Ice cream, for many, is a frozen dessert that is perfectly acceptable to eat any time of the year. This luxurious combination of cream, milk, and sugar comes in many varieties and is the perfect social accompaniment -- after all, what is a birthday party or a work event without a sundae to bring people together? Despite needing to clean up all those tasting spoons and gelato cups afterward, it is safe to say that ice cream is great anytime, anywhere.
But have you ever wondered how this dessert is made? Here we break the process down for you.
Step 1: Get the right ingredients
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the ingredients in ice cream really make or break the texture and taste of your dessert. To keep ice cream tasting relatively similar nationwide, federal regulations state the milk used to create ice cream must contain 10% milkfat or more.
Step 2: Everything is combined and blended
Once the sweetener has been added, the basic ingredients are all put together in a blender to be mixed. This part of the process will add about 50% more air into the ice cream, making it a bit more fluffy.
Step 3: The mixture is added to a pasteurizer
The whipped ingredients are then pumped into a pasteurizer, where it is heated and kept at a temperature that prevents bacteria growth.
Step 4: The mixture goes through a homogenizer
The hot mixture is propelled through a homogenizer which breaks the milkfat down into small particles. This ensures that the ice cream maintains a consistent creamy texture, where all the fat particles are uniform.
Step 5: The hot becomes cold
After breaking down all the fat molecules, the batch is quick cooled and kept at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Aerators are then used to keep the ice cream from freezing solid.
Step 6: Flavoring and ingredients are added
Up until now, the mixture is the same for every single flavor. At this stage in the process, the flavorings and mix-ins are added.
Step 7: Here come in ice cream and gelato cups!
Once packaged, the ice cream is kept in a hardening room so it will keep its shape until it is sold.
Keep these steps in mind the next time you have a bowl full of ice cream for dessert!