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  Sugarcane   They’re sweet, and they keep the ice cream soft. If you’ve had homemade ice cream with the consistency of concrete, it’s because the level of solids—especially sugars—was too low.    Some bloggers and cookbook authors tell you to soften the ice cream by adding alcohol. This works, but you can do better. While alcohol depresses the freezing …

So you have a formula. You have great ingredients. You have a digital scale1. You’ve measured everything. What next? Where’s the wand that turns these ungainly liquids and powders into magic?   Every Ice cream process includes, at least, mixing, cooking, aging (in the fridge), and spinning (in an ice cream machine or some substitute). We’re going to expand on …

Ice Cream Series: Part 3 As with pizza, music, politics, deities, and whiskey, opinions on ice cream styles range wide. There are aficionados of rich, French custard-based ice creams, with up to eight egg yolks per quart; of the lean, eggless Philadelphia-style that disappears on your tongue and has to be eaten straight from the machine; of the dense, bright, …

Ice Cream Series: Part 2 Almost all ice cream ingredients can be divided into following categories:        -Milk and Cream        -Sweeteners and other solids        -Stabilizers and emulsifiers        -Flavors       Milk and Cream   Obviously. But since these are the most abundant, most important, and most complex ingredients, …

  Draft, Dr. Cesar Vega’s Ice Cream Knowledge Map Introduction The Emperor of Ice Cream Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers. Let be be finale …

  Browned and crisped, but still juicy. Magic. Some say it can’t be done. I suspect this opinion comes from a lifetime of Thanksgivings punctuated by kiln-fired Butterballs, hardened at temperatures suited to forging swords. This post will propose an alternative.   I. If you want good turkey, get a good turkey.   Please, for everyone’s sake, forgo the factory …

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The Problem If the great promise of sous-vide is precision, the great irony is that most of us pick our cooking times by guessing. A recipe that gives a fixed temperature and time constitutes a barely-educated guess. A graphic table that accounts for food thickness and starting temperature (like the ones on Douglas Baldwin’s site, or in the Modernist Cuisine …

A Glorious Marriage of Biology, Technology, Butchery, and Parsimony   The silk-purse-from-sow’s-ear approach to sous-vide has been around a long time: cook a cheap, tough cut of meat long and low enough, and it turns buttery-soft, like an expensive cut.   Not quite Dolce & Gabbana In this post I’m going to explore how far we can take the idea. …

The nomenclature for sous-vide is confusing, if not outright misleading. So before we go on, let’s discuss the definitions. Sous-vide literally means “under vacuum.” Traditionally, all food cooked by this method was sealed in plastic, with air evacuated by a chamber vacuum sealer. This keeps the food fresh (no oxidation), and eliminates air bubbles that could insulate the food or …