Read Our Ultimate Ice Cream Guide from Carpigiani UK
Everyone loves ice cream whether it’s in the summer to cool down or in the winter as a delicious and sweet treat. For lots of people, it brings back fond memories and some people, if they are anything like me will go to great lengths to find the type and flavour of ice cream they love. We have put together an Ultimate Ice Cream Guide for you and you never know you might find something out about ice cream that you didn’t already know.
Where did Ice Cream originally come from?
So there are many thoughts from historians about where Ice Cream first came from. History tells us that ice cream was originally credited to the Chinese and it was created around 200 BC when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into the snow.
The explorer, Marco Polo is popularly cited for having seen ice-creams being made during his trip to China and later introduced these to Italy when he returned.
Roman emperors are supposed to have sent slaves to mountain tops to bring back fresh snow which was then flavoured and served as an early form of ice-cream.
The King of England, Charles I, is suggested to have offered his personal chef £500 a year to keep his ice-cream recipe a secret from the rest of England.
Ice Cream sundaes were invented when in the late 19th century it became illegal to sell ice-cream sodas on a Sunday in the American town of Evanston. Local Traders then replaced the soda with syrup and called the dessert an “Ice Cream Sunday” to get around this problem.
What types of Ice Cream are there?
There are so many types of ice cream across the world, ranging from soft-serve ice cream, gelato ice cream, sorbet ice cream, full-fat ice cream, low-fat ice cream, fat-free ice cream, hard ice cream, low sugar ice cream, vegan ice cream, lactose free ice cream, commercially made ice cream, homemade ice cream, supermarket brought ice cream and the list goes on.
Each one is slightly different, with varying tastes and textures.
What are the main ingredients of Ice Cream?
In its most basic form, ice cream is a mixture of water, ice, cream and/or milk, sugar, protein, air, the specific flavour (vanilla, lemon, chocolate and so forth) and sometimes eggs that are frozen whilst it’s churned to create a deliciously frozen product. In commercial ice-cream making, stabilizers, such as plant gums can be used and the mixture is pasteurized and homogenized. Every ice cream recipe is different and the process to make it varies depending on if you are a business using a commercial ice cream maker, or if you are making it at home.
Ice Cream Flavours
There are thousands of ice cream flavours and restauranteurs are now coming up with many weird and wonderful ice cream flavours to excite your taste buds.
Here are just a few of the more Traditional Flavoured Ice Creams that are often mixed together to create different, fresh and exciting flavours:
Chocolate, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla, Strawberry, Rasberry, Pecan, Chocolate Chip, Caramel, Salted Caramel, Praline, Cherry, Cookies and Dough, Fudge, Candy, Lemon, Mango, Mocha, Coffee, Almond and Toasted Almond, Pistachio, Sherbert, Coconut, Banana, Blackberry.
Here are some of the Festive Flavoured Ice Creams that are becoming more and more popular:
Christmas Cake Ice Cream, Christmas Pudding Ice Cream Recipe, Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg Ice Cream, Mulled Wine Ice Cream, Christmas Flavoured Ice Cream Recipe, Cranberry and Lillet Rouge Sorbet Recipe, Fennel Five Spiced Eggnog, Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ice Cream.
And last but not least here are some of the more Exotic and Weird Flavoured Ice Creams:
Coconut-Curry Ice Cream, Spaghetti and Cheese Flavoured Ice Cream, Vietnamese Coffee with Frosted Almonds and Peanut Butter Curry Flavoured Ice Cream, Black Walnut Flavoured Ice Cream, Caviar Flavoured Ice Cream, Pickled Mango Flavoured Ice Cream, Horseradish Flavoured Ice Cream, Fish and Chip Flavoured Ice Cream, Pear with Blue Cheese Flavoured Ice Cream, Guinness Flavoured Ice Cream, Lobster Flavoured Ice Cream, Porridge Flavoured Ice Cream, The Hottest Chilli Flavoured Ice Cream, Ketchup Flavoured Ice Cream, Chicken Wing Flavoured Ice Cream, Vegan Chocolate Avocado Flavoured Ice Cream, Goats Cheese Beetroot Swirl Flavoured Ice Cream, Gin and Tonic Sorbet Flavoured Ice Cream, Turkish Delight Flavoured Ice Cream, Prosecco Flavoured Ice Cream, Basil Flavoured Ice Cream, Coal or Charcoal Flavoured Ice Cream, Cereal Milk Ice Cream, Blu Top ‘Carrot Cake’ Flavoured Ice Cream.
Can you believe that anyone eats some of these weird and wonderful flavours? There definitely are and there are more and more commercial ice cream makers that are coming up with really different flavours to draw their customers in. So honestly, are there any of these that you fancy trying?
Low Fat Ice Cream
There are now so many low fat ice cream recipes around and lots of ice cream parlours and restaurants are offering exotic low-fat flavours. Low fat ice cream is generally made from; water, ice, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, sugar, protein, air and normally egg yolks as well as the flavour you want to make, fruit, or chocolate as an example. You can also use cornflour to thicken the milk to replace the egg yolks and this is a tradition from southern Italy. This is great ice cream to make if the person eating it is put off by the eggy flavour of custard-based ice creams.
Low-fat or no-fat yoghurt is considered a healthier choice than ice cream because it’s ingredients are much lower in fat, however, always remember low-fat ice cream still contains as much if not more sugar as normal ice cream.
Full Fat Ice Cream
Full fat and standard ice cream contain full-fat cream and milk along with the other normal ice cream ingredients. The full-fat cream and milk give the ice cream a delicious, creamy and full taste, which most people love at any time of the year.
Vegan Ice Cream
Over recent years veganism has become very popular and because of this, the number of dairy-free ice cream options has dramatically increased in restaurants, parlours and supermarkets. No vegan alternative will taste exactly like standard ice cream, however, it is still a lovely, smooth and creamy flavour. Vegan ice cream is made from coconut milk which replaces the cream and the milk in normal ice cream.
Full-fat coconut milk is the best standard cream and milk substitute for vegan ice cream as almond milk or soy milk don’t give the same creamy, sweet taste when it comes to ice cream.
In general, vegan foods are much healthier than their normal counterparts and vegan ice cream has less sugar and fat and is full of soy protein, so it’s a yes from us.
What is the best way to eat Ice Cream?
Ice cream is such a diverse treat or dessert and there are so many ways and other foods you can accompany it with. Whether it’s soft serve vanilla in a cone with a drizzle of sauce and a flake making it a traditional 99, in scoops on its own using Britains favourite vanilla flavour or scoops of different flavours. It is a delicious addition to fruit or to accompany an apple pie, chocolate brownie or cheesecake. You can even add it to milkshake to give it a creamier, thicker texture or add it to some lemonade to make an ice cream sundae. Then there are ice cream sundaes which are truly in a world of their own.
When do you eat Ice Cream?
Whether you are at home in the summer and want to cool down or out for the day and want a delicious treat then ice cream is the thing you are looking for. You might be out for a blustery cold winter walk and a creamy ice cream will give you the sweetness and treat you are looking for. If you are out for lunch, dinner or even breakfast for some then ice cream is definitely a yes, on its own or to accompany your dessert choice. There really are no rules, its official you really can eat ice cream anywhere and any time.
What is the best type of Ice Cream?
Everyone has their favourite ice cream, whether its soft serve, artisan gelato, sorbet, full-fat, low-fat, fat-free, hard ice cream, low sugar ice cream, lactose-free ice cream, vegan ice cream or any of the many others.
Most people will agree that Ice cream is the UK’s most popular treat or dessert. Ice cream is defined as a frozen mixture containing cream or milk and butterfat, sugar, flavouring, and sometimes eggs. It must not be overrun by 100% and this means that the base doesn’t increase in volume by over 100% in the churning process. If it does, this results in a mixture that is over 50% air and is not then classed as ice cream.
Soft Serve Ice Cream and Artisan Gelato are probably two of the UK’s favourites and their ingredients can be adapted to make vegan, low fat and sugar-free ice cream in any flavour.
Soft Serve Ice Cream
Soft serve is a delicious soft whipped ice cream or yoghurt which is most often served on a cone, in a cup, with a dessert, as a sundae or even as a base for a thick shake. To make soft serve ice cream you can create a freshly made mix which is your own bespoke recipe using raw ingredients such as good milk and cream, or simply buy a pre-made liquid or powder base which is ready to go and add it to your commercial machine. Using natural ingredients or a premium ready-made base mix, a soft serve dessert offering can deliver a fresh fragrant product difficult to beat for your customers.
Artisan Gelato Ice Cream
The definition of Artisan is “a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that makes things by hand”. Today’s commercial gelato machines help us to make consistent and readily available gelato ice cream but the philosophy of artisan remains. Gelato is healthier and lower in fat than standard ice cream and it is made in small batches using fresh, natural ingredients and served at a warmer temperature for a more intense flavour. Gelato is Ice Cream’s Italian cousin and it is made with whole milk, without using added cream. This makes the milk fat percentage much lower than traditional ice cream, making it lower fat and it is often made without eggs and stabilizers. While it is being churned, there is little to no air whipped into it which gives it a denser and thicker texture.
To produce excellent quality gelato you need quality raw ingredients and follow a key 5 step process:
4. Blast Freeze
5. Store, Display and Serve
Where can you buy Ice Cream?
You can buy ice cream when you are out and about in restaurants, ice cream parlours, from ice cream vans, at fetes, festivals, fayres and from supermarkets to make sure you always have your favourite treat to hand or you can make your own at home.
Commercially Made Ice Cream v Home Made
Making ice cream at home can be tricky as the process is detailed and the timings are essential, you also need a strong arm to ensure you have the power to mix it like the churn you would get from a commercial ice cream machine. The benefits of commercially made ice cream are; the ingredients are accurately measured every time and every part of the process is timed to the second. This gives you consistent flavours, textures and temperature which, in essence, are the essentials of producing excellent ice cream that you and all your customers love.
So that’s it, we think we’ve covered it all and hope you have learned some new things about ice cream and the wonderful things associated with it.