I'm planning on making Baileys ice cream from the recipe given in Larousse Gastronomique, which calls for 1 tsp of stabilizer. Ice cream stabilizers are briefly listed in the preceding paragraph as edible gelatine, egg white, agar-agar, and carob but are not discussed any further. I find the stabilizer reference vague and the 1 tsp measurement further puzzles me because I wouldn't expect them to be used in the same ratios.

Please help.

  • 150 g egg yolks
  • 1 tsp ice cream stabilizer
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 175 ml Baileys
  • Is this a custard ice cream or simple dairy? Could you perhaps post the full list of ingredients?
    – jscs
    Dec 4, 2012 at 21:57
  • 1
    Truthfully, I would try the recipe without any extra stabilizers, or make it using the custard method and only egg yolks (for the lecithen and the custard thickening), and only worry about additives if that first batch is not successful. Home made ice cream is pretty forgiving. The only trick I know is to let the mix sit in the refrigerator overnight before freezing--this seems to really help the flavors for some reason.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Dec 4, 2012 at 22:56
  • 1
    Updated with full list of ingredients. I believe the reason for the stabilizer is due to the Baileys. None of the other ice cream recipes listed on the same page call for a stabilizer. Your advice about letting it sit is well taken, SAJ14SAJ, as it's even recommended here to let the mixture stand for 4 hours before transferring to ice cream mixer to let the flavours develop.
    – Ryan
    Dec 4, 2012 at 23:31
  • According to your update, this is already a custard mix. According to my super secret google conversion search, 175 Bailey's is about 3/4 c. That is a lot of liqueur. I could not easily find out what percentage of that is actually cream, and how much is essentially water or alchohol, which is probably the resaon for the stabilizer. I still think it is worth trying without the stabilizer--the nice thing about ice cream is that if you let it melt, you have custard sauce. You could then add stabilizer and refreeze if the results were not good. If you do use one, I suggest the egg white.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Dec 4, 2012 at 23:33
  • So, I tried it with 1 tsp of xanthan gum as stabilizer. The results were interesting. It took about 10 minutes less churning than called for, which I attribute to the stabilizer. Also, and I'm not sure if I should attribute this to the stabilizer or the fact that it's a custard-based recipe, but for my personal taste it didn't have a milky enough tactile sensation. Next time I will indeed leave out the xanthan completely in order to compare, and may also focus on simple dairy recipes in the future.
    – Ryan
    Dec 7, 2012 at 0:24

3 Answers 3


I've used xanthan gum with great success. You can get it in powdered form at places like Whole Foods and health food stores. You might find guar gum also, although I haven't tried it. The teaspoon measurement is about right for a standard home recipe that makes a quart of ice cream, although you can add a quarter teaspoon at a time and stop when the consistency looks about right. Add it while spinning the mix in a blender to prevent clumps. If you add too much, it'll become thick and sticky like peanut butter.

I'm assuming they're calling for some kind of stabilizer because Baileys has a lot of water in it, but you may find that you don't need the full teaspoon.

  • Can you elaborate on what the "right consistency" looks like, and why you're putting the base into a blender?
    – jscs
    Dec 4, 2012 at 21:59
  • The xantham gum itself, I infer from the answer, is ironically the reason for the blender :-)
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Dec 4, 2012 at 22:58
  • The "right consistency" is something pretty close to heavy whipping cream. Presumably, the Baileys will water it down a bit, and the recipe is compensating for that with the stabilizer. And yes, the blender is needed to keep the xanthan gum from clumping as you add it. Another idea is to reverse the quantities of heavy whipping cream and milk. A lot of recipes use 2 cups cream and 1 cup milk, and that extra butterfat will help with the iciness as well, and possibly reduce the need for a stabilizer. Dec 5, 2012 at 1:26
  • The recipe calls for adding the stabilizer to the egg yolks and sugar before mixing with the milk/cream. In this case I'd be blending the yolks, sugar, and xanthan together in the blender before adding to the milk/cream. Sounds OK to you? Also, are you sure about the 1 tsp? Most references I've seen call for about 1/8 of this.
    – Ryan
    Dec 5, 2012 at 2:28
  • Xanthan gum powder needs to be dissolved quickly to avoid clumping, so it should be added to a large amount of liquid in the blender. I make the mix normally first and then put it in a blender to add the xanthan gum at the end. I've done it several times that way with great success. As for the amount, I did several experiments with it once, and found that it started to make a difference at about 1/2 tsp per quart, and a full tsp was about right for recipes with a lot of water or fruit juice. Add it by the 1/8 or 1/4 tsp to be safe - let it blend a few seconds, and then check the consistency. Dec 5, 2012 at 12:19

I'm not a fan of Xantham gum for stabilizing these mixtures because I think it makes for a slimy mouthfeel and changes the texture. In the past, I used a blend of Carboxymethyl Cellulose and glycerol monostearate, which both emulsifies the mixture and stabilizes it. You can find these ingredients on Modernist Pantry.

There are several resources that dig into the amounts to use and the blends, etc. This post covers it to an extent: GMS and CMC ratios in Ice Cream

Frozen Desserts by Francisco Migoya also has information about stabilizers.

You can also find a bunch of information in this link: http://icecreamscience.com/stabilizers-ice-cream/


I'm also not a fan of xanthan in ice cream (it's great for a million other things). Even so, a teaspoon of xanthan is too much. If you were to use it, you'd want to use under 1g per liter. If you're hoping to use easy to find ingredients, try 1g gelatin plus 0.4g xanthan gum. Mix these with the sugar in the recipe.

Other stabilizer blends will be more effective, but you'll have to shop for some new things. You could try to find a reasonably sized jar of Cremodan, or roll your own ... check out this article.

Someone mentioned carboxymethylecellulos ... this is very effective stuff, but beware that there are many varieties, some of which will strongly influence the texture of the ice cream. You don't need any GMS in any ice cream that has 150g egg yolks. That's a crazy lot of eggs. You could cut that by 3/4 and still have plenty of emulsification.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.