Original Research

  Farmland in Banga, Burundi. Photo by Christine Vaufrey. From dailycoffeenews.com The coffee ice cream method described in the previous post has been so successful at preserving the origin character of coffee that it’s turned into a minor fetish. I can’t stop making batches with different coffees, and eating them, which is getting me into some trouble with my girlfriend, …

Welcome to the first post that focusses on a single flavor. We’re starting with coffee, not because it’s simple—it’s maybe the most complex flavor we’ll have the pleasure of disecting. We’re going to take on this complexity because coffee flavor illustrates so many principles, and because there’s a mountain of high quality research already available, at least with regards to …

  Electron micrograph of a milk fat globule. Here’s where the action is. This has so far been the most challenging post to research and write; there’s a lot of arcane and incomplete knowledge on the topic, much of it of questionable relevance to the mission of artisanal ice cream making. If you favor recipes with one or more egg …

  Locust bean pods Shunned and embraced, demonized and defended, shouted and mispronounced, these ingredients are the most widely missunderstood, proving equally befuddling to ice cream lovers on all sides of the never-ending, stupid lively arguments. I’m hoping to shed some light here.     What Are They?     Stabilizers are any ingredients used to thicken the water in ice …

[This article was substantially revised in April 2019 and June 2019. Thanks to experience and advances in our software analytics, we’ve updated our approaches to sugars since this first went live in 2016.]   Sugars: 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 …

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 …

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. …