Liquid nitrogen ice cream. Why?
- LN2 ice cream is so FRESH. It's only 2 minutes old when you eat it.
- It's made in 60 seconds to 3 minutes – so it's fast. It can be done artisan style, or scaled up for groups
- Making the ice cream is a pretty awe-inspiring show with thick plumes of vapour billowing everywhere
- The -196ºC temperature stops lactose crystallisation, which = the smoothest ice cream physically possible.
- Health. Ingredients are all natural – no preservatives, stabilisers, emulsifiers or artificial additives needed
- Can be adjusted to almost any diet: vegan, vegetarian, diabetic, low GI, allergies, low fat – almost anything.
- The ice cream can be adjusted to personal taste, sampled and changed as you go
- LN2 is cold enough to freeze alcohol, caramel and sweet syrups – difficult to do with 'normal' ice cream
- Guests love it. It's become the most popular selling item at Boudoir Kazakhstan, Centara Grand Beach Resort Krabi, and now at Pullman Beach Resort Danang
- Money. It doesn't cost a lot, and it gives far better texture and taste in ice cream than using a $10,000 ice cream machine.
- If you need a LOT of ice cream – no problem. Make one very big batch
Liquid nitrogen ice cream is one of my 'signatures' and I've been making it table-side in my hotels and restaurants since 2007.
It became a firm favourite when I tried making it for the first time in "Boudoir", located of all places in Almaty, the "City of Apples" and the old capital of Kazakhstan.
Boudoir was a lounge bar restaurant and our clients were insanely wealthy Kazakhs, the designer-dressed 'social set', the diplomats, bankers, oil tycoons and the expat business leaders.
We charged a small fortune, and specialised in live mud crab "Singapore peppercrab" style, stunning oxygen foam "cocktails", and of course the liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Kazakhstan is also pretty famous (or infamous?) for their huge consumption of horse meat, which is on display at the central market
To make Liquid Nitrogen ice cream you need liquid nitrogen of course.
The keep liquid nitrogen (also known as "LN2") you need a special vented insulated container made especially for liquid nitrogen.
This stops it evaporating to quickly, and is safe to store and handle. The container cost is pretty high – over $1000 for a big one, so that investment puts a lot of people off.
LN2 can be VERY dangerous under certain conditions, and it must NEVER be put into a sealed container, or a "non-approved" container.
As it warms, it expands rapidly, so if it has nowhere to expand to, it can explode!
Here's an article I wrote on LN2 ice cream with a little more detail
The place you buy the liquid nitrogen from will usually sell the storage 'dewar', or maybe can loan/hire/rent one to you.
This is essential in a country with OHS laws!
We didn't have that issue in Almaty, so we picked up our LN2 in a local Kazakh Thermos flask with an ill-fitting cork lightly sitting on the top, allowing us to keep the LN2 for 48 hours. The glass inside the thermos would shatter from temperature shock every few weeks, but at $7 each it was more of an inconvenience than a financial problem
It turned out to be a huge success, and these days I have proper equipment – a 45 litre liquid nitrogen storage dewar, a 3.8 litre portable LN2 dewar, service trolleys, bowls, whisks and some sexy carved marble ice cream bowls that we designed specially.
We keep them in the freezer and the ice cream doesn't melt so quickly
As I mentioned in point 11: If you need a LOT of ice cream – no problem. Make a very big batch
I wasn't joking. We often do just that. It looks cool, and it's a LOT of fun.
Now we offer 21 flavours on my liquid nitrogen ice cream menu which is a popular treat as we're located right on the beach in central Vietnam.
Once again, this is a best seller, and almost everyone who stays here tries it.
This is a 'must try' food, and once you try it, you'll love it.