Happy National Soft Ice Cream Day!!! Always celebrated on a Sunday in August, Soft Ice Cream Day is dedicated to the invention of a beloved frozen treat. Ever wondered how the soft serve was made? I always did too. After about seven years working in an ice cream shop, I finally got the gist of it when I was able to help clean the big machines. The ice cream mix always came in cartons pre-made and we would pour them in the compartments in the tops of the machines. But then it would come out in a nice consistency ready to serve. What, may I ask, is inside this contraption that makes it not too cold but not too soft and the perfect consistency? Well, inside there are two cylindrical blades that churn the liquid mix at a freezing temperature (like around 32-36 degrees) while air is also being pumped in. I feel like there is more to that… but that is seriously the gist of it.
We have three different machines at B&F. The regular soft serve of chocolate and vanilla, the big machine. Then there are two twin machines, one is yogurt and the other is our non-dairy Dole. The vanilla and chocolate come already pre-made in cartons from Upstate Farms. Then the yogurt only comes in Vanilla from Upstate Farms, and then we add a shot of flavoring to the the vanilla to create the complimentary flavor. The choosing of the flavor is actually pretty difficult. Out of the 24 soft flavors that we have, we have to choose the right one because the color begins to fade after a while and therefore when it is twisted with the vanilla, you can’t really see it.
Then there is our Dole. This is actually the most complicated preparation out of the three. We have a 3 gallon bucket, that mainly lets out mix 2 gallons safely. We fill the bucket with one gallon of luke warm water, and then add the Dole powered mix. We stir it so it dissolves, then fill the rest up to the 2 gallon mark with really cold water. Then stir again and pour into the machine. It sounds complicated and time consuming, but you get pretty fast at it.
For our regular soft serve flavors, we have containers and a machine that we use. The containers are filled with the appropriate serving of vanilla ice cream, then we add our flavoring and mix it up in this mixing machine. Then on the other side of the machine there is a place to set the container down and then pull a lever that pushes the ice cream out of the container and you swirl it on the cone. People watch us like hawks through the windows when we make these. Then they are like “That’s how you make those!?”
We don’t have the flavor bursts. Which is the thin lines of flavoring that are on the edges of the ice cream. To make those, there is a machine that connects to the big machine and pumps it on the ice cream.
I love the soft serve machines. Unless there is an air bubble… beware of that shit. It makes a loud popping/gasping for air sound and spits out at a high speed. But I can make about 4 kid cones one one hand or two small cones on one hand. It is a talent that we learn lol. I was trained by the best 🙂
So go get some soft serve ice cream today! It is still summer!
Also. Frozen custard is different from soft serve. It is frozen much the same way, but in the custard there are egg yolks. Just to clear that up lol