When making ice cream, in addition to the amount of sugar that is put into the cream mixture, the next most important trick to making good ice cream is the churning of the ice cream. Many a times, when writing up the recipe of ice cream, people get fixated on the ingredients that go into the cream mixture, and just indicate “churn ice cream as per manufacturer’s instructions”. How many times did your ice cream turn out “wrong” even though you followed the recipe right to the drop? Has your ice cream turned out so hard to the point that it’s impossible to scoop? Or does it melt so quickly after you’ve scooped it up that it’s turned into cream just as you’re serving your guests?
For me, it has failed several times…or maybe should I say my ice cream had been unsuccessful several times. And despite the fact that my cream mixture was exactly the same, I found that the texture of the churned mixture makes a big difference to the success of the ice cream. So exactly how long should you churn the ice cream mixture?
Ice cream maker: You should churn the ice cream until the mixture resembles candy floss that is stuck to the stick. You should continue to churn the ice cream until the cream mixture has risen to the top of the ice cream maker’s paddle and beyond. And it does not matter if it has been 20 mins (as per the instructions), or if it’s 1 hour or longer (as long as the bowl holding the cream is still COLD). When the cream mixture is able to obtain that consistency, with the right recipe, you can be sure that your ice cream will be a success.
Without ice cream maker: If you’re churning the ice cream manually with a handheld/stand-alone mixer, then churn your ice cream as many times as possible within your waking hours. I used to churn it every 3 hours to make sure that any ice crystals would be broken down in the mixture. This meant that I’d be able to churn the ice cream at least 5 times a day. Each time as you churn the ice cream, you want to make sure that you mix up all the cream mixture but at the same time not let it melt into a liquid form.
So good luck to those trying to make ice cream. Hang in there, with practice, you can only get better =).