The frozen dessert, ice cream, was created in the East. It quickly gained popularity in Europe, after being introduced to the Medici court in Florence. To this day, Italy is famous for its ice cream gelato. The difference between it and the other most common American ice cream is that the Italian one has a texture that's lower in fat.
In some ice creams they even add alcohol which gives them a lighter taste thanks to the lower freezing point. However, caution must be taken when using alcohol because if too much is used, the ice cream will simply not freeze.
When making homemade ice cream, several main rules need to be followed. First off, the main ratio between water, fats and hard substances like sugar, nuts, fruits and everything else you choose for your favorite dessert needs to be maintained.
The sugar added to ice cream lowers the freezing point of the mixture. This way it freezes at a temperature below 32°F (0 °C) without turning into an ice block. As such, the amount of sugar used needs to be about 16-20% of the weight of the total mixture.
Besides sugar, the other ingredients also help keep air trapped in the mixture. In fact, they determine the texture of the ice cream. They shouldn't be in large quantities because it may end up freezing rock-solid.
The next key component of ice cream is the water. It is of particular importance especially if adding fruit juices or fruits to it. If using greater amounts of them, decrease the amount of water you intend to use. Another option is to increase the amount of fat.
Besides improving the consistency of the ice cream, they give it a soft and smooth appearance upon freezing. Additionally, they enhance the flavors and improve on the air content in the mixture.
Whenever adding fruits to an ice cream, they need to be well ripened or frozen. Chocolate ice cream freezes a lot more than fruit ice cream. When preparing ice cream always add a pinch of salt as well.
Another tip for a smoother and lighter ice cream is to cool container that you intend to use to freeze it. Put it in the freezer 10-20 min. before you pour the prepared mixture into it.
That way you'll have the least amount of ice crystals. It will be ready for consumption as soon as it can freeze no further.