Do you love ice cream? Who doesn’t! With all the gadgets filling your kitchen, you may think you don’t need an ice cream maker. I thought so too, until I looked more closely at the ingredient list on some of the popular brands of ice cream. First of all, if you look closely, a lot of the brands say “frozen dessert”, not ice cream. That’s because they use varieties of vegetable oils instead of milk. When they do use milk, it’s usually “modified milk ingredients.” What do they modify it to?
That’s why I decided to get an ice cream maker, and I decided on the Cuisinart Ice-45 Soft-Serve ice cream maker. With home-made vanilla ice cream, here are the complete ingredients you and your children will be eating: milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. That’s it. No chemicals, salt or anything modified. For chocolate ice cream, it’s milk, brown sugar, cream and coco. No more fake desserts for us! And the taste? Much more delicious than store-bought! And there’s a freshness to it, even if we store it in the freezer for long periods.
How to Make Delicious, Home Made Ice Cream
For this model, place the ice cream freezer bowl in a deep freeze. Not your refrigerator, which isn’t cold enough, but a non auto-defrost chest freezer. (Auto defrost cycles from warmer back to cold.) You need the bowl to get really, really frozen, several degrees below freezing. If it’s not cold enough, your ice cream will be too runny. We leave it for around 48 hours.
When the bowl is ready, place it into the ice cream maker. Put 1 cup milk and 3/4 cups sugar (brown sugar for chocolate) in a blender and whip it. Then, gently mix in 2 cups table cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla (or 1/3 cup coca for chocolate). I say gently mix. Whip it too much and you get – you got it, whipped cream! Pour the mixture into the bowl, and turn it on. 40 minutes later and you have about 1 and a half quarts of soft ice cream! Times vary – the more frozen the bowl, the sooner your ice cream is finished. Do your own tests – too short and it’s liquidy, too long and it’s too thick. Instructions say 20 minutes, but it takes 40 for us.
Ice Cream For Parties
The one draw-back with this machine is that it does not make a huge amount of ice cream. Though there’s plenty to go around for a family or two, it’s not enough if you have eight kids at a party. So what we did is make several batches in advance and freeze it into hard ice cream. It freezes very well, much better than commercial ice cream that will develop crystals if it’s been frozen too long. For an Elmo themed party, we put a bit of red food coloring into the mix (very little! You want the friendly Elmo red, not vampire red!), and spent a week making 3 batches. Just to clarify the lack of work involved, the “week” consisted of washing and drying the freezer bowl, leaving it in the chest freezer for two days, making ice cream, repeat. If you buy a second freezer bowl , it would make the job a lot easier! The day of, we sculpted the hard red ice cream into circular faces and used marshmallows, whipping cream, bananas and chocolate chips to make Elmo’s eyes, nose and mouth. Viola, a gorgeous and creative party dessert!
What we Like:
- We’ve always loved Cuisinart products. They seem old-school durable, in that they build their products to last decades.
- No chemicals or salt. Mix the ingredients and pour in – it’s as easy as that. And the consistency is smooth and creamy.
- Versatility – You can try sorbets and custards as well.
- Easy to clean – the parts easily come out to rinse, and easily slip back in.
- The ice cream freezes perfectly into hard ice cream, so we can make and store a lot for future uses. A quick zap in the microwave or simply leaving it out for a few minutes will soften it.
Though it isn’t a problem for us to spend the time to freeze the bowl, in the future we might skip that step by upgrading to the Cuisinart Ice-50. It has a built-in compressor, so there is no bowl to freeze.
Contributed by Chris Molnar. Chris is the father of two toddlers, so he and his wife host a lot of parties and serve lots of ice cream! He is the editor of Themeaparty.com, a website with party theme ideas for kids and adults. Click here for a guide to personalizing your party supplies.