The Cooling Effects of R-134a on a Ternary Mixture of Cream, Milk, and Semisweet Chocolate

ice_cream... or the making of some killer ice cream.

I got this ice-cream machine a year ago from my dear family for Father's Day and haven't had a chance to use it until now (3-year olds require a bit of attention you know). Anywho, Trish initiated the effort by making a mixture of cream, milk, chocoalte chips, vanilla, some sugar and chilled it in the fridge for a few hours. It was then churned for 25 mintues in the ice cream machine.

Most sub-$100 model ice cream machines use a prechilled bowl to effect the gradual chilling of the ice cream mixture. The refrigerant sealed in the bowl most commonly used in these machines is R-134a (1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane). We prechilled the container (for about a year) in the freezer and let it churn our ice cream to be for 25 minutes. We then poured the grainy mixture into a plastic container (initally dissapointed because the texture seemed off) and placed it in the freezer.

Apparently lots happened in the next few hours. It was like very cold chocolate mousse. Yum. But, not quite like ice cream. The next day, however, upon continued storage in the freezer, it became very firm, very smooth and very much like some of the best "toklit" (Frankie's pronunciation) ice cream we'd ever had - and from such a simple mixture. Definitely worth the minimal effort. Thanks family. A device we'll use too much in years to come.