Chewy Ice Cream

I love to experiment with ingredients and cooking techniques that are unfamiliar to me and originate from different parts of the world.  I came upon an article describing something called Chewy Ice Cream.  My interest was piqued as it never crossed my mind that ice cream could actually be chewy.  Turns out that chewy ice cream can be found in various regions and is a highly treasured cultural food. 

This recipe is inspired by Greek Ice Cream called, Kaimaki, and Turkish Ice Cream called Dondurma.  Both have an interesting chewiness not found in typical Western ice cream.  The texture is developed by unique regional ingredients as well as confectionary like processing techniques.

There are two ingredients required to develop the chewy texture. The traditional recipes call for Salep, ground tubers from an old word orchid.  It is a prohibited export; however, Konjac has very similar properties and is easily available in Western countries.  Konjac is a plant native to warm, tropical parts of Asia.  Konjac is a fat-, sugar-, gluten-, starch-, and protein-free food. It’s primarily composed of glucomannan, a water-soluble fiber that passes through the body undigested.  Mastic resin is a relatively expensive kind of spice that has been used principally as a chewing gum for at least 2,400 years. The flavour can be described as a strong, slightly smoky, resiny aroma and can be an acquired taste. Of particular interest, mastic gum also has medical benefits.  It has natural anti-bacterial properties and is used to alleviate aliments such as peptic ulcers and Crohn’s disease.   The native countries also sometimes use goat milk for the base.

This recipe uses konjac and the traditional mastic gum and cow milk.

To achieve the creamy texture, the ice cream base goes through a whipping process followed be a beating process.  It follows more of a confectionary process versus a western ice cream process. 

A hand mixer and stand mixture, with whisk and batter attachments are recommended for easier processing.  A traditional ice cream maker is not recommended, as it will not create the desired texture.


  • 3 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 3 cups milk (full fat)
  • 1 1/8 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Konjac (or Glucomannan powder)
  • 1 teaspoon mastic gum (ground or in powder form)

  1. If not using the powder form, you will need to grind the mastic.  Mastic is sold in drips of resin which can stick to the mortar and pestle during grinding.  To avoid, freeze mastic for 15 minutes before using and mix with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar while grinding with mortar or pestle.
  2. Dissolve the Konjac with ½ C milk.  
3.  In a separate mixing bowl, mix ½ C milk with the ground mastic.  (An emersion hand blender works well to fully blend milk and mastic.)
4.  Warm the remaining milk in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the Konjac and the mastic mixture then the remaining sugar and cream. 
5.  Use a hand mixer on high speed and beat the mixture continuously for 20 minutes until mixture become very thick.  (Do not let mixture boil.)

6.  Allow mixture cool to room temperature.  (This can refrigerate overnight.)
7.  Once cooled, transfer the mixture to the stand mixture, mix on medium high for 10-15 minutes.  The mixture will increase in volume and begin to demonstrate high gloss foam, which resembles marshmallow.
8.  Leave in metal stand bowl and place mixture into freezer for 30 minutes.  Remove from freezer and switch to batter attachment and blend for 10 minutes.  Repeat this process three more times to fully develop the creamy texture.
9.  Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with PurColour Pearl Sugar for added crunch!

Download Recipe PurColour -Chewy Ice Cream

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