flavor where the matcha’s umami and fragrance came through better when I rebalanced down to about 1:1 milk & cream (from 2:1).
Here are a few pics of the strawberry ice cream making process, starting with ripe strawberries to what things look like for me when I transfer from the machine to container. The “stickier” and more dense it comes out of the machine, the better the texture will be when it hardens.
(It’s worth noting that I make most batches as pints, so that roughly half-pound of berries shown is for a 500g/pint portion.)
texture looks ready to eat, bravo, great tips.
If you ever want to try another rum raisin ice cream, I really like Anna Markow’s. I suspect your husband might find it too boozy as well, though:
I made Jeni Britton Bauer’s basic ice cream base and flavored it with 2/3 cup malted milk powder. Truthfully I think I could go up to 3/4 cup next time. I find the ice cream a touch sweet, which is likely due to the malted milk being a bit sweet. It’s really delicious, even though I forgot to add vanilla extract. Jeni’s base obviously produces a very dense, smooth and creamy ice cream. My Cuisinart ice cream maker kind of struggled a little with it.
I am scanning the thread for the one you bought. HALP!
This is the one I bought. I’m very happy with it.
I bought some frozen cherries upon seeing them at the supermarket because they’re easily one of my favorite fruits and I haven’t had one in so long. I was planning on making a cherry focaccia as a change from the grape focaccia that I love so much, and David Lebovitz’s toasted almond ice cream with candied cherries, but using Jeni Britton Bauer’s ice cream base. When I opened the bag I reconsidered the focaccia and decided to go ahead and use them all for the ice cream, figuring I’d use extra cherries in syrup for anything that might benefit.
So it turns out these are sour cherries. The package just says cherries, but it’s obvious once you taste them that these are not sweet cherries. They have not just the tartness, but that distinct cinnamon-like flavor that I always find in sour cherries. I adore sour cherries, but if I’d known that’s what I was working with, I would have planned differently. I’d have bought another pack and made sour cherry sorbet at the very least, not to mention pie or strudel. I cooked these down a fair amount so they got candied, and Lebovitz does call for sour cherries as an option here, but I’ve only made this ice cream with sweet cherries, so I hope it won’t be too tart an addition.
The tart cherries in the sweet ice cream will provide a good, zingy contrast. Sounds delicious!
I do love the combo, but I also really like cherry ice cream where the cherries sort of blend into the sweet base more, and that’s the type of cherry ice cream my mom likes (she’s not much for tartness), so hopefully she’ll enjoy this. My plan was to reduce the sugar in Jeni’s base because I find it a little sweet as is, but with these cherries the full amount is the way to go.
I’m of course planning on buying more cherries now because I absolutely love sour cherry sorbet and baked goods.
It’s … ironic? funny? that the frozen cherries you found there happened to be sour cherries. So many people scour the earth for frozen sour cherries and come up empty-handed!!
I know, even in NYC it wasn’t always easy to get them fresh or frozen. Now that I know I’m plotting !
I have a regular Cuisinart ice cream maker - the basic model, which I love so much I have 3 or 4 of them in case they stop making it - but I want to upgrade to a machine that produces ice cream instantly on the countertop. Does anyone have one of these (much more expensive) machines?
MiG… May I suggest keeping an eye out for this Simac ice cream maker…possibly garage sale or eBay? This machine had its 40th anniversary this past September, it’s been a workhorse.
WE own this macnine, and, yes, plucked it from a garage sale. $35. and has been chugging along for probably 15 years. It lives in the country; in town we rely on Donviers, keeping two inserts in the freezer at all times.
It’s been unbelievably reliable, I still have the receipt in the recipe booklet which came with the machine😊.