Jeni Britton Bauer is the James Beard award-winning author of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home - the wonderful book (now in its 9th printing!) that inspired me to make delicious ice creams, experiment with flavors and start this blog.
Jeni was in L.A. this weekend as part of her national book signing tour. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Gelson’s Supermarket, Silverlake. It was a big thrill, and I was so chuffed. She complimented me on my illustrated ice cream recipes and signed my food-stained copy of her book…
The authors use at least 1/2 cup of alcohol in their boozy ice creams - which is usually too much alcohol for ice cream to freeze properly. (The typical amount is 1/4 cup per quart)
Their answer is gelatin, which is first dissolved in water, then mixed with alcohol and used to spike the chilled ice cream base before churning.
Alas, I am a weekday vegetarian and have many vegetarian friends so gelatin is a problem. I have been Googling around for a replacement ratio for xanthan gum, and all I could find was this article, which says “Measure out half the amount of xanthan gum in lieu of the full amount of gelatin that a recipe calls for”.
In most cases, the boozy ice cream recipes in Ice Cream Happy Hour call for 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of gelatin. 1/4 - 1/2 tablespoon of xanthan gum seems like a lot…
Anyway, I am sharing here my first extra boozy ice cream experiment: White Russian Ice Cream, adapting the recipe from Ice Cream Happy Hour where I thicken the base with Jeni’s method (corn starch instead of eggs) and replace the gelatin with half the amount of xanthan gum.
Whew. This looks more like a normal ice cream custard now.
30 minutes later, I am perturbed to report that the thick and creamy mixture had not firmed up any more in the machine. However, this is exactly how the ice cream looks in the authors’ own ‘White Russian ice cream’ video so maybe I got it right. Let’s hope it firms up in the freezer in a few hours from now. So far, it has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and I will not be driving any time soon.
If you have any tips to share on making extra boozy ice creams, please do! Especially on combining alcohol with xanthan gum. I am also curious if agar would be a better replacement for gelatin.
Next: Chocolatini Ice Cream.
*PS. I will be making the White Russian ice cream again and experimenting with way less xanthan gum and also agar and/or guar gum.