During our recent trip to Walt Disney World for Food Blog Forum 2013, Mr. Eats and I were excited to finally try the legendary Dole Whip. It’s probably the most well-known and sought-after treat in all the Disney lands. Available regularly only at the Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom (Adventureland) and at Disneyland, the Dole Whip (to me) just tasted like soft serve pineapple sherbet. As in, a sorbet with dairy. One of the Dole Whips I got was swirled with orange, which tasted just like a Push Up, so that confirmed my belief.
But how to make soft serve pineapple sherbet at home? Yeah, that’s a really good question. So I consulted Google. But for a Dole Whip recipe, not soft serve pineapple sherbet. The first hit was this one, written by what seemed to be an expert (or, at least, a superfan).
So, I gave it a shot.
The verdict? Not a Dole Whip. It tastes…fine [UPDATE: no, it doesn't and it freezes hard as a rock!], but it is not quite tart enough and it is way too rich, particularly when you’re brain is prepared for sherbet. The heavy cream, though whipped (and it needs to be whipped to near butter to have enough air in it), is the culprit. You see, the Dole Whip is almost entirely non-dairy. As in, it’s not made with whipped cream. The big clue is in the original post that indicates the only dairy is sodium caseinate. Which happens to be what was, until recently, the only dairy ingredient in (wait for it) Cool Whip.
[cue the sounds of my heart breaking]
A couple of years ago, though, the makers of the Dole Whip updated the recipe so that it is now dairy-free. This is something I wish I’d known when I thought this would be a suitable dinner substitute for my daughter (what? Milk is good for you!). Anyway, here are the ingredients of the Dole Whip mix, according to the producer (Kent’s Precision Foods):
Sugar, Dextrose, Coconut Oil, Stabilizers (Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Karaya Gum, Pectin), Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavor (contains Pineapple Juice), Modified Food Starch, Malic Acid, Beta Carotene (Color), Mono & Diglycerides, Less Than 2% Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking).
Note: water would be the first ingredient in the prepared mix.
Here are the ingredients of Cool Whip, according to various sources, NOT including the Kraft website:
Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Skim Milk, Light Cream. Contains less than 2% of Sodium Caseinate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Xantham and Guar Gums, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Monostearate, Beta Carotene
Note: only recently did Cool Whip’s recipe change to include milk and cream.
So, it’s not quite the same. But there are many of the same principles at work here. That is, achieving a creamy consistency without cream. Because the cream did not work. Since it’s homemade, it doesn’t need the maltodextrin, which is what turns the recipe to powder or the colors or silicon dioxide. But it will need what they refer to as stabilizers to hold (gel) it together. So maybe the coconut oil (or coconut cream) is the trick. Plus starch and gelatin/agar agar powder, xantham gum and/or pectin. What about a pudding recipe or custard with added xantham gum? And then run it through the ice cream maker. Hrm. And more sugar, for sure. This recipe comes out of the freezer hard as a rock. Though one trick may have been to add confectioner’s sugar to the whipped cream.
Argh, I could experiment a hundred different ways and still not get it (but definitely go broke). Clearly, this is a job that’s beyond my skill and knowledge level. And beyond my kitchen’s ability as well. I need a test kitchen and Alton Brown’s staff and probably Wylie Dufresne as well.
Has anyone else tried making Dole Whip at home? I know the recipes that call for ice cream don’t work, but any other tips or tricks are appreciated. Or perhaps I should just leave it at Disney. Frankly, I actually liked the Violet Lemonade (available only during the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival) much better.