Thursday, September 17, 2009

Soft Serve Ice Cream Dreams

As I've said before in this blog and for anyone who knows me, one of my fave things EVER is a perfect soft serve ice cream cone! When I was in Japan visiting my sister and best friend Tara, I would have green tea and vanilla soft serve swirl ice cream almost every day-- whenever I saw it I would get it! In Japan they also have amazing flavours like black sesame soft serve, purple taro soft serve... This place in New York Momofuku makes crazy flavours too-- I've never been there but I'd like to try! There are some reviews on the ice cream here and here.

Basically whenever there is a chance to get soft serve, I will try it. I've had ice milk soft serve, high butterfat soft serve, soft serve that tastes like plastic, frozen yogurt soft serve of many different brands from different shops... soft serve sandwiched between chocolate cookies as an ice cream sandwich... It always looks like magic to me. That hum of the compressor and the motor, a pull of a handle and the smooth pouring out of white billowing fancy swirls of ice cream... Wonderful! When there is a choice of twist, I usually get vanilla. Vanilla gets a harsh rap for being boring... No way! Delish! Unless it's green tea on the other side, in which case I get swirl.

Today I got the pleasure of a real live soft serve ice cream demonstration, at a food machinery sales demo kitchen located in Port Coquitlam! Deep fryers, milkshake machines, hot holding display cases, slushie machines, the test kitchen looked like a little mini mart. Yes, I got lost on the way there, and I got lost on the way home, but my excitement kept my mood high! My new friends Sam and LK (see below!) walked me through the process of how a soft serve ice cream machine works... I even got to pump a few of my own, and try their "Razzle" maker too, which is essentially how you make a Dairy Queen blizzard. FUN!

Sam and LK also answered all of my queries, such as:

"What on earth is behind those handles that you pull down when you make the soft serve?"
Behind the handles are these little party chambers that are like big long frozen tubes. Above is a pic of the handles removed, revealing the inside. The turning mechanism attachment (as seen above, partially pulled out of the chamber) scrapes off the perfect amount of ice cream from the sides of the frozen tubes and pumps it out into a beautiful ice cream swirl. Apparently Taylor soft serve machines are the only ones with a fully frozen chamber using liquid technology; other machines use a frozen "coil" technology.

"How do you get the ice cream mix all up in there??"
On top of the machines are chambers called "hoppers". Basically where you pour your ice cream mix, which is then covered with a lid. The hoppers have a tiny hole in which a stick is inserted into it with an even TINIER hole. The mix seeps through the tiny hole, and when you pull down the lever, the right amount of mix gets sucked into the hole, to then get frozen in the frozen tube, which then billows out onto your cone. This is where you would pour in test batches of your own flavour creations: I want to try making some delighftul new flavours! Of course green tea, as I LOVE green tea soft serve, but also raspberry, caramel, etc... The key to the soft serve is texture, and my pal LK said it's tricky getting the right homemade formula. But I am gonna try!

"Can I try this thing??"
Yes, most certainly!!
Wheeee!! So fun!! My dream job!!!

My haphazard soft serve ice cream pile!

My ice cream... so fun!!!

I drove home with a whole lot of information about soft serve machines: water cooled vs. air cooled, the importance of servicing these puppies, how to replace parts, how to wash the parts, and an operating manual and a spec sheet for a specific Taylor Soft Serve ice cream machine, as well as my little ice cream cup. YAY! Now I know how these crazy machines work!! Too fun...


How To Eat A Cupcake said...

That's awesome! I looove soft serve too! My favorite is frozen yogurt! :D

lyndsay said...

oh yes... fro yo... "call me"... love fro yo so much too!!

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