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6.6: Frozen Desserts

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    Frozen Desserts

    Frozen desserts have been popular for just about as long as humans have tried to find cool relief from scorching temperatures. The first known frozen dessert is thought to have been consumed by the Roman emperor Nero who is famously reported to have requested ice be brought from the mountain tops for his enjoyment with sweet fruit syrups and honey. Other notables throughout history are known for enjoying a frozen treat and there has been an evolution of treats, varieties, flavors over time. To learn more about history please visit here.

    With seemingly endless flavor combinations frozen desserts come in a wide variety. 

    For more information on types of frozen desserts and their distinct differences please visit this site:

    Types of Frozen Desserts

    One of the most distinguishable differences between the type of frozen desserts comes down to the type and amount of milk fat that the item contains. For a full view on milk-fat and how it is used in various types of frozen desserts please visit this All About Frozen Dessert webpage for a greater idea.

    Ice Cream 

    Ice cream is simply a mixture of milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and flavorings that are combined and frozen in a machine that spins the mixture into a smooth and creamy dessert. There are various names for the delectable treat but all are churned and frozen. The constant movement of the machine ensures that the mixture does not freeze into a solid block. Most ice cream machines whether commercial or home-style consist of a tube with a paddle that spins. A cooling system surrounds the tube freezing the mixture. As the paddle turns, it keeps the forming ice crystals in motion incorporating air into the ice cream, which leads to its texture.

    Overrun is the name given to the air that is added to ice cream as it is mixed. This added air will increase the amount of the finished product. Overrun is listed on packing in a percentage of the finished product. If you begin with a gallon of ice cream base and once spun, you finish with 2 gallons of ice cream then your overrun percentage is 100%.

    Understanding the science behind how ice cream is made and the resulting texture, body, and melting properties is particularly important. The combination of ingredients and their ratio can help alter the final product but sometimes that means that our final product isn't actual ice cream. Remember ice cream must contain at least 10% milk fat. Milk fat, sugar, milk solids nonfat, and air are all incorporated together in order to get the final texture and taste we come to expect. To learn how ice cream is made please visit: How Ice Cream is Made.

    Texture and body are two properties to consider when thinking about the final product. Read this informative page Ice, Cream, and Chemistry to get the full picture. 

    In the process, lots of things can go wrong. Learn about defects here and consider how to best overcome these challenges.

    6.6: Frozen Desserts is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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