Great Eggspectations

4 May

“I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me.”

~Alfred Hitchcock 

Ok. I like eggs. I really do. Give me a spinach and feta fritata and I’m a happy girl. Eggs Benedict –  even better.

That Alfred Hitchcock is a nut. Not sure why he’s so scared of eggs. But if he were to edit the quote slightly, I actually might agree with him:

“I am frightened of tempering eggs.” That’s it!

The first time I tried tempering eggs I had no idea what to expect. If you had seen me in the kitchen you may have remarked “Is this a joke?” or “Does this woman have a clue what she’s doing?”

To answer your questions: NO – I had no freaking idea what I was doing. It was just a shot in the dark, and lucky for me, it worked!

Truth be told, I really would have loved it if someone had given me advice on tempering eggs  before  I attempted that feat.

As you all know, this is a “live blog” in other words, I blog as I make the ice cream. If I screw up or the flavor is gross, well, so be it! You’re going to have to read about it, and even worse, I’m going to have to eat it. Lucky for me, there’s only been one tragedy at 365 scoops. Hopefully not too many more will come my way! Being that this is, however, a live blog, I didn’t do much research on tempering eggs – I really just dove in head first and hoped for the best. Perhaps that’s my mantra in life!

Whisking the egg yolks

Here are some things I wished I had known about tempering eggs before my first try.  I hope they’re helpful to you.

  1. Buy a thermometer. This whole guessing game is totally ludicrous. Though it worked for me, I probably slightly over cooked my eggs, or worse, they could be slightly raw,  giving everyone who ate this ice cream salmonella. Sorry if that was you…
  2. Whisk the heck out of the egg yolks. And just when you think you’ve whisked enough, whisk some more. The creamier and frothier the better.
  3. Essentially, tempering eggs is slowly raising the temperature of your egg yolks up to the temperature of a hot liquid you have on the stove. This serves the purpose of preventing the yolks from turning into scrambled eggs if you simply dump them in.
  4. To quote The St. Louis friend in her recent post, make sure to temper the eggs nice and slowly or else “they will throw a temper tantrum” and scramble. I love this!
  5. This video might be of some use to you all. I think it’s helpful..
This whole post probably begs the question: why eggs in ice cream anyways?

To be frank, I often wonder the same thing myself. And to be even more frank (is this confessional or something?) I prefer my ice cream without eggs!
There. I said it.
But, there are some of you who really do like the added creaminess that egg yolks undoubtedly provide, so that’s why I am committed to trying recipes with eggs.
David Lebovitz gives an excellent explanation of the difference ice cream made with and without egg yolks. I feel compelled to share it with you so that you are fully informed readers.
There are two basic types of ice cream: French-style which is a cooked custard made with egg yolks, and Philadelphia-style which is made with cream or milk, but no eggs.  French-style ice creams tend to be smoother and silkier due to the emulsifying power of the egg yolks, which get cooked on the stove top (hello tempering!). Philadelphia -style ice creams can be simply mixed or pureed, thoroughly cooled, and then churned (i.e. much simpler!). Because Philadelphia-style ice creams don’t have egg yolks they tend to be a little firmer, freeze harder, and have a somewhat chewier texture (note: I have no idea what David is talking about here!). The advantage, of course, is that Philadelphia-style ice creams have no egg yolks so they’re a little lighter tasting and easier to make.
So now you can choose for yourself. Philadelphia or France, that is the question… ponder it and stay tuned for the next recipe…

5 Responses to “Great Eggspectations”

  1. Aleeza May 5, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    My only problem with this post is that you called Alfred Hitchcock “a nut”. You know he is my all-time favorite.

    Other than that…..looks good! Can’t wait to read more….

  2. Susan Hong May 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Chocolate with chocolate covered pretzels. Are you trying to kill us?! THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. The chocolate ice cream itself is delicious and then there’s a CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL SURPRISE.

    i can’t wait for tomorrow batch! ;) signing up for a gym membership last week all makes sense now.

  3. Sarah Clapp May 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Review of Naomi’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream:

    The ice cream is stand-alone awesome with a nice balance of tasting rich but actually being rather light. My favorite part, though, was the pretzel surprise! There’s nothing I like more than pretzel and chocolate, and I loved that you didn’t skimp on the pretzel AT ALL!

    Verdict: 5 stars!

    PS- please send more. If we eat it, Eric won’t get as fat :)

    • naomisugar May 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      Sarah and Susan – I am so glad that you liked the ice cream – thank you for the sweet note!!! I will be posting that recipe tonight so that you can see more about how to make it yourselves :) I am glad that you are enjoying the blog, and don’t worry, I’d rather send the ice cream your way than keep it in our freezer (or better yet, our bellies!)
      Happy eating to you both!


  1. Strawberry Basil Gelato « - July 29, 2011

    […] Additionally, it’s often made with eggs, and I personally get rather temperamental when tempering eggs. But, I gave it the old college try because strawberry basil gelato seemed like a good idea. Lemons […]

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