Liquorice!!!

Isn’t liquorice great? If you love it, that is. Other people positively hate it. For those who love it, vegan or not, this is a lovely gelato, and easy to make.

Ingredients (grams)

water44259%
cashew butter11215%
sucrose8011%
dextrose405%
inulin304%
coconut/olive oil 7/3203%
pure black liquorice193%
stabiliser (e.g. locust bean gum/xanthan 95/5)2.50,3%

Mix the sugars, inulin, powdered liquorice and stabiliser and add them to the water at ca 40°C, mixing well. Bring to ca 85°C always mixing. remove from heat, add the cashew butter and the oils, blend thoroughly . Cool rapidly. Let the mixture rest for a few hours, then churn.

Note – my ice creams are designed to be consumed immediately or kept in a somewhat warmer freezer (-10°C). If you wish to store them at the normal -18°C freezer temperature, increase the percentage of sugars (sucrose and dextrose) to a total of approximately 22% keeping the same sucrose/dextrose ratio and decrease the liquid to keep the same mixture total weight.

Roasted banana ice cream

For this delicious roasted banana ice cream I cooked 600g of overripe fruit with 45g of dark demerara sugar, then completed the recipe with cashew butter, some oils and water to give a very thick mixture which I churned.

The calculations are based on the dry banana matter (bananas contain ca 75% water) and on the assumption that the sugars in bananas are a 1:1:1 mix of sucrose-fructose-dextrose, which is of course an assumption as it will depend a lot on the ripeness stage and on the cooking process.

As usual if you make it for a normal freezer you can add a little more sugar (in this case I am not sure I would remove the corresponding water, due to the thickness of the mixture).

water50063%
cashews608%
cooked banana (dry weight)15019%
sucrose (dark demerara)456%
coconut/olive oil 7/3405%
salt20,2%
fsc/xanthan 9/13,00,4%

Note – my ice creams are designed to be consumed immediately or kept in a somewhat warmer freezer (-10°C). If you wish to store them at the normal -18°C freezer temperature, increase the percentage of sugars (sucrose and dextrose) to a total of approximately 22% keeping the same sucrose/dextrose ratio and decrease the liquid to keep the same mixture total weight.

Choco-Miso ice cream

For this water-based ice cream I used dark chocolate (90% cocoa), cocoa powder (22-23% fats) and a bit of miso to increase intensity and complexity. My husband declared it ‘best chocolate ever’ 🙂

water477g
dark chocolate (90% cocoa mass)100g
sucrose80g
dextrose40g
cocoa powder (23% fat)20g
miso30g
fsc+xanthan 9:13g

Mix together sucrose, dextrose and the thickeners. In a small pan containing the measured water, bring the chocolate, cocoa powder and miso to ca. 50°C and then add the solids, mixing well with an immersion blender. Bring to a about 80°C to homogenise all the thickeners and switch the heating off. Cool the mixture down rapidly by placing it in a ice-water bath, still blending, then let it rest for a few hours, blending from time to time to ensure it stays smooth. Churn, then transfer to the freezer for a couple of hours.

Note – my ice creams are designed to be consumed immediately or kept in a somewhat warmer freezer (-10°C). If you wish to store them at the normal -18°C freezer temperature, increase the percentage of sugars (sucrose and dextrose) to a total of approximately 22% keeping the same sucrose/dextrose ratio and decrease the liquid to keep the same mixture total weight.

For example, in this recipe you would use 98g sucrose, 49g dextrose and measure 451g water, leaving the rest unchanged.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

You may have heard of a ‘novel’ low-nutritive natural sugar replacement – it’s a monosaccharide called allulose (or psicose) and it’s been touted as a new replacement for ordinary sugar. It’s more or less equally sweet but is not recognised by our organism and therefore not transformed to generate caloric intake.

It’s been thought that sweet taste in food would only be rewarding in the presence of caloric content (derived for example from fats and/or proteins) and that an ’empty’ sweet experience would not be satisfactory enough, prompting us to look for more and more, until sufficient caloric content would signal to the brain that we have eaten enough.

But now, it seems that it’s not just the sweet + calories that we look for. Our organism has evolved to recognise glucose as a very important source of energy on its own. It makes sense – glucose constitutes one of the more ubiquitous sources of energy – from starch in grains and pulses to sugar in fruit, it keeps us going. Glucose has strong and widespread effects on the brain, satiety signalling and feeding behaviour.

And it looks like we cannot really fool our brain into thinking that we are eating good old energy, even when we try to fool it with the presence of other calories.

Brain activity and connectivity changes in response to nutritive natural sugars, non-nutritive natural sugar replacements and artificial sweeteners

The take home message seems to be that it’s still better to train ourselves to eat less sugary foods rather than keep scoffing at less caloric desserts by replacing good old dextrose/glucose/sucrose.

Hello!

After posting so many recipes on facebook, I have decided to create a website. I will move some of my favourite recipes here, and probably keep using facebook as a sort of journal… I still have to decide on the best format!

Peanut butter ice cream

For this water-based ice cream I used cashew, peanut butter, sugar and dextrose. It came our really smooth and I think it’s my best peanut butter ice cream so far.

water485g
100% peanut paste80g
toasted cashew paste60g
sucrose80g
dextrose40g
salt3g
fsc+xanthan 9:13g

Mix together sucrose, dextrose, salt and the thickeners. Bring water to ca. 50°C and add the solids, mixing well with an immersion blender. Bring to a boil to homogenise all the thickeners and switch the heating off. Let it cool to ca 70°C then pour onto the nut pastes and blend thoroughly again. Cool the mixture down rapidly by placing it in a ice-water bath, still blending, then let it rest for a few hours. Churn, then transfer to the freezer for a couple of hours.

Note – my ice creams are designed to be consumed immediately or kept in a somewhat warmer freezer (-10°C). If you wish to store them at the normal -18°C freezer temperature, increase the percentage of sugars (sucrose and dextrose) to a total of approximately 22% keeping the same sucrose/dextrose ratio and decrease the liquid to keep the same mixture total weight.

For example in this ice cream, you would use 98g of sucrose, 49g dextrose and 458g water, leaving the rest unchanged.

Courses

I currently offer two on-line courses, organised individually and not pre-registered, so that we have time to go through questions and doubts.

The first is more general, an introduction to Chemistry in the Kitchen – you’ll learn about macronutrients from a structural point of view, their role in cooking and how to move to a plant-base approach without missing out. Currently this course is available in Italian.

I also offer a more specific course, in Italian or in English, where I teach you all I know about ice cream and how to make a great vegan gelato. Again, this course is science-based, because ice cream making is essentially applied science.

Contact me if you are interested, for more information: thecraftsycat@gmail.com