The following information is provided
courtesy of The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.
seldom far away from the dessert menu of any restaurant and
while it is possible to buy it from a frozen food wholesaler,
nothing compares to ice-cream made by chefs in the kitchen. The
ingredients will be superior and the flavour is chosen by the
chef, not the ice-cream factory.
equipment industry has long recognised the demand for
low-volume, but high quality ice-cream and produce machines for
small restaurants as well as busy ice-cream parlours. The
function of an ice-cream maker is to take a chilled egg custard
and churn it slowly under a freeze temperature until it forms
the familiar smooth ice-cream.
two types of ice-cream, soft and hard, but the production
process is very similar. Soft ice-cream gets its light and
creamy texture through the introduction of air in the freezing
and churning process. The basic ingredient of all ice-cream is
custard, which is churned as it is frozen in the ice-cream maker
to prevent large ice crystals forming and giving a coarse
The best artisan hard ice-cream
is made using fresh eggs cream, sugar and milk with a flavouring
to form a hot custard. This needs to be pasteurised for food
safety reasons and the correct way to do this is to use a
pasteuriser. This is a machine which mixed the custard, cooks
it, takes it up to 85 deg C for pasteurisation, then rapidly
chills it down to a safe 4 deg C.
quality of ice-cream improves if the chilled custard mix is
matured for a minimum of eight hours to a maximum of 72 hours.
This allows any added emulsifiers and stabilisers to work on the
mixture. If fresh eggs are used in the mix these also give
a stabilising effect which needs time to work. Any stabiliser
prevents the ice-cream from crumbling, which is a problem if
batches are going to be held for more than 24 hours.
process of ice-cream making is the churning and freezing, which
is done in a separate machine called a batch freezer in
professional language, but to chefs is the ice-cream maker. Most
machines have a signal system that indicates when the ice-cream
is ready for decanting into storage tubs for hold and freeze.
restaurants with limited equipment budgets but a desire to
produce quality ice-cream it is possible to delay buying a
pasteurisation unit by using a blast chiller to safely pull down
the temperature of the custard.
maker can also be used to produce iced fruit desserts, such as
granitas and sorbets. These are a mix of fruit, water and sugar.
There are crossover recipes and in the interpretation of what is
a sorbet, a granita and fruit ices, but they provide a
sharper, clearer taste to ice-cream due to the absence of dairy
ice-cream machines is very important because of the use of dairy
products. Hard ice-cream machines and pasteurisers should be
cleaned between every batch, both for a hygiene point and to
prevent flavour transfer when different flavoured ice-creams are
ice-cream machines are either gravity fed or pump action. Pump
action units have more internal and dispense parts to clean that
gravity-fed units. Small table-top units tend to be gravity-fed
while the type of unit seen in fast food outlets and busy
takeaway are usually pump action.
While it is
tempting for a small restaurant to buy a domestic ice-cream
maker, these seldom deliver the quality of ice-cream texture
which restaurant customers expect. Domestic ice-cream makers may
not have a freezing facility and the output will have a coarse
texture that is unacceptable for a restaurant.
making and storage tips
ice-cream and sorbets is not a free-thinking form of cookery. To
produce a smooth, rich product needs exact recipes. A common
mistake is to think that adding lots of pulped fruit will give a
better product. Too much fruit will upset the sugar balance and
inhibit smooth freezing of the ice crystals. Equally,
introducing too much fat in the form of eggs or cream will also
cause the ice-cream to miss-form. All suppliers of ice-cream
machines offer recipe and ingredient support, many will also
give training to chefs.
ice-cream seldom contains preservatives or stabilisers, so does
not keep well. Try to only make that amount which is needed for
one-day’s service to avoid serving an ice-cream which is
starting to break up.
pulls in flavour taint very easily, so keep a lid on it and
store it away from any strongly aromatic products.
professional heavy metal scoop is the best way of dispensing
ice-cream, but the scoop can attract bacteria to the fat and
sugar during use. Keep the scoop in a pot of sanitised water and
change the water every hour.