Monday, November 23, 2009

Chewy ice cream - Turkish salep dondurma

Wacky. Nuts. Unbelievable. There is such a thing as chewy (and stretchy) ice cream. I did write a book about the subject of ice cream, and I had no idea this even existed. I stumbled upon this article in The New York Times ( ) about the original texture(s) of ice cream, which were much different from the smooth product we have today. The most eye catching product was the Turkish salep dondurma. It basically is not ice cream as you and I know, but it is ice cream for all intents and purposes.

I made it based on a recipe which uses konjac flour. As it is being cooked it looks like pastry cream (and it is kind of made in a similar way) that has been severely overcooked. I cooled it down in an ice bath and then froze it, taking it out of the freezer every half hour to tug on on it and stretch it. I reminded me of working with pulled sugar. Except the opposite temperature. I took a temperature reading with the infrared thermometer and it read 15 degrees Fahrenheit by the time these pictures were taken... and it was still extensible and pliable, with no discernible ice crystals. The taste was fine, like pastry cream, the texture, well not at all like ice cream. The only way to describe it is as I did earlier: chewy ice cream.

I am not sure it has a place in the restaurant, but its definitely an interesting piece and something to keep in the file cabinet. The recipe, not the salep.


  1. I've had that recipe (assuming it's the same one) saved on my computer for quite a while (it was included in version 2 of the hydrocolloid recipe collection available on but I've never tried it. Now that I've seen a little more information on what it's about, maybe I will.

  2. Maybe it's not for the menu. But, how cool would it be to receive this little morsel with the check? It would certainly leave your patrons with something to talk about on the way home. I haven't tasted it but surely it beats a star mint.

  3. makes you wonder if that is an inspiration of sorts for this:

    good travels in Barcelona!

  4. where i can buy the dondurma already made, here in ny?

  5. i want to try and make turkish ice cream and flash fry it in brioche.. serve it with pistachios and seared foie gras