Unless you’re currently eating some delicious chocolate ice cream while reading this, Alton Brown has come up with the fastest possible way to create the tasty frozen treat: ten seconds. That’s all it takes for the award-winning foodie and TV personality to craft a heaping helping of fabulous frozen chocolate confectionery through the power of science. With respect to Dippin’ Dots, Brown may be at the forefront of the real “ice cream of the future.”
As part of his current tour, “Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science,” Brown will demonstrate his Jet Cream machine alongside his Mega Bake device in front of live audiences. Popular Science cooked up a video in which Brown demonstrates his new creation, Jet Cream. Take a look for yourself below:
So what’s going on here? Much like fountain drinks of old, this recipe is basically a pumped-up version of an egg cream. Consisting of only milk, carbonated water, and chocolate syrup–notice there are no eggs nor cream in this drink–egg creams are known for their fizzy carbonation, rich chocolate flavor, and fresh, frothy head. Brown’s Jet Cream recipe seems to be quite similar: the liquid portion is a chocolate syrup concoction while the carbonated water has been replaced by carbon dioxide gas. Now’s when the science kicks in.
As you can see, Brown’s Jet Cream rig is very much a DIY contraption–though we discourage anyone from making their own–but the business ends are two pressurized vessels. The one containing the chocolate syrup mixture is primed at 75psi in order to get the liquid into the mixing chamber. The other is a CO2 fire extinguisher, which contains compressed gas at room temperature. When the handle on this bad boy is squeezed, the CO2 is forced through a nozzle and the gas expands–i.e. the molecules spread out–to fill the space within the mixing chamber. Due to a thermodynamic process known as the throttling process, or the Joule-Thomson process, the gas cools upon expansion, absorbing thermal energy within the vessel and dropping its temperature to a dangerously chilly -155 °F. This is much colder than your typical ice cream maker or home freezer, but just perfect for Brown’s Jet Cream machine.
Personally, I’m still waiting for Brown to market a counter-top Jet Cream maker, but it’s probably best for my waistline that that hasn’t happened yet.
HT: Popular Science
Images: David Allen via Eater