Ice cream preparation basics

Ice cream is delicious, creamy and refreshing - and therefore the perfect companion for warm summer days... or in combination with a warm fruit, chocolate or caramel sauce a real insider tip for the cold season.

Now there is of course the possibility to go regularly to the supermarket or to visit your favourite ice cream parlour around the corner to get supplies in time. But what about making your own ice cream for once?

This is not only easy to do, but also a good idea for all allergy sufferers, calorie counters, people who like to experiment or those who want to know that high-quality ingredients are processed in their ice cream without unnecessary additives. Which aids work best at home? Here are a few basics.

Make your own ice cream with the ice cream machine

There are basically two different model types: On the one hand the ice cream machines with cooling tank on the other hand the versions with compressor.

The difference is that the cooling container of a 'simple' ice cream machine usually has to be pre-cooled in the freezer for 12 to 24 hours before the ice cream is made - and an ice cream machine with compressor cools the mould itself.

This has several advantages: Models with a cooling tank are usually space-saving, quiet and available for less than 100 €; models with a compressor impress with their time savings and the possibility of preparing several varieties in one day.

However, the production process itself is the same for both types: The ingredients are evenly mixed together, placed in the cooling bowl and left to the machine to stir. As soon as the ice cream is ready (usually after a good half hour), you can enjoy the delicacy.

Make your own ice cream without an ice cream machine

Even without the appropriate technical equipment, you don't have to do without one or the other ice cream. On the contrary: there are various basic ideas - classic ice cream, popsicles, parfait, sorbet or granite... which one can it be?

The classic ice cream consists of cream and milk (ratio 1:1), which are boiled up with sugar. Then the desired other ingredients are added and bound with egg. The whole thing is frozen in a bowl and stirred thoroughly at least every half hour for a nice consistency. The more frequently and thoroughly one stirs, the smaller the ice crystals become and the creaminess increases.

Similarly simple works popsicleFor this purpose, the corresponding mass, for water ice also fruit juice or fruit puree, is filled into small plastic or silicone moulds and placed in the freezer compartment. As soon as the ice cream begins to freeze, you stick sticks into it for later touching and wait at least four more hours until the ice cream is firm.

Another solution, as practical as it is elegant, is the parfait: thanks to its creamy base consistency, based on creamy beaten egg and stiffly whipped cream, there is no need to mix it like 'normal' ice cream during the freezing process. On the other hand, it is almost unbeatable in terms of melting - and tastes particularly good if you allow it to thaw a little before serving.

The sorbet is fruity and fresh because it is prepared without milk or cream. For a delicious dessert it is enough to puree some fruits with some juice, mix them with sugar and freeze them for a few hours. To make the sorbet creamy, you should of course stir it at regular intervals. Again, the more frequently and thoroughly one stirs, the smaller and more pleasant the ice crystals become. The Granita (or Granité) on the other hand is characterised by larger ice crystals. It is more coarse-grained than the sorbet, as its name (grano = grain) already suggests.

However, with the exception of the Granita, the Popsicle and the Parfait, all other types of ice cream benefit from the use of an ice cream machine. The consistency and creaminess are much better than when stirring by hand from time to time, thanks to the constant scraping of the ice crystals from the edge of the cooling container.

Bottom line: Make your own ice cream is no witchcraft, but with some time and leisure a welcome change on the dessert menu!

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