Making Ice Cream [YMCA DIY Class]

My time since all my traveling in June has been filled with getting learning units for my license, parties and DIY classes. Melissa found a whole list of classes being offered at the Upper West Side YMCA that are all $20 or less and benefit their Strong Kids Campaign. We signed up for the Frozen Treats Class that was being taught by Pastry Chef Anna McGorman of Dominque Ansel Bakery. In case you did not catch it, that happens to be the place we attempted to get Cronuts at. We were hoping she might bring some to the class as a surprise. That did not happen. Dang it.

Our Awesome Teacher Anna

Our Awesome Teacher Anna

Anna was really funny and a great teacher. We learned the different kinds of frozen treats from water based to milk based. I now know what the difference is between ice cream and gelato, it has to do with the amount of air in it. Most importantly I learned how to make ice cream. You would think that someone who grew up on dairy should already know how to make ice cream. Not true. I assume my dad and probably mom know how to make it, I know mom has churned her own butter way back when, but we have never made ice cream at home. Maybe it’s because it takes some attention, even if its not a lot. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a device to churn or spin the ice cream. Either way, I didn’t know how to make ice cream.

Mixing up some Granita

Mixing up some Granita

I will be investing in some sort of ice cream making machine once I find a place to move. This ice cream making business is very easy. And it’s not an exact science like baking tends to be. You can play with the flavors, the sugar level, etc. We made three bases. One was the Philadelphia base, which has no eggs, and we added some orange zest to it. The other ice cream base was a French base that is more of a custard type base, this one you would use if you wanted to add more chunks in the ice cream like fruit or chocolate. In the Philly style, it doesn’t hold the piece in suspension, it lets them drop to bottom. We let those two bases thicken while we made a granita. Melissa and I combined Strawberry and Blood Oranges with some basil for ours. It tasted pretty good as semi-liquid. We just needed to get it home to freeze.

Checking on the Granita

Checking on the Granita

Anna had made a blackberry granita before the class started and through out the class, she was scrapping and check on it, showing us how to do it. At the end of the class we got to test the granita, so very very good, and the two ice cream bases. They were not frozen, just allowed to set up for awhile. The Philly-style with the orange was delicious, I ended up taking it home to freeze in to delicious popsicles. The French style was definitely thicker and creamier. It had no flavor in it and it was still so tasty. Melissa had the great idea to mix the blackberry granita with the custard. AMAZING. I could eat that all day. Anne also brought in three different flavored ice creams for us to try that she made earlier. One had dry caramel in it, one was pineapple coconut and the last raspberry coconut. Since no one knew what dry caramel was, we got an bonus lesson on a quick way to make caramel without the water. I like this very much.

Three flavors to try, and maybe you want to add some rum to the recipe, I'm just saying.

Three flavors to try, and maybe you want to add some rum to the recipe, I’m just saying.

Melissa taste testing

Melissa taste testing

Making Dry Caramel

Making Dry Caramel

This was such a fun class. If they keep doing these, and I hope they do, you should attend. In two hours, I learned a lot and we walked away with a granita and ice cream base, a hand full of recipes, three demos and lots of ideas for our own ice cream. I am very excited for this ice cream making business, Maybe I need to move somewhere that is warm year round so I can use it all the time…

As an extra bonus,

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