There are certain foods and drinks that people commonly believe can only be found at a restaurant or bar. Soft serve ice cream is probably one of those things. But who wants to go to the local ice cream shop in the middle of winter? (If it’s even open!)
But if you still want your soft serve, you CAN make it home, the only catch is that, for this recipe at least, you’ll need some dry ice (which can sometimes be found at your local supermarket.)Jump to Recipe
I first learned about the technique of making soft serve ice cream from ChefSteps. It’s not complicated at all, and only takes about five minutes. So what are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
I am using Salt and Straw’s ice cream base recipe and it utilizes a blender. To that we’ll be adding our crushed dry ice which will quickly freeze the base allowing us to whip and churn it at the same time giving us a delicious soft-serve ice cream.
Instant Soft-Serve Ice Cream
- stand mixer
- 1⅓ C. whole milk
- 1⅓ C. heavy cream
- ½ C. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. xantham gum
- ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp. dry milk powder
- dry ice
- Into your blender, add all of the ingredients.
- Mix until all of the powders have completely dissolved into the liquid mixture.
- Place the dry ice in the plastic bag and cover it with a towel. (Make sure not to handle the dry ice with your bare hands as it can burn you.) Taking a rolling pin or other heavy object, crush the dry ice into rice-grain-sized pieces.
- Take 500 grams, or about 2 1/2 cups of your mixture from Step 2 and add it to the bowl in your stand mixer. Churn on low and then slowly add the crushed dry ice from Step 3. It should take about 5 minutes to achieve the soft-serve consistency.
- In order to get the classic swirl pattern on your soft serve, put the ice cream mixture in a piping bag and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes before piping.
- Once it has slightly hardened, take it out and pipe into a cone. (I used a wine glass as a stand to hold the cone.)
- Finally, if you’re feeling festive, you can add sprinkles, or chocolate sauce, or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- You’ll want to crush the dry ice a finely as possible, about pea-sized or smaller. This will ensure that the dry ice sublimates completely and freezes the ice cream quickly.
How is theTexture?
Surprisingly, this soft serve is slightly fizzy. This effervescence must be due to the fact that dry ice is essentially frozen carbon dioxide.
What Does it Taste Like?
Taste-wise, It has a lovely vanilla flavor. Of course, if you want different flavors, it would be easy to experiment with those. I could imagine using chocolate, or strawberry, or mint, or whatever you have on hand.
You can watch me making and tasting it in the video below:
So there you have it: 5-minute soft serve dry-ice vanilla ice cream! For me, pure nostalgia as this is exactly what my mom would order when we went out for ice cream in the summer.