Chemistry

How to Make Ice Cream



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Cold, creamy and luscious, ice cream is a much-revered treat. While this dessert is readily available in the freezer cases of grocers and specialty stores, homemade ice cream is in a world of its own. When you make your own ice cream, you combine fresh, rich ingredients with the flavorings and add-ins of your choice, for a delectable experience.

 Let’s briefly look at the history of ice-cream making.  The identity of the first inventor of ice-cream is very controversial.  Although there are many answers, one of the inventors is recognized more than the others.  The following facts are true according to the authors of www.weeno.com:

1.      Legend has it that the Roman emperor, Nero, discovered ice cream. Runners brought snow from the mountains to make the first ice cream.

2.      In 1846, Nancy Johnson invented the hand-cranked ice cream churn and ice cream surged in popularity.

3.      Then, in 1904, ice cream cones were invented at the St. Louis World Exposition. An ice cream vendor ran out of dishes and improvised by rolling up some waffles to make cones.

 Now, that takes care of the brief introduction into ice-cream making.  Let’s talk about a truly fun way of making ice-cream using the plastic bag method.

 Although there are many time consuming methods of making ice-cream, there is one method that allows one to make ice-cream in ten minutes or less.  The plastic bag method is the easiest and fun way to make ice-cream.

 Yes, it sounds dangerous and the potential for messes seems highly likely, but you'll be surprised at the good, "clean" fun you'll enjoy when you make ice cream.

A.  The following is a list of ingredients required:

Ø     1/2 cup milk

Ø     1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Ø     1 tablespoon sugar

Ø     4 cups crushed ice

Ø     4 tablespoons salt

Ø     2 quart size Zip-loc bags

Ø     1 gallon size Zip-loc freezer bag

Ø     A hand towel or gloves to keep fingers from freezing as well!

 B.  The following list is the instructions for making ice-cream.

Ø      Mix the milk, vanilla and sugar together in one of the quart size bags. Seal tightly, allowing as little air to remain in the bag as possible. Too much air left inside may force the bag open during shaking.

Ø      Place this bag inside the other quart size bag, again leaving as little air inside as possible and sealing well. By double-bagging, the risk of salt and ice leaking into the ice cream is minimized.

Ø      Put the two bags inside the gallon size bag and fill the bag with ice, then sprinkle salt on top. Again let all the air escape and seal the bag.

Ø      Wrap the bag in the towel or put your gloves on, and shake and massage the bag, making sure the ice surrounds the cream mixture. Five to eight minutes is adequate time for the mixture to freeze into ice cream.

 Now, isn’t that a great way of making ice-cream!

 Let’s talk about why we use the salt:

A.     Just like we use salt on icy roads in the winter, salt mixed with ice in this case also causes the ice to melt. When salt comes into contact with ice, the freezing point of the ice is lowered.

B.     Water will normally freeze at 32 degrees F. A 10% salt solution freezes at 20 degrees F, and a 20% solution freezes at 2 degrees F.

C.    By lowering the temperature at which ice is frozen, we are able to create an environment in which the milk mixture can freeze at a temperature below 32 degrees F into ice cream.

 It is interesting how not only me but also rather anyone can make my favorite dessert in a matter of ten minutes.  I hope that I have inspired you to take the initiative to make your own ice cream!

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