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achieving "freckles" of chocolate in ice cream

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Hungry Celeste Jun 18, 2006 02:14 PM

Making homemade ice cream in a cheapo electric freezer, the kind with a fixed dasher & rotating frozen gel canister. Would like to get delicate chocolate "freckles" in the ice cream (I'm thinking of the vanilla/chocolate gelato locally called straciatella). Tried drizzling cooled, melted bittersweet chocolate into the mostly frozen ice cream, but it immediately hardened into chunks/short ribbons. Anybody have success with something like this? Heating the chocolate didn't make much difference, just seemed to take a little longer to harden into globs.

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    Aaron RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 18, 2006 02:26 PM

    Maybe I'm not understanding, but why not just mix in chopped chocolate before the final freeze? That way you can completely control the size of the pieces.
    If you want some fudgy flavor in addition, just use your method as well, and you'll have chunks and ribbons.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Aaron
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      oakjoan RE: Aaron Jun 18, 2006 02:45 PM

      If you want something actually approximating the size of "freckles", why not grate the chocolate into the mix?

      1. re: Aaron
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        piccola RE: Aaron Jun 18, 2006 08:32 PM

        I once achieved this using a lazy alternative - crumbling a Flake choc bar (Cadbury? Or Nestle? I don't remember who makes it) into the ice cream. It was inspired by the UK's ubiquitous "cone and Flake" combo.

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        JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 18, 2006 04:26 PM

        I had two thoughts, the first instinct, the second after searching around online. My first thought is to temper the chocolate before adding it to the gelato mixture. It may also help to drizzle it veryvery slowly, in as thin of a stream as possible. My second thought (after searching around) is to chop the chocolate up into fine flakes before adding it. However, stracciatella gelato gets its name from the Italian egg drop soup, where beaten eggs are slowly drizzled into the hot broth. I'm thinking experimentation with the drizzling is the way to go.

        Link: http://thecosmicjester.blogspot.com

        3 Replies
        1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)
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          Hungry Celeste RE: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) Jun 18, 2006 04:53 PM

          The chocolate was tempered, I did drizzle it very slowly in a tiny thin stream, and it still solidified into lumpen chunks. I think that the ultra-fine flakes I'm seeking must be made with a machine turning at a much higher rotation that my little home freezer. My next try will be with a "pre-flaked" chocolate...whizzed in the food processor until suitably small. I just hope that the small flakes don't all collect on the bottom/sides of the canister. Oh, well...I'll keep trying. Besides, even the "mistakes" are quite edible.

          1. re: Hungry Celeste
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            nooodles RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 18, 2006 10:53 PM

            You have to mix in the flakes by hand after you make your ice cream base, as you're getting ready to put it into a container for the freezer. That's the only way they won't pool on the bottom or stick to the sides.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste
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              babette feast RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 19, 2006 03:00 PM

              Or, melt your chocolate, spread it very thin on parchment, pop in the freezer,(or just temper it) then crumble the thin sheet into flakes. Or, you can pipe little dots of chocolate and fold them in, if you're obsessive-compulsive like I am.

              For fudgy chunks, make a firm ganache and either grate it or smoosh it through something with holes, like a square-grate type cooling rack. Or I suppose you could pipe little truffle bits too, that might be easier.

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            Dev RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 18, 2006 04:39 PM

            I achieve the 'freckles' you're describing in whipped cream by putting coarsely chopped chocolate in the food processor and pulsing until it gets to the desired size. This creates the most incredible whipped cream, both in flavor and mouth-feel. Maybe that would work for your ice cream?

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              heidipie RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 18, 2006 04:53 PM

              In one of her books, Alice Medrich says to get the best texture of chocolate chips (of any size) in ice cream you should melt, cool, then chop the chocolate. It changes the crystal structure so the chips don't freeze too hard. So I'd say for the freckles you should freeze, cool, then grate or even Microplane it.

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                Debbie W. RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 19, 2006 12:53 AM

                I have tried to do chocolate chip ice cream where the "chips" are really flakes, kind of like the texture in the Baskin-Robbins chocolate chip ice cream (not their other ice creams with chips where the chips are more solid). I've failed so far, but I have learned that nooodles is correct that you have to mix it in by hand. I have a Krups 1 quart machine and it can't handle any add-ins.

                I read a tip, maybe a Nick Malgieri tip, that mixing a bit of flavorless oil like canola oil into melted chocolate and then drizzling it into the ice cream in the last seconds before it's done churning will yield these flakes. I tried this and it was utter disater, with globs and clumps of chocolate. Ick.

                I think the idea of processing the chocolate in the food processor until it's flaked, then mixing it in by hand, may be the way to go.

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                  cheryl RE: Hungry Celeste Jun 19, 2006 09:41 AM

                  I was wondering about exactly this same question. I appreciate your post because I was going to try drizzling it into the canister just as you described. If you find a method that works, please post it. I'll do the same if I get there first.

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                    chemchef RE: Hungry Celeste Jan 16, 2007 09:36 PM

                    I had the exact same problem! I haven't solved it quite yet, but I did try making a thick ganache and pouring that into the semi-frozen ice cream base. While the chocolate still did not come out like "flakes", I found that the texture of it in the frozen ice cream was wonderful. Sometimes the frozen chocolate (in ice cream) has a tendency to taste like wax, no matter how good the quality of chocolate you use. Turning it into ganache makes it not freeze up quite as hard, and thus it melts more easily on the tongue and you get more of the true flavor of the chocolate. I hope that one of us will figure out how to get those nice chocolate flakes soon, but in the meantime, I agree that the best way is to process them in a food processor. I also suspect that you were right about the fact that a more highly powered ice cream freezer may be necessary. I hope to get one of those eventually! :-)

                    1. hotoynoodle RE: Hungry Celeste Jan 17, 2007 07:28 AM

                      i make meringues that look like this just with cocoa powder/sugar mix that i keep in the fridge till i mix it into the egg whites. looks speckled and pretty and has a nice bitter contrast to the sweet cookie.

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