I have spent a lot of time drooling over ice cream makers in the department store. Just think – any flavour of ice cream that you could dream up, right there in your kitchen. However, I have never been able to justify actually buying one. I wasn’t sure if I would really use the machine, or what the ice cream would be like. So when a fabulous friend offered to pass along hers, I jumped at the offer.
The ice cream maker is really cool. It has a big freezer bowl that does all the freezing work. You keep the bowl in the deep freeze, and then once you have your ice cream ingredients all mixed together you pull it out, pour everything in, and turn on the paddle. In less than half an hour you have ice cream. At least that’s what the booklet promised, and I was excited to give it a try. I let my 5-year-old daughter Hannah choose the first recipe and she decided on chocolate. That’s my girl!
The ice cream mixture itself is easy to make. My recipe called for sugar, cocoa powder, milk, cream and vanilla. You have to mix it pretty well so that the sugar dissolves, because you don’t want crunchy ice cream. Still, pretty straightforward. I think it’s important to leave the freezer bowl in the freezer at this point, especially if you have little helpers, because you don’t want the bowl to thaw while you give everyone a turn pouring and stirring.
Much as in baking, the hard part is waiting for the sweet treat to be ready to eat. The machine said that it would take 25-35 minutes for the ice cream to be ready, which is a long time when you’re a little kid. There was much mayhem and many requests to just eat the ice cream already during the 25 minutes that ours took to be finished. I decided to check it at the earliest possible time because the freezer bowl had been in my deep freeze for 2 days and I was sure it was really cold. Plus, I was ready for some ice cream myself. It was finished at 25 minutes on the dot, which is really not too bad.
When it comes out of the machine the ice cream is very much like soft serve. It is soft and creamy and melts quickly. The kids actually really liked this – my 19-month-old Jacob has a hard time getting regular ice cream on to his spoon, and my daughter Hannah likes to stir her ice cream and turn it into ‘ice cream soup’. The softer texture of the homemade ice cream was sort of more up their alley.
The recipe made plenty of ice cream, so we’ve been eating it out of our freezer for the past couple of days. It’s holding up well. It’s harder when it’s been in the freezer, more like ‘regular’ ice cream would be. But I think it tastes better. Instead of guar gum and modified milk ingredients it has actual dairy products and real sugar. It’s delicious, and I feel better knowing exactly what’s in it. I can’t wait to try some other recipes. Up next? Pumpkin ice cream, and chocolate raspberry ice cream made with coconut milk. I hear the coconut milk ice cream is amazing, and since it’s dairy-free my lactose intolerant husband should even be able to eat it.
Have you ever made your own ice cream? Any recipes or tips to share? I’m all ears!