Mmmâ€¦. I just had a very small scoop of delicious egg nog ice cream. At 4:45 in the evening, this may have been a mistake. While I knew from the ingredients that the nog is around 20 proof, it seemed to me that once it was frozen it would be less potent.
After last nights experimentation (Which I was ready to call a failure), I was planning to buy some dry ice this afternoon (per the suggestion of Scott and Noah, thank you), but as it turns out, simply putting the 13 degree mixture into a â€“5 degree freezer after it had already partially frozen was enough to solidify it in a â€œice cream likeâ€ texture. Apparently the Nog had been mixed enough that it was able to become ice cream rather than solid ice.
Thatâ€™s cool, but I learned something about ice cream through this process. The melting point of ice cream is determined partially by its structure (which is determined by the whipping of the ice cream machine) and partially by its ingredients (similarly the flavor of a chocolate bar will be different if you melt it and let it solidify again because of the structural changes in recrystallization). The smoothness of ice cream (the â€œmouth feelâ€) is a large part of the taste, and is why ice cream is more enjoyable to eat than sorbet. The smoothness is because the ice cream, unlike ice, is only partially frozen. In regular ice cream only about half the water molecules that are trapped in the whipped mixture are frozen, while the rest are still liquid. This allows the ice cream to have a large temperature range in which it melts on the tongue, which helps our perception of creaminess. While the amount of fat in my frozen nog may be enough to emulsify the ethanol (the same way it does the water molecules) it has too low a melting point for it to remain â€˜creamyâ€™ on my tongue. The mixture turns liquid and runny almost instantly in my mouth and really has a disappointing texture. The flavor is still good, but I would definitely recommend getting rid of some of the alcohol before you turn your leftover nog into ice cream.
I wrote a post about swimming, but Iâ€™ll put that up tomorrow now Iâ€™m finished with my kitchen science.