Today I take you with me through the creative process of conceiving and balancing a new ice cream for the Gelato Project, my ever-evolving ice cream recipe book.
If you are passionate about ice cream, you will find a lot of useful material in this post, because I will show you an approach that you can experiment on other ice creams as well!
Small premise about why I selected this ice cream: it is simply one of the requests I liked best, among the ones entered last week by Gelato Project supporters.
For those who don’t know, the following infographic shows how the ice cream project works!
How to make snickers ice cream?
But back to the topic of this article: let’s see, step by step…
- How to define ice cream starting from its appearance
- How to use its nutritional values label
- how to balance ice cream
- How to proceed for a classic ice cream on a stick covered with chocolate
The final appearance of the ice cream
Let’s start with the commercial ice cream: a bar consisting of a predominant layer of peanut ice cream, a much smaller layer of caramel, chopped peanuts, all covered in milk chocolate.
We can then use rectangular silicone molds to make our ice cream with a snickers shape.
Using the nutritional value label for balancing
Let’s look at what’s in this ice cream and see how it can help us…. Let’s (translate them for you and) try to break them down into “chapters”
- Skim milk (15%): given the list of added fats (see table below), low-fat milk for the mixture I would say makes sense
- Cream (13%): also a basic ingredient in ice cream
- Sweetened condensed skim milk: could be cooked and used as caramel
- Skim milk powder: probably for ice cream
- Milk fat, lactose, whey permeate: processed milk products that we can safely ignore at home
From this section I derive that I can make caramel in two ways: by caramelizing condensed milk as I explain in this recipe for dulce de leche ice cream (which could be the method used in snickers) or in the classic way with butter, sugar, cream. In each of the two ways, the caramel should not freeze but remain soft, so it should be balanced to have a high AFP corresponding to a serving temperature of approx. -18 / -20°C as I explain in the advanced course on ice cream in the section on the sauces to variegate ice cream.
- Sugar: the common sucrose, probably used in all preparations of this ice cream
- Glucose syrup: they are not required to give you dextrose equivalence, so this information is a bit useless for balancing purposes, but it will definitely be a high DE-equivalence because there is no trace of other sugars with high anti-freezing power in this label (such as dextrose).
Nothing new, we can make our ice cream with sucrose and dextrose and ignore the mysterious glucose syrup used here 😉
Aromatic & fatty ingredients
- Peanuts: for ice cream, we already know how many to put in since it is a common dried fruit ice cream (such as pistachio, almond, cashew, etc.).
- Coconut oil, cocoa butter, and palm fat: could be used for both ice cream and topping.
- Cocoa paste: for the covering
- Low-fat cocoa powder: it appears among the emulsifiers and stabilizers, so there is certainly very little of it (less than 1% I would say), which makes me think it might be used to make the ice cream darker and more aromatic.. what do you think? I could be wrong, but I’ll note that for the recipe.
- Vanilla extract: I would tend to think it might be part of the ice cream, so I’ll note it for the peanut ice cream recipe
Taking stock of this section, we have two interesting pointers that I will use in my ice cream recipe: the use of vanilla (we use the pod though) and a pinch of cocoa (less than 1%)
Also, but nothing new here, we will use a combination of chocolate and a fat (cocoa butter) for the coating. The higher the fat, the thinner the cover. For a chunkier coating, you can also just melt the chocolate.
Stabilizers and Emulsifiers
- Soy lecithin: an emulsifier (could be used in both ice cream and topping, to better bind fats such as chocolate and cocoa butter with the watery body of milk or cream, or simply water)
- E471: is Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, an additive (emulsifier) often used in ice cream making to (obviously) emulsify fats and watery parts of the mixture, as well as to incorporate more air
- E407: carrageenan, a stabilizer with thickening, gelling, and emulsifying power, generally part of the neutrals that acts well in cooperation with the next two
- E410: locust bean gum, the most famous stabilizer, even in home context 😉
- E412: guar gum, another stabilizing agent often used in conjunction with locust bean gum (for hot blends) and with tara gum or xanthan gum (for cold blends). In this article on neutrals and, of course, in my online courses on ice cream (italian only), you can find a lot more info 😉
If you know how to balance ice cream, this part is just a confirmation of what you should know 😉
Of all these stabilizers and emulsifiers, if you make ice cream at home, you can get by with just locust bean gum to thicken peanut ice cream. Best if you use a neutral with locust bean gum + guar gum. I would avoid emulsifiers and go straight with a chocolate + cocoa butter coating (choosing the chocolate you prefer, dark or milk).
How to balance ice cream
For those who do not yet know the benefits of working with a simple (and very powerful) tool like BilanciaLi, I invite you to take a look at its functionality by signing up for a no-obligation free course on balancing (italian only), in which you will see the most powerful and useful version of the range in action: BilanciaLi Gold, of which you can see a small demo below.
But let’s come to our ice cream. The steps with BilanciaLi are very simple because.
- We start by importing 1kg of dried fruit ice cream base.
- We replace the dried fruit paste in the recipe (depending on the version you use it will be pistachio or pine nuts) with peanut paste
- We add 1 g vanilla and 0.25 g cocoa per 1 kg mixture
- We adjust the balance (solids might go up a little, just adjust with a little milk and dextrose if AFP goes down)
Result in BilanciaLi Gold
How to proceed
We said we would use rectangular molds. You have two choices: make the mixture until ripe and then pour it into the molds and freeze it (less airy, firmer ice cream) or whip it and put it in the molds (softer, more airy ice cream)
The second step is to make caramel by the classic method (caramelizing sugar, adding butter and cream and perhaps a pinch of salt) or by steaming or boiling a can of condensed milk and using the resulting dulce de leche.
The caramel will need to be mixed with some chopped peanuts, then placed on top of the ice cream to fill the molds.
Finally we freeze everything at -18°C, heat the chocolate in a bain-marie (with or without adding cocoa butter), and when it reaches 35°C we coat our frozen bars and place in the freezer again.
What about the full recipe?
You can find it in two ways, and I recommend doing both 😉
Download the ice cream project to get tons of recipies. This specific recipe comes out in version 1.2 in mid-August.
Enter the telegram channel (italian), where I have already posted it as a little exclusive treat for subscribers to my privileged channel (in which you will be together with a small group of followers that I always treat with kid gloves, dispensing preview updates but also exclusive content like this).