Dec 24, 2015

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Experimenting With Food? Make A Unique Family Dessert With Dry Ice

For the unadventurous home cook, the idea of using dry ice for home food preparation is likely to be met with disbelief, but for those cooks who love to try new recipes and techniques, it can seem like a chance to do a really awesome science experiment with an edible reward at the end. If you are someone who enjoys experimenting with unique ingredients, recipes and preparation methods, then dry ice could well become the next frontier to explore in your kitchen adventures.

Safe Handling Practices

Because dry ice actually is a common name for frozen carbon dioxide, it can reach temperatures that are much colder than regular ice and requires some special handling guidelines to prevent painful skin damage. When using dry ice, always remember:  

  • to wear protective gloves and never allow the dry ice to come into direct contact with bare skin
  • to not ingest dry ice, even though it is not poison, ingesting something that cold could cause serious damage to your digestive system and body
  • to not allow children to use dry ice without close adult supervision
  • to use dry ice only in well ventilated rooms so that the gases released as it melts can dissipate harmlessly
  • to leave the lid ajar on containers when using dry ice to prevent an expansion that might cause the container to explode

Making Dessert Pancakes Using Dry Ice

Now that you know how to handle dry ice safely, here is a really unique way to use it in the preparation of your next family dessert. Imagine a dessert made of layer after layer of flash frozen ice cream shaped like pancakes with chocolate, strawberry or caramel sauce for syrup? If this sounds delicious, you will be happy to know it is very easy to make.

You will need the following ingredients and equipment:

  • dry ice in block form
  • cookie sheet
  • cutting board, preferably a thick wooden one
  • protective gloves and dish towels
  • ice cream in your choice of flavors
  • sturdy zip-close plastic bags, one for each flavor of ice cream
  • flavorless cooking spray
  • kitchen shears, spoons and a spatula
  • chilled dessert plates or bowls
  • sauces and toppings of your choice

To assemble the surface on which you will make your ice cream pancakes, place the cutting board on the kitchen counter and then cover it with the folded kitchen towel. Place the block of dry ice on top of the kitchen towel.

Spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray and then place it on top of the dry ice. Wait a few minutes for the metal surface of the cookie sheet to get very cold (resisting the urge to touch it, of course).

Scoop some of each flavor of ice cream into the plastic bags, keeping the flavors separate. Close the bags and then massage them briefly in your hands until they are softened.

Using kitchen shears, clip one corner of the bag off to form an opening to squeeze the soft ice cream onto the cookie sheet in the shape of pancakes.

Allow it to harden, then remove the ice cream pancake and place it in a chilled dessert bowl, repeating the process until you have enough servings for your family.

Decorate with sauces and toppings and watch your family smile at the unique presentation of your dessert. For more information, contact a company like Chilly Willy & Cool Carl’s Ice.

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