Glass bowl with fried ice cream ball topped with chocolate syrup and sprinkles
Here’s Why Fried Ice Cream Doesn't Melt
Fried ice cream may seem like an impossible contradiction, but the ice cream is able to stay frozen thanks to one deceptively simple factor: the insulation of the batter.
While the thin batter used in most recipes may not seem sufficient to protect the ice cream, it works because heat moves very slowly past the outermost surface of food.
With a method like deep-frying, cold food takes a long time to absorb heat, which is why you have a scalding-on-the-outside, frozen-on-the-inside treat if you flash-fry ice cream.
The batter takes the brunt of the heat, and the average frying times for fried ice cream last only a few seconds, meaning there’s not nearly enough time to melt the scoop.
Using two layers of protection to coat your ice cream — an egg white coating and a crunchy breadcrumb or cereal shell — makes it even harder for the heat to penetrate the scoop.
Still, it’s best to let your ice cream balls freeze for an extra hour before and after you coat them in batter, to ensure that they’re frozen rock-solid when they enter the oil.