Product Type: Cook's Essentials ice cream makers
Newest Review: ... was the amount of preparation that goes into making homemade ice cream. Forward planning is required as you need to freeze the inne... more
For Ice Cream - whatever the weather !
Cook's Essentials Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Member Name: elysia2003
Cook's Essentials Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Date: 27/05/10, updated on 06/03/11 (908 review reads)
Advantages: Quick and easy to use.
Disadvantages: Need to remember to pre-freeze the container
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.
Summary: The ice cream i've made with this machine is on a par with Ben & Jerry's - don't be put off,