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Rum Raisin Ice Cream
with xanthan gum

With rum & raisins, milk, heavy cream, sugar, xanthan gum, and gelatine.

Get ready for a seriously adult treat! Our Rum Raisin Ice Cream is not for the faint-hearted. We use both xanthan gum and gelatine to ensure that this ice cream takes in as much rum as possible. While gelatine may not be commonly used in ice cream, it is the secret ingredient that allows this dessert to churn to its fullest potential without being compromised by the high rum content. The raisins soak overnight in rum, becoming little pockets of flavour that burst with every bite.

And here’s a little secret to take your rum experience to another level: instead of regular sugar, we use a mix of raw cane sugars, Demerara sugar, and Dark Muscovado sugar. The tropical notes of these sugars complement the rum perfectly, enhancing its flavour without overpowering it. These sugars also give the ice cream a lovely light brown colour that is visually appealing. Check out the Notes section of the recipe for more information on these sugars. And yes, you can skip them and use regular white sugar instead; this ice cream will still be excellent without them!

Watch us making it
The recipe

Rum Raisin Ice Cream
with xanthan gum

Ingredients:
Notes:

When making ice cream prefer to weigh all the ingredients by weight. We also recommend, whenever possible, weighing the liquid ingredients directly into the bowl/pan as you proceed with the recipe instead of transferring them from one bowl to another because this transfer causes a small -but unwanted- loss of quantity.

Note that the quantities in each measuring system (grams, ounces, and cups) are not accurate conversions; we sometimes round them up in a way that makes sense. Small deviations do not affect the outcome.

If you do not have a kitchen scale, follow these guidelines:
• 1 cup (US) = 237 ml | 1 tablespoon = 15 ml

• sugar: measuring sugar in tablespoons is more accurate than measuring it in cups. Use a 15 ml measuring tablespoon (not a regular one); this is 13 gr of sugar. To measure correctly, each time you scoop the sugar, level it with the flat side of a knife.

• liquid ingredients: thoroughly scrape with a rubber spatula any residues left on the sides and bottom of the cup every time you measure something and empty it.

This recipe makes a 1.2 litre/quart ice cream mixture (before churning), perfect for ice cream makers with a capacity of 1.5 and up to 2 litres/quarts (like Cuisinart ice cream makers).
If you need to scale the ice cream mixture up or down, use this ratio of the ingredients (in weight only):

milk 43.4% / heavy cream 35.5% / sugar 15.6% / dark rum 5.38% / xanthan gum 0.12%  / approx. 1 sheet gelatine (or 1.5 teaspoon gelatine granules) for every 30 ml rum calculated 

in the desired total weight of the ice cream mixture. 

For the raisins: 8.7% raisins for desired total weight of ice cream mixture and for the rum 1.2 x the raisins for soaking them

For example, if you want to make 1000 g of ice cream mixture, you need:

  • 1000 g x 43.3% = 433 g milk
  • 1000 g x 35.4% = 355 g heavy cream
  • 1000 g x 15.6% = 156 g sugar
  • 1000 g x 5.4% = 54 g dark rum
  • 1000 g x 0.2% = 2 g xanthan gum
  • and approx. 1.8 gelatine sheet (1 sheet gelatine x 54 ml rum / 30 ml ) or 1.35 teaspoon gelatine granules ( 0.75 teaspoon x 54 ml rum / 30 ) 

For the raisins:

  • 1000 g x 8.7% = 87 g raisins
  • and 87 g x 1.2 = 104 g dark rum for soaking

You can adjust the quantity of the xanthan gum in the recipe to your liking, depending on the texture you want to achieve:

  • To slightly stabilise the ice cream without affecting its texture and mouthfeel much, use 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (0.7 g or 0.06% by ice cream mixture weight) and decrease the sugar by 10 g (0.35 oz)
  • To create a firmer texture, which has a fuller body and mouthfeel, use 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g; 0.12% by ice cream mixture weight) as per the recipe 
  • For a stretchy texture similar to Booza/salep ice cream, use 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (2.3 g; 0.22% by ice cream mixture weight) and increase the sugar in the recipe by 15 g (0.5 oz)

You can read more about it here.

Tips to Enhance the Flavour of Rum Raisin Ice Cream

To give your Rum Raisin ice cream a truly exceptional taste, consider using a combination of raw cane sugars. We recommend using 100 g of raw cane sugar Demerara and 80 g of dark Muscovado sugar. This will impart a superior flavour to your ice cream and a beautiful light brown colour. If you don’t have these types of sugar on hand, don’t worry – you can still make fantastic ice cream with regular white sugar or light brown sugar.

Before using the dark Muscovado ensure that it is soft before use. Use your fingers to break down any small lumps before using it in the recipe, to ensure that they dissolve completely in the heavy cream.

Adding a cinnamon stick to your ice cream base while it’s lukewarm is another way to enhance the flavours. The cinnamon stick will stay in the base while it’s in the fridge, balancing the flavours and creating a more well-rounded taste. Just be sure not to infuse the ice cream with cinnamon while the base is hot, as this will give it a cinnamon flavour.

A flexible rubber spatula is good for:
-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when you cook dairy on the stovetop.
-scraping residues from bowls, saucepans etc.

If you do not have one, we strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one. 

Instructions
Plan ahead:

The raisins must be soaked in the rum and the ice cream mixture needs to cool completely and rest before churning, so prepare both in advance, preferably the day before you are planning to churn the ice cream.

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Step 1: Make the ice cream mixture

This step is a foolproof way to bring the ingredients to the right temperature before sprinkling the xanthan gum, without using a thermometer. To sum it up, all we do is combine part of the blend at fridge-cold temperature and the other part at boiling-hot temperature. And that’s it. The blend instantly reaches our target temperature for the xanthan gum to dissolve efficiently.

You can read more about this no-thermometer method here.

Soak the raisins in the rum: put the raisins (100 g; 3.5 oz) into a small bowl and pour the rum (120 g; 4.2 oz) over them. Stir to make sure all raisins are submerged in the rum. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 12 hours; during this time the raisins will absorb the most rum possible and become plumpy; this makes the raisins extra boozy. If you prefer a mild rum flavour and booziness, substitute half the rum with sugar: put 60 g rum and 60 g sugar into a small saucepan, warm over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and add the raisins while it is hot.

Soften the gelatine: put the gelatine leaves (or gelatine granules) into a shallow container and cover them with ⅓ of the cold milk (165 g; 5.8 oz; ⅔ cup). Stir. If using gelatine leaves, make sure they do not overlap; if they do, stir them around as they soften to keep them separated or else they stick to each other and do not soften.

Pour the rest of the cold milk (335 g; 11.8 oz) into the blender jug and have it ready to blend (or into a large bowl, if using an immersion blender).

Bring the sugar and the heavy cream to a boil: put the sugar (180 g; 6.3 oz) into a medium saucepan. Pour in the heavy cream (410 g; 14.5 oz). Warm over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar fully dissolves. Increase the heat to high, stirring continuously, and as soon as the heavy cream comes to a rolling boil (when large bubbles that pop vigorously appear on the surface / 90°C / 195°F / if it starts to overflow), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the blender jug with the cold milk.

Turn the blender on (medium speed). Note: by blending that much boiling hot cream with that much fridge-cold milk, the blend instantly reaches approx. 48°C; 118°F; This temperature is ideal for dissolving xanthan gum efficiently.

Sprinkle in the xanthan gum: with the blender on, carefully open the cap and slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum (½ teaspoon) over the surface. Blend for 2 minutes to fully hydrate the xanthan gum; do not estimate the time, set a timer. Do not expect the blend to thicken; it will thicken as it cools.

Add the softened gelatine: stop the blender and add the gelatine and its milk; blend for one minute.

Add the rum (62 g 2.2 oz) and blend to combine.

Step 2: Chill the ice cream mixture

Pour the ice cream mixture into a bowl; preferably stainless steel or heatproof glass as they chill faster.Avoid using plastic or glass bowls, as plastic may not chill the mixture well, while glass may break from the sudden temperature changes.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to cool down the ice cream mixture: we just need to cool it down until it is no longer warm to the touch so that you can safely put it in the refrigerator. This will take approx. 20 minutes; do stir occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Xanthan gum needs 6-8 hours in the refrigerator to fully develop, so do not rush the cooling process.

Step 3: Churn the ice cream

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: it should feel fridge-cold when you place your finger into it (below 12ºC / 54ºF, if you have a thermometer).

Strain the raisins: place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and add the raisins and rum. You will be left with approximately 45 g of rum. Keep the raisins in the strainer and over the bowl and put them in the freezer (or in the refrigerator if you do not have space in the freezer) to chill them. 

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Stir: give a nice, thorough stir to the cold ice cream mixture.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker. Leave to churn until creamy and wavy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

Add the raisins: with the ice cream maker running, gradually add the strained cold raisins, a tablespoon at a time. Leave to churn for 10 more minutes until the raisins are evenly distributed.

Add more rum (optional): if the ice cream is nice and fluffy after the raisins are incorporated, for an extra strong rum flavour you can add up to 2 tablespoons more rum if you are making this during winter (or up to 1 tablespoon if the weather is hot). Taste the ice cream and if you judge you want it more rumy, gradually add a tablespoon of the chilled strained rum. Reserve the rest of the rum for another use or for spooning it over the ice cream during serving.

This ice cream is ready when it is creamy and wavy. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now, it should be more like soft-serve ice cream. It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer.

So, stop the ice cream maker when the ice cream is smooth and pliable. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

Step 4: Put the ice cream in the freezer to set

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl
· stir the ice cream with a spoon to further distribute the raisins.
· place it in the freezer, uncovered.
Setting time depends on many factors; see notes below for indicative times.

Serve or store: as soon as it sets, serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storing.

The type of ice cream maker you use and the freezer will determine the setting time. Since it contains alcohol, it will take longer to set than non-alcoholic ice cream. We’ve found that in our freezer, it takes around 8 hours.

To evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will become too hard to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is soft enough to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -11°C /12°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the freezer bowl.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve ice cream consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. So it is too messy to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency: scoopable and easy to serve or transfer to another container to store it.

Storing and serving

Storing: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells. 

Scooping: this ice cream remains scoopable in the long term, thanks to its high alcohol content. To enjoy the perfect temperature and mouthfeel, refrigerate it for 20 minutes before serving.

Instructions

The raisins must be soaked in the rum and the ice cream mixture needs to cool completely and rest before churning, so prepare both in advance, preferably the day before you are planning to churn the ice cream.

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Soak the raisins in the rum: put the raisins (100 g; 3.5 oz) into a small bowl and pour the rum (120 g; 4.2 oz) over them. Stir to make sure all raisins are submerged in the rum. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 12 hours; during this time the raisins will absorb the most rum possible and become plumpy; this makes the raisins extra boozy. If you prefer a mild rum flavour and booziness, substitute half the rum with sugar: put 60 g rum and 60 g sugar into a small saucepan, warm over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and add the raisins while it is hot.

Soften the gelatine: put the gelatine leaves (or gelatine granules) into a shallow container and cover them with ⅓ of the cold milk (165 g; 5.8 oz; ⅔ cup). Stir. If using gelatine leaves, make sure they do not overlap; if they do, stir them around as they soften to keep them separated or else they stick to each other and do not soften.

Pour the rest of the cold milk (335 g; 11.8 oz) into the blender jug and have it ready to blend (or into a large bowl, if using an immersion blender).

Bring the sugar and the heavy cream to a boil: put the sugar (180 g; 6.3 oz) into a medium saucepan. Pour in the heavy cream (410 g; 14.5 oz). Warm over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar fully dissolves. Increase the heat to high, stirring continuously, and as soon as the heavy cream comes to a rolling boil (when large bubbles that pop vigorously appear on the surface / 90°C / 195°F / if it starts to overflow), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the blender jug with the cold milk.

Turn the blender on (medium speed). Note: by blending that much boiling hot cream with that much fridge-cold milk, the blend instantly reaches approx. 48°C; 118°F; This temperature is ideal for dissolving xanthan gum efficiently.

Sprinkle in the xanthan gum: with the blender on, carefully open the cap and slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum (½ teaspoon) over the surface. Blend for 2 minutes to fully hydrate the xanthan gum; do not estimate the time, set a timer. Do not expect the blend to thicken; it will thicken as it cools.

Add the softened gelatine: stop the blender and add the gelatine and its milk; blend for one minute.

Add the rum (62 g 2.2 oz) and blend to combine.

Pour the ice cream mixture into a bowl; preferably stainless steel or heatproof glass as they chill faster.Avoid using plastic or glass bowls, as plastic may not chill the mixture well, while glass may break from the sudden temperature changes.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to cool down the ice cream mixture: we just need to cool it down until it is no longer warm to the touch so that you can safely put it in the refrigerator. This will take approx. 20 minutes; do stir occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Xanthan gum needs 6-8 hours in the refrigerator to fully develop, so do not rush the cooling process.

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: it should feel fridge-cold when you place your finger into it (below 12ºC / 54ºF, if you have a thermometer).

Strain the raisins: place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and add the raisins and rum. You will be left with approximately 45 g of rum. Keep the raisins in the strainer and over the bowl and put them in the freezer (or in the refrigerator if you do not have space in the freezer) to chill them. 

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Stir: give a nice, thorough stir to the cold ice cream mixture.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker. Leave to churn until creamy and wavy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

Add the raisins: with the ice cream maker running, gradually add the strained cold raisins, a tablespoon at a time. Leave to churn for 10 more minutes until the raisins are evenly distributed.

Add more rum (optional): if the ice cream is nice and fluffy after the raisins are incorporated, for an extra strong rum flavour you can add up to 2 tablespoons more rum if you are making this during winter (or up to 1 tablespoon if the weather is hot). Taste the ice cream and if you judge you want it more rumy, gradually add a tablespoon of the chilled strained rum. Reserve the rest of the rum for another use or for spooning it over the ice cream during serving.

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl
· stir the ice cream with a spoon to further distribute the raisins.
· place it in the freezer, uncovered.
Setting time depends on many factors; see notes below for indicative times.

Serve or store: as soon as it sets, serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storing.

Storing: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells. 

Scooping: this ice cream remains scoopable in the long term, thanks to its high alcohol content. To enjoy the perfect temperature and mouthfeel, refrigerate it for 20 minutes before serving.

The process in step 1 is a foolproof way to bring the ingredients to the right temperature before sprinkling the xanthan gum, without using a thermometer. To sum it up, all we do is combine part of the blend at fridge-cold temperature and the other part at boiling-hot temperature. And that’s it. The blend instantly reaches our target temperature for the xanthan gum to dissolve efficiently.

You can read more about this no-thermometer method here.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture must be fridge-cold (4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it).

If the ice cream mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not be able to churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. fluffy ice cream.

This ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now, it should be more like soft-serve ice cream.

It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer.

So, stop the ice cream maker when thick and creamy, as described above. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Note that some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

The type of ice cream maker you use and the freezer will determine the setting time. Since it contains alcohol, it will take longer to set than non-alcoholic ice cream. We’ve found that in our freezer, it takes around 8 hours.

To evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve ice cream consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. This makes it impossible to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of an ice cream parlour’s.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and be difficult to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -11°C / 12°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

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