BRAIN­FREEZE:

DEEP THOUGHTS ON ICE CREAM

SAVEUR - - Primer -

Struc­turally speak­ing, ice cream is a lot like bread. They’re both foams— net­works of com­pounds con­nect­ing mil­lions of tiny air bub­bles—and as you’d do with a bread dough, you can tweak an ice cream’s for­mula to ad­just its tex­ture. En­rich­ing a bread dough with but­ter will make the loaf more ten­der. The same is true for ice cream; the more but­ter­fat you add (i.e., the more cream as op­posed to milk), the richer the ice cream will be. (Para­dox­i­cally, more but­ter­fat also trans­lates to a lighter, fluffier ice cream, which is why su­per dense ge­lato re­lies more heav­ily on milk than cream.) And as bak­ers add sugar to bread to keep it soft and moist, ice cream mak­ers al­ter con­sis­tency with sugar. By bind­ing with liq­uids, sugar mol­e­cules pre­vent an ice cream base from fully freez­ing into crunchy ice. That is, the more sugar you add, the softer and less icy your batch will be.

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