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
Scream (and shout) about Ice cream!
Cook's Essentials Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Member Name: Lools_24
Cook's Essentials Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Date: 01/09/11, updated on 15/11/11 (464 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to use, good value
Disadvantages: 24 hour preparation as you need to pre-freeze the inner container
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.
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.
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.
Summary: An Essential ice cream maker for Cooks
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