How did this machine end up in our kitchen?
Firstly, the guy was fascinated by Jimmy’s Food Factory when it featured how ice-cream is being produced commercially. Then, he grew increasingly keen on making his own ice-cream and on making it ever softer and lighter. Later on, we learnt through the variety shows in the UK (such as Come Dine With Me) that there is such a thing as an ice-cream maker (ok, it was just me). His curiosity got the better of him: how could a kitchen equipment – and a small one at that – produce anything on par with the ice-cream that is commercially produced by the big guns?
At last, we convinced ourselves to get a small and affordable ice-cream maker from 淘宝网.
This ice-cream maker, which is a product of Lifecode, provides the most basic functions any ice-cream maker should have. At a capacity of 1.4 litres, it is able to make at least one tub of ice-cream (about 1 to 2 pints), which is enough to serve up to six guests. However, if you need to serve up more than this amount of dessert, you would have to whisk a larger amount of the same ice-cream mixture at least twice, separately – which means putting the tub of the ice-cream maker back into the freezer for another 6 hours or so after the first round of whisking (for the coolant to freeze again) before using it to whip up the next batch of ice-cream; which means plausibly more than one day’s worth of effort. If that is likely to happen to you, consider getting an ice-cream maker with a larger holding capacity then.
That aside, in terms of its freezing capability, the coolant contained inside the main tub has fared well to make sure that the ice-cream mixture remained ice cold while the whisker worked hard to introduce air into it. After whisking for 20 to 30 minutes, the mixture is likely to stay soft, like that of a sundae. It is therefore still necessary to let the mixture set for at least half an hour inside the freezer after the ice-cream maker is done with its job – that is, if you prefer having a cone of ice-cream to a cup of sundae. Why use an ice-cream maker then, I hear you ask. Well, at the very least, it removes the need to repeatedly take the mixture out from the freezer, whisk it and then put it back into the freezer every other hour. The ice-cream maker introduces sufficient air bubbles into the mixture and distributes them evenly such that the ice-cream remains soft and light even after it freezes.
Verdict: Good for making that occasional treat of ice-cream at home without the hassle of repeated whisking and tending to the mixture. In terms of design, there is a convenient inlet located at the lid of the machine which allows ingredients to be added into the mixture even while it is being whisked. Suitable for small families or for making small quantities of desserts and treats.
For ice-cream recipes using the ice-cream maker, please refer to the post ‘Husband’s (Heavenly) Halloween Mango Ice-Cream‘.