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Cook's Essentials Automatic Ice Cream Maker

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6 Reviews

Brand: Cook's Essentials / Bowl Capacity: 1.45 Quart

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    6 Reviews
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      01.09.2011 09:00
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      An Essential ice cream maker for Cooks

      An ice cream maker isn't really "an essential item" even if you are an ice cream lover like me however when we moved house and were updating our kitchen appliances I put it on my wish list. Mr Lools being the more frugal one said no initially but after some persuasion and the fact I found a good deal we purchased the Cooks Essential Ice Cream Maker. ***Cooks Essentials Ice Cream Maker*** The Cooks Essentials Ice Cream Maker allows you to make ice cream at home by just adding milk, cream, fruit or other ingredients and flavours. The ice cream maker will make up to 1.4 litres of ice cream within 40 minutes. The ice cream maker has an anti-skid rubber bottom, a quick freeze bowl and a built in reversible thermostat. It is a white plastic gloss circular appliance with a clear plastic lid. The Cooks Essential Ice Cream Maker is available online from QVC and also Electrical Outlet. Online prices vary between £25-£30. You can also purchase this from B & M stores. I purchased this for £6 from my local B&M stores. ***My Experience*** Something I'm not very good at is reading instructions. However as I had never actually used an ice cream maker before purchasing one I thought this was a wise move. The instructions that come with the machine are ok but not brilliant mainly as they are very "American" and measurements are not metric. After reading I did get the basic idea of how to use the machine. Something I was not aware of initially was the amount of preparation that goes into making homemade ice cream. Forward planning is required as you need to freeze the inner bowl 24 hours before making your ice cream. I did initially try only doing so overnight (for around 8 hours) but the ice cream did not work and came out far too sloppy. Therefore you really do need to ensure you freeze this bowl for over 24 hours. This bowl is a reasonable size therefore you do need a fair amount of freezer space available to place this inside. I find in my freezer the bowl does not fit into the top shelf and has to fit into the lower drawers which are deeper. Once the bowl is frozen you are ready to make your ice cream. There are so many different varieties of ice cream or frozen yoghurt that you can make by adding different ingredients so the next steps will vary but follow a basic principle. You turn on your machine and put the bowl inside. You should add no more than 900mls of the liquid that will make up your ice cream to the inner bowl. This liquid can be cream, milk, custard or fat free yoghurt for a healthy alternative. You do need to ensure the liquid you are pouring into the machine is cold and I actually find it more effective especially with yoghurt to pre freeze for 10-15 minutes to ensure your ice cream frees effectively. Once the liquid is inside of the machine it starts to churn. I leave for 10 minutes before adding anything else. This includes flavourings and pieces of fruit or chocolate I also ensure the other ingredients I am adding are cold therefore with items like chocolate chips are pieces of strawberries I ensure that they have been kept in the fridge otherwise the ice cream you make goes quite sloppy. I also find if I am adding flavouring to the mixture that I need to add more than if I was making cupcakes for example. One of my favourite flavours to make is rum and chocolate chip frozen yoghurt. I use rum essence to flavour the ice cream mixture and if I was adding to a full 900ml amount of yoghurt I would need 6-8 drops of flavouring. This seems like a lot and when it initially goes into the mixture it smells strong but the taste when complete is just right. Any less and you can't actually taste the flavouring. I then allow the machine to churn for another 30 minutes. At this stage you will find that the mixture is thickening up but is quite sloppy still (very much like cake mixture). I then add to a freezable container and then put the mixture for around and hour and a half to harden up. The churning noise is reasonably loud. It is not unbearable but I do find it has a definite whirring noise of the motor running which I feel is a similar volume to a microwave but not as loud as a washing machine! When it does come out of the freezer I do find that the ice cream is particularly hard, therefore it is worthwhile to leave at room temperature so you can easily scoop ice cream out of your container. If you try to scoop immediately you will find that you need to chip away at the ice cream rather than get scoops of it. Something I do find is that if you freeze for long periods crystals form on the ice cream more so than if you had purchased ice cream from a shop. Therefore I tend to ensure that the ice cream is consumed within 5 days of it being made. The machine does state that the ice cream can be stored in your freezer for up to a month but personally I feel it would be too icy to be enjoyable after this time. Cleaning the machine is very easy. The main bowl comes out of the machine and you can wash this. The exterior of the appliance is made from a shiny white plastic which is easy to wipe and the light coloured plastic does not show up smears easily. ***Overall*** After comparing this to friends' ice cream makers this is not the best most consistent ice cream maker but for £16 it is very good value. The ice cream maker is compact and easy to use. It also makes very nice ice cream and allows you to experiment with different flavours of ice cream and frozen yoghurt. My main criticism is that the machine requires forward planning when you are making ice cream. You need to pre chill the bowl inside the machine in your freezer for more than 24 hours prior to making ice cream. Unlike many more expensive ice cream makers which you can get away with doing this overnight (around 8 hours) it is essential you put the bowl of the Cooks Essentials machine for at least 24 hours Not the best ice cream maker but you definitely can make some tasty frozen treats with it.

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        22.07.2011 13:17
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        A fantastic product for a bargain price!

        I purchased this off of QVC for my boyfriend as a gift as he had always wanted to make his own ice cream. For a bargain price of £30 I thought this was an absolute steal. The instructions are very easy to follow and setting the machine up was relatively easy. You do have to put the main container in the freezer for 24 hours prior to making the ice cream which was much longer than I imagine it would be. You receive a fantastic recipe idea sheet with many different ice creams and sorbets to try which was brilliant. We have never made home made ice cream before and would not have known where to start without this guide. We made an ice cream off the sheet following the step by step guide and can honestly say the Strawberry Orange Ice Cream we made was absolutely beautiful and by far the nicest tasting ice cream and texture I have ever had. We can't wait to try out other recipes on the sheet and perhaps mix and match some of them into our own ideas. The only negative thing I will say about this product is that the ice cream was not quite set enough and could have done with being put in the freezer straight from the maker - which I did not think would be the case. All in all a fantastic product, good quality, great price with a lovely recipe sheet as an extra! LOVELY.

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        10.09.2010 11:09
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        A very good ice cream maker machine, recommended

        I had to ask myself the question whether an ice cream maker was something that I really needed, because my kitchen cupboards are certainly full of weird equipments and useless gadgets, so I just wanted to make sure... Fact is, I love ice cream, and the idea of making it myself really appealed to me! So, I went ahead and got myself Cook's Essentials Automatic Ice Cream Maker, having heard that it was supposed to be one of the best ice cream makers on the market, and I wouldn`t be surprised if it in fact is the very best of the bunch... I really do believe that this product would come in handy and would be adored in most households, especially in homes where children stroll about... Not only is it one of the most budget friendly ice cream machines out there, it`s also super easy to clean, easy to use and the end result will always turn out delicious and smooth ice cream! I`ve had one ice cream maker in the past, and for some reason, the ice cream always ended up with lumps in it... Not good... This machine can be bought for the cost of 25.00, and perhaps you can find it even cheaper at places like argos. Anyways, amazon and electricshopping will have this product available at most times... I don`t think there`s any ice cream flavour you can`t make in this machine, these are the ones I`ve attempted and suceeded with so far; chocolate, caramel, orange, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, almonds, vanilla and mint. Out of these ones, my favorite is without question the raspberry, as I prefer ice cream to be fresh and a bit sour instead of very sweet... In order to get inspiration, I bought myself a recipe book, and those can be purchased also at sites such as amazon, or you can stumble upon them at Foyles... Making the ice cream is undoubtedly a long process, but if you have your eyes on the finishing line, I swear to you that it`ll be worth it! What you do with the machine, is putting it into your freezer a day, give or take 24 hours, before planning on using it. Now, put it inside a plastic bag or something first, just to protect it a bit better. The machine will then do the rest, as it turns and churns the mixture and ingredients into fluffy, smooth and lovely ice cream, so delicious that it certainly is dangerous for the teeth and the hips... Here`s where I`ve notcied one downside though, being that the machine only makes about 1.45 quarts per making, which is sufficient if you`re just a group of four or five... However, if you want to make ice cream for say seventeen people in a row, that just can`t be done, as the machine needs to rest a day before using it again... However, what I do, is making up batches of ice cream and then freezing it in large portions, serving it whenever I have guests coming over... Not as good as when the ice cream is utterly fresh, but it`s certainly better than any store bought ice cream I`ve ever tasted... The bowl is about 5-6 inches high and 7 inches wide, so it does room quite a bit... This is really one of my favorite kitchen applicances, I love it for its quality, low cost and for the flavour it has brought to my life! Corny, I know... Anyway, this ice cream maker is a superb one, and I really recommend it to all who enjoy ice cream!

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          26.08.2010 12:14
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          Cheap and a lot of fun, make whatever flavour your heart desires!

          If you've read some of my other reviews you should know by now just how much I love ice cream in any shape or form! A lot of the tastier supermarket ice creams are very expensive so I decided to have a go at making my own. I saw this item being demonstrated on QVC and at under £25 in price it seemed an absolute bargain, as soon as it arrived I was eager to start making my own ice cream. This machine is a compact little thing and the surface is glossy to make for easy wiping. Unfortunately the instruction booklet that comes with it isn't up to much, it is American so can be quite confusing. I recommend looking up recipes online. For my first batch of ice cream I made a good old plain vanilla, I used: 4 egg yolks, half a pint of milk, half a pint of double cream, 4 ounces of sugar and 15ml of vanilla extract. It turned out absolutely delicious and I feel so much better as I know exactly what went in to making it. You can however, use shop bought custard as well and the ice cream will turn out just as yummy. One of the downsides is that if left in the freezer for any amount of time your ice cream can go very hard, simply take it out and leave it for around 15 minutes before eating so it's nice and soft. Now for a step by step guide on how to use the Cook's Essentials Automatic Ice Cream Maker! * Firstly you need to put the bowl in the freezer for 24 hours before you want to make your ice cream. * Next you need to buy a carton of shop bought custard (to be honest this is easier than going to the trouble of making your own and it tastes just as good) and also a carton of double cream (mmmm...calories) make sure the volume of both when added together is less than 950 mls as the mixture will obviously expand when freezing. * Turn on your machine and start it running, then pour in your custard and cream (it's up to you how much you put in of each, I personally prefer more custard to cream) and leave it churning for a good 10 minutes or so before you add anything else. * During this time you can be preparing your fruit or whatever you are planning to add to flavour your ice cream, it's worth remembering that whatever you add needs to be of a strong taste as freezing does weaken it. Also, any liquids you add must be cold! * After your custard and cream combo has been mixing away for 10 minutes it's now the time to add your other flavours and let them churn for another 20-25 minutes at least. If you plan to add alcohol to your ice cream, do so at the end. * After this further mixing you will probably find your ice cream is still custardy in texture so pop it in to something like a tupperware box, put it in to the freezer and leave for around 20-30 minutes for it to harden up. Then take it out and give it a good stir to break up any ice crystals that have formed. * I personally find it needs another 30 minutes to an hour before it is at that lovely soft scoop consistency, but of course this could vary depending on your ingredients. * Any leftovers that aren't eaten can be stored in the freezer for up to a month (though I doubt they'll last that long!) I'd recommend this as it does make very scrummy ice cream! I've heard of people getting either really sloppy ice cream or really hard stuff but I find following the steps above results in nice, soft ice cream that is a lot better quality than a lot of those supposedly luxury brands. Lol, though sometimes I'm even to lazy to use my machine and still resort to a bit of Ben and Jerry's, naughty I know when I've got an ice cream maker at home! :)

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          29.07.2010 10:06
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          A brilliant product, every home should have one

          If you are a fan of something cold and creamy on a hot summer's day, but don't want to pay through the nose for the privilegde then this is definitely the product for you. Coming in at under £25 from most good kitchen stores, and places like argos and amazon, the Cook's Essentials Ice Cream Maker is an absolute bargain. You may also want to purchase a good recipe book, specifically for making ice cream in an ice cream maker, and then the world is your oyster. The machine makes traditional ice creams and sorbets, and you can be as creative as you like. You can either follow the recipes, or make a standard vanilla ice cream and add to it whatever flavours you fancy. I often make a version with half a can of condensed milk and a mixture of natural yoghurt and cream, a slightly healthier option that tastes fantastic too. Some of the flavours, like strawberry, and other fruity ones are very simple to make, being literally a case of chucking everything in, whereas to be aware that to make things like chocolate and vanilla properly, you are supposed to start by making a custard, which is a bit fiddly and time consuming. The basic idea of the machine is that when you want to use it you put the whole thing into the freezer 24 hours before (it is best to put it inside a plastic bag in order to avoid water droplets freezing on the inside), and then take it out to make the ice cream. The machine has a paddle which churns the mixture, adding air to it to make it nice and fluffy as it cools. It is far far easier than making it without a machine, which involves taking the mixture out of the freezer at regular intervals to mix it, and doesn't have such good results. The only downside is that you can only really make one lot at a time (1.45 quarts), and then you have to wait 24 hours for the machine to cool down fully. An excellent product though, I thoroughly recommend it.

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            27.05.2010 16:33
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            The ice cream i've made with this machine is on a par with Ben & Jerry's - don't be put off,

            After a recent fling with the slimming world diet, I found many recipes upon its website, with low or no syns (the equivalent to Weight watchers points). The one recipe I was eager to try was their version of ice cream, this had no syns per portion, so I could eat a bucket load if I so chose. :o) The recipe is simple, and I won't torment you further. Simply combine 250g of fat free fromage frais, 2 pots of Mullerlight Yoghurt (whatever flavour you want your ice cream to be, and a couple of tablespoons of canderel, or other sweetener. This is where my Ice cream maker comes in, because on previous forays into diets, I have tried the old way of making ice cream manually, and every hour you mash the ingredients to break up the ice crystals, only to be confronted the next hour, by a solid block of ice which a road drill couldn't break up. I purchased this ice cream maker off the shopping channel, QVC. Cooks essentials is their own brand label. Everything I have had with the Cooks Essentials branding has been of excellent quality, therefore I had no qualms in purchasing this. This is a budget machine, and I paid around £24, including postage. This machine is not like the superior ones, that plug in and start making ice cream from scratch. With this machine, a little preparation is needed. You must first pre-chill the bowl in the freezer for at least 24 hours, either that, or do as I do, and keep it in there permanently (space permitting). The freezer bowl holds a capacity of 1.45 quarts. I'm very sorry but I can never figure out the metric conversions. All I know, is that it comfortably holds the recipe stated above. The lid is where the motor is stored. This is not a quiet machine, but neither is it noisy, it's more like a hum of white noise, and I found it quite satisfying actually - knowing that the noise I was enduring would lead to something scrumptious. There is a clear clip on splashguard. This clips onto the motor housing, and prevents the motor becoming soiled. This is dishwasher proof but it's just as easy to swill under a running tap, if it should get soiled. Needless to say, the motor is only wipe clean only, with a damp or dry cloth. Inserted into the lid, underneath is the paddle which stirs the ingredients, preventing the formation of the ice crystals, which will provide a lumpy, and not smooth, ice cream. Important note. If you place the ingredients into the ice cream maker from fridge temperature, you will finish with a very sloppy ice cream. Think Mr Whippy on a hot day. :o) I always try freeze the fromage frais, and yoghurt for about half an hour before mixing together and placing in the machine. This ensures the mixture is cool to start with and can begin freezing straight away. At the point of adding ingredients to the machine, made easy by pouring holes set into the lid, you can also add any extra goodies you like. Ok this is not the slimming world version, but its fun for non dieters out there. Any combination you like, you can make. How about a pineapple yoghurt, and add a splash of Malibu? Or liven up a bland vanilla with some chopped nuts or a dash or honey. I love using cherry yoghurt with a few chunks of dark chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless.... You can google many more recipes, or make up your own versions if you wish. This machine came with a recipe book which came with cups as the measurement (this is primarily made for the QVC America market). The ingredients are also quite confusing, such as heavy cream, which I am presuming is what we would call double cream. Again, a quick search on google should sort you out. The results are a wonderfully smooth (not grainy) yoghurt. The instructions state that ice cream can be made in only 20 minutes. I find this a little too short though, even with my pre-freezing. I would recommend a minimum of 30 minutes per batch. I love this machine and have made endless varieties, and will continue to do so. The reasons why? - 1. Because the flavour is lovely, and you can't beat the freshness of it all, and 2. Because it's healthier and has less fat than shop bought versions.

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