In this experiment I did three identical ice creams with different amount of stabilizers. The idea was to figure out how they differ and what amount I liked best. Specifically I have looked at overrun, melting, texture, taste and mouthfeel.
The stabilizer used is Locust Bean Gum (LBG)
The recipe used is a basic unflavored base with three egg yolks.
410g Milk (3%)
325g Cream (40%)
35g Skim milk powder
51g Egg yolk
The composition is like this
Three different samples was prepared.
1.45g LBG corresponding to 0.25% of the water and 0.15% of total weight
2.9g LBG corresponding to 0.50% of the water and 0.30% of total weight
All samples were prepared the same, heated to 85C/185F and aged for six hours then churned in my Musso Stella and extracted at around -8C/18F.
Mix after ageing
The viscosity of the samples was very different.
Sample A without stabilizer was watery.
Sample B with 1.45g LBG was thicker.
Sample C with 2.9g LBG was even thicker as you can see in the image.
Sample B clearly had the best viscosity. Sample A was too watery and Sample C was a little too thick.
I measure the overrun for all three samples.
So a slightly higher overrun from Sample B but this is a little uncertain and could be measuring errors.
The actual taste was almost identical for the three samples. This tells us that the LBG itself does not change the flavor very much of the ice cream. The only noticeable difference was that Sample A tasted a little bit sweeter compared to the other two samples.
Texture and Mouthfeel
Now, here is when we start to notice quite big differences between the samples.
The ice cream feels light and melts quickly in the mouth, there is almost no lingering flavor at all. This is not how I like my ice cream, the flavor disappears almost right away.
A little denser compared to A and the flavor lingers in the mouth for a longer time. Much better compared to A.
Maybe a little bit denser than B but not by much. The flavor also lingers even longer than B but you also get a slight cloying film in your mouth that is a little bit unpleasant. I’d still prefer C to A.
All samples are quite smooth but Sample B and C have a little less ice crystals and are a little smoother than A.
Images show the samples A, B and C at ten minute intervals.
One observation is that Sample A melts a little faster in the first ten minutes. After the first ten minutes the rate of melting is almost the same. The viscosity of the melted ice cream is very different between the samples and compares well to the mix before churning.
Adding Locust Bean Gum as stabilizer will greatly improve the ice cream compared to no stabilizer. The texture, consistency and melt of the ice cream is better. However adding too much will make the ice cream too viscous and can add a cloying film in the mouth that is a little unpleasant.
My personal preference is clearly Sample B with 0.25% LBG of the water weight. I think a little more would be even better maybe 0.30% to 0.35% of the water weight would be perfect.