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Bechamel Ice Cream?

henrikbe Jun 1, 2012 04:58 AM


I just got this silly idea: Instead of using egg yolks to thicken my ice cream base, would it work to use an (unsalted) bechamel sauce (with some sugar added, of course)? Anyone tried that? I figured as an alternative to adding corn starch as some sort of stabilizer.

  1. todao Jun 1, 2012 07:15 AM

    Most of the ice cream recipes I've read that use flour as a stabilizer also incorporate eggs in the mix.

    1. ipsedixit Jun 1, 2012 07:34 AM

      No, it would impart the wrong texture, giving you ice cream closer to a sandy texture as opposed to a smooth one.

      If you wanted to make a vegan ice cream, or an egg-less one, just use almond milk or silken tofu, or adopt a Philly-style ice cream base (i.e. no egg yolks).

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit
        1POINT21GW Jun 2, 2012 01:36 AM

        ipsedixit is right. Flour (enough of it) will make the texture grainy and drier feeling on the mouth.

        Also, eggs aren't in ice cream to thicken it (that's what freezing it is for), they're there as an emulsifier and, therefore, to provide for a smoother texture. They also allow for more overrun (more air incorporated into the mixture during the freezing process).

        If you're wanting to 86 the eggs and substitute something else in, consider adding gelatin for a smoother texture.

      2. k
        katecm Jun 3, 2012 09:52 AM

        Mark Bittman has a cornstarch ice cream. I haven't tried it but I remember reading a thread about it here years ago.

        5 Replies
        1. re: katecm
          henrikbe Jun 3, 2012 10:48 AM

          Yes, I've heard about cornstarch ice cream. I've tried it once, adding some cornstarch to my custard-based ice cream (effectively making a patry cream instead of a creme anglaise), as far as I remember the consistency was quite OK, but it tasted way too much corn for me (me and corn don't really go together very well...). With way more added flavouring it might be fine, though.

          So, I figured wheat starch (as in roux) might be a better alternative. Also, roux has butter in it, which I figured would be fine, since ice cream (usually) has cream in it.

          1. re: henrikbe
            sunshine842 Jun 3, 2012 02:07 PM

            Corn starch has a taste?

            1. re: sunshine842
              ttoommyy Jun 3, 2012 02:52 PM

              With you on that one sunshine842. I have never detected a taste of corn in anything I've made using cornstarch: gravies, pies, stir- fries, etc.

              1. re: sunshine842
                henrikbe Jun 4, 2012 12:31 AM

                Apparently, it does. In my ice cream, anyway. Not a very strong taste, but a slight hint of pop-corn.

                Usually, I use corn starch only in preparations with strong tastes of their own, like sauces. However, in this very mildly vanilla-flavoured ice cream, I could really taste the corn.

                1. re: henrikbe
                  Becca Porter Jun 4, 2012 05:28 AM

                  That's very weird. Jeni's recipes are my favorite!

          2. w
            wyogal Jun 4, 2012 05:43 AM


            1. a
              abogin Jul 8, 2012 10:00 PM

              Some traditional middle eastern and Asian ice creams use corn starch in the cream base.
              The starch gives the ice cream a chewy texture.

              2 Replies
              1. re: abogin
                sunshine842 Jul 8, 2012 10:13 PM

                I'll withhold judgment until I've tried it, but somehow that doesn't sound all that appealing.

                1. re: sunshine842
                  abogin Jul 8, 2012 10:26 PM


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