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Mar 3, 2011 06:57 PM

Smoke cream - For ice cream making....Suggestions?

I am making ice cream for a dessert next week and I was tossing a few ideas around in my head. I recently bought some smoked cheese and loved the flavour. I was thinking of smoking the cream base before making a vanilla custard to give it some smokiness... But, not sure what the best method would be both to keep the cream at safe temperatures for later using, and to not curdle the cream...

While searching, I have come across a few people who have smoked cream cheese so I am thinking of maybe doing that and making a cream cheese ice cream... However, I would prefer to try just with the cream itself.

The closet thing I found was this:

This recipe uses smoked sour cream:

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. The easiest and probably the best way to add a smokiness to your ice cream base is just to use liquid smoke. Just a drop, don't over do it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I agree. A lot of people shy away from it because they are under the faulty assumption that Liquid Smoke is some chemical approximation of smoke. It is not. It's actually smoke captured from a chamber that is hyper-humdified and then condensed.

      What you'd have to do to cream to impart any significant smoke flavor would be more difficult and less likely to work than just using the bottled stuff.

    2. i agree with ipse that liquid smoke will work. you could also infuse the cream with Chinese smoked tea (lapsang souchon), though you'd get some of the tea flavor too.

      couple of other links to check out:

      this blogger smoked a pan of heavy cream over hickory chips:

      another method here:

      4 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I saw the smoking gun used in a demonstration at Williams-Sonoma. It was very neat and easy.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks, I saw those links help. Saw some o fthem but the smoked butter one is interesting.

          I guess the reason I don't want to use liquid smoke for this particular recipe because this will be more like a "show and tell" where people will be talking about recipes/etc. So, part of it is having a long convuluted method to create the finished item that uses as much from scratch as possible. Yeah, I am not refining the cream from raw cow's milk, or growing the vanilla plant... but, the more I can do without outside products the better.

          Thanks for the note on liquid smoke, I did originally think it was some kind of chemical additions, I will definitely pick up a bottle of it and use it for future recipes.

          If all goes well I should be able to post results/process on Wednesday of next week.

          1. re: ylsf

            You want to make the recipe complicated?

            Explain how to make your own "liquid smoke" and then explain how to make a basic ice cream with the addition of liquid smoke. Those two in combo will be far more complicated than trying to smoke a custard or cream base.

            1. re: ylsf

              I guess the reason I don't want to use liquid smoke for this particular recipe because this will be more like a "show and tell" where people will be talking about recipes/etc. So, part of it is having a long convuluted method to create the finished item that uses as much from scratch as possible.
              ah, well you didn't say that before! ;)

              best of luck with it, and let us know how it goes.

          2. So, my results....

            Process: I had a few tin foil trays. One larger one, one smaller one. Put the cream in the smaller on and then put that container in the larger one and packed with snow around it. Got the weber kettle going with some apple wood chips and then put the tray in for 10 minutes. I tasted the cream after with a spoon and I could "taste" the smoke, I didn't want to overdue it so I decided to leave it at that (might have been closed to 12/13 minutes but less than 15).
            I also smoked a jalapeno as I was going to use that to make a jalapeno/chocolate ice cream too.

            So, I made vanilla ice cream with the smoked cream (custard style). Unfortunately, as the stages progressed it lost the smokiness and by the time it was done it was just a very minor hint of smoke.. I would have liked it with more smoke. I guess the easier route next time will be the liquid smoke. I will try that at some point. Also, I might smoke the vanilla bean itself next time as I saw some recipes for other desserts where people smoked vanilla beans..

            For the jalapeno/chocolate one, I infused the cream with the jalapeno but since I took out the seeds before smoking (again, was worried about overdoing it and giving it too much heat), it wasn't all that spicy and the flavour was VERY mild. I will have to try again and let it infuse more or leave the seeds in.

            Overall I would say it was a failure and my "twist" on traditional chocolate/vanilla just ended up to be some pretty tasty chocolate/vanilla ice cream :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: ylsf

              Next time, if you don't want to use liquid smoke, try mixing in some ground up star anise. It replicates the "smoky" flavor pretty well when mixed in with vanilla.

              1. re: ylsf

                you know what else might help next time? using smoked sugar...and maybe even garnishing with a few grains of smoked salt.

              2. You would almost have to set up a fridge and a heatless smoke generator as your smoker. Alton brown something similar in his famous scrap iron chef episode when he smoked bacon.

                1. I know I posted this original thread over a year ago but I recently did another ice cream recipe that reminded me to update this post.

                  I did David Lebovtiz's "Roasted Banana" recipe but instead of roasted the bananas in the oven, I adapted it for my "big green egg" knockoff and smoked them with apple wood before kicking up the heat a bit. Turned out perfectly. Nice smokiness this time around. Really added an interesting twist to the ice cream!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ylsf

                    smoked banana ice cream sounds delicious.

                    A chef friend of mine smoked vanilla beans, then infused them into the cream base. I did not get to try then end result, he said the smokiness is noticable, but not overwhelming. Maybe that would work for a vanilla ice cream

                    edit: I just read your vanlla bean post!