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Jun 10, 2011 09:47 AM

Tips and Hints for Exceptional Ice Cream?

Hello all,

I just joined this sight and am shocked at how many great ideas there are out there. I was wondering if anyone had any great tips on how to make the perfect ice cream. I have been playing around with egg based ice creams along with cornstarch based ice creams and am thinking about combining the two. Has anyone ever made ice cream using both egg yolks and cornstarch? Please share any tips or recipes you may have for excellent ice cream. I am currently working on basil ice cream....

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  1. Do you have David Lebovitz's ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop? He won't get into combine cornstarch and egg, but he has excellent flavors.

    1. I just read the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated and they had some great tips on getting that perfect, smooth texture at home. Their recipe calls for corn syrup in addition to sugar (about 1/3 corn syrup to 2/3 sugar), because corn syrup interferes with crystal formation. Also, they recommend "super-chilling" your base by putting a cup of it in the freezer while the rest is cooling in the fridge, then mixing the frozen base into the refrigerated base until melted, which should bring the temp of the whole thing down about 10 degrees lower than what your fridge can do on its own. Finally, they say to freeze in a shallow, pre-chilled metal pan after churning so that the churned product gets fully frozen as fast as possible (scoop into a proper storage container before it gets completely firm).

      BTW, they rejected cornstarch, gelatin and milk powder in their tests due to textural/flavor issues.

      1 Reply
      1. re: biondanonima

        I second the pre-chilled metal pan. I tried this last weekend and my chocolate ice cream was fantastic.

      2. One tip is not to use cornstarch.

        Add a bit of alcohol. Vodka if you want neutral taste. Cognac or Armagnac or even Champagne for a bit of a punch.

        Try subbing a bit of honey in place of sugar

        Use cream (not milk or half/half)

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I got a recipe for Armagnac Hazelnut Praline from a chef I used to work with. He left me at work with instructions that I could leave after the ice cream finished churning. Well an hour and half later it still wasn't setting up. TOO much armagnac was the problem.

        2. I made basil ice cream today (yay!) New here at making ice cream and enjoy it. The recipes I've been using are ultra-decadent (this one has 12 egg yolks for about a quart) and it calls for a mixture of milk and heavy cream. I think if you have a ton of egg yolks you can use part milk, the trick is to have ingredients that will not allow the mixture to solidify (I think?) - David Lebovitz gives a brief explanation in his website; I think his recipes for ice cream are lighter than the ones I'm using.

          Ipsedixit is the man when it comes to ice cream though ;) (Btw Ipse haven't tried your favorite yet, still debating if I'm going to renew that membership but if I do, first thing on my list).

          1 Reply
          1. re: lilgi

            Ipsedixit is the man when it comes to ice cream though ;) (Btw Ipse haven't tried your favorite yet, still debating if I'm going to renew that membership but if I do, first thing on my list).


          2. welcome to Chowhound! always happy to have a new Home Cooking enthusiast join the fold :)

            when you have a chance to browse the site, you might want to take some time to familiarize yourself with the way the "search" function works. it sometimes requires a little finesse, but once you get comfortable with it you'll see that you can often find tons of existing information that may answer your questions, help you troubleshoot, or at least provide a starting point.

            i did one for you so you can check out some of the many discussions about making ice cream with cornstarch:

            hope there's something useful in there for you. happy chowing!

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Another thing you will learn is that goodhealthgourmet is the site's Search Guru. The default search function only brings up results from the preceding 12 months. It's always best to click the Advanced Search button, then select All Years plus a wider range of boards. Other people go to a Google search but include "chowhound" as the last word in the search. Also, the related discussions list that appears in boldface at the end of a given thread often has pertinent threads though it can go haywire because it can also pick up on irrelevant words.