Product Type: Cuisinart ice cream makers
Newest Review: ... and doesn't take up much space in the kitchen -easy to use,store and set-up so anyone can use it -value for money since its relatively ch... more
Ice Ice Baby
Member Name: luxuryliner
Advantages: Fantastic ice cream and a reasonable price
Disadvantages: Heavy, noisy, fragile lid
I'll list the basic features of the Cuisinart ICE30 here for ease of reference:
2 litre bowl
25 watt motor
30cm x 22.5cm x 240cm (height x weight x depth)
5 year warranty
This is a snazzy looking ice cream maker: it's an upright, brushed steel canister with a removable bowl and a knob for turning it on and off on the front. You pour the mixture in at the top. It's definitely classy-looking and nice enough to leave out on the worktop.
The Cuisinart ICE30 is the more basic model of ice cream maker: you place the freezing bowl into the freezer the night before you want to use it, and then once it's cold you fit it back into the machine and it freezes the ice cream mixture there. The bowl itself is gel filled and very thickly insulated, so the time it takes to freeze and warm up is slow - if you know you're going to need it, definitely stick it in the freezer the night before as it's impossible to get it cold enough in a shorter time. Also, bear in mind that at 2 litre capacity it's a pretty big bowl, so if you have a tiny freezer it might not be that good. I have to put mine in the bottom drawer of the big freezer to get it to fit.
Once the bowl is frozen, you can stick it back on the machine, pour in the mixture and turn it on. The bowl itself turns and the blade/mixing device stays where it is - not sure if this is an asset or just a quirk of the machine, but it seems to work fine. I will say that it is quite noisy, so if you're working in the kitchen alongside it it might drive you bonkers; on the other hand it doesn't take very long to make the ice cream so you might not mind too much. You could always put it in the garage or the utility room while it's going if it's driving you insane!
If you want to add extra items to the mixture while it's freezing (some last-minute chocolate chips or pistachios maybe!) the hole in the lid is very large and easy to aim through. The main unit is quite large, too, so if you want to keep it out on the surface then you'll need a lot of room. I've also found that the lid can't be properly clipped on so if you're moving it about it might drop off - mine has cracked a bit from being dropped on the tiled floor. The machine as a whole is quite bulky and heavy, so bear that in mind if you prefer something manoeuvrable and lightweight.
Although the instructions say that it takes 20-25 minutes to freeze a batch of ice cream, this is optimistic: you need to leave more like 40 minutes to get it all frozen nicely. I also make sure I chill everything (including additions like chocolate chips) thoroughly before I put it in the bowl. That said, it's never totally frozen solid once the 40 minutes are up, so I always scrape it out and put it in the freezer. If you like the runnier Mr Whippy style ice cream then you might like it straight from the bowl.
Cleaning is reasonably easy, it's got a detachable mixing paddle, lid and freezer bowl for "easy cleaning" which in practice is fine, but you'll find yourself taking ages cleaning off splashed ice cream from the main unit. (Unless of course I'm just a very messy cook.) Ice cream also seems to love to adhere to the sides of the bowl so scraping it off and washing it can be a bit of a hassle.
For all the little niggles, the Cuisinart ICE30 makes really lovely ice cream - smooth and creamy and I've never had any ice crystals form in any of the batches I've made. The ice cream around the sides will be harder than the stuff in the middle; don't worry about having different textures in the finished product as it all seems to even out once it's been folded together and stuck in the freezer for a bit. I've tried ice cream and sorbet of all varieties and they've all worked brilliantly.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I bought my Cuisinart ICE30 for about £65 online last year, but it's currently available for £62.99 on Amazon. It's not the cheapest ice cream maker - Kenwood and Philips definitely do cheaper ones - but it's nowhere near as expensive as an integrated machine where you don't need to freeze the bowl. For this price it's been great.
I'd definitely highlight the problems it's got: it's noisy, the lid is fragile and it's very big and heavy - but despite all this I wouldn't be without this machine now. For the price it's performed brilliantly and I've had so much excellent ice cream from it, I'm willing to overlook its faults! I'll leave you with one of my favourite recipes:
TURKISH DELIGHT ICE CREAM
450ml full cream milk
50ml rose water
400ml clotted cream
6 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
200g Turkish Delight, chopped
Boil the milk and take it off the heat. While the milk is boiling, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together, then pour the milk on and continue whisking. Return the mixture to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until it's thickened (like custard). Take it off the heat again, stir in the clotted cream and rose water. Chill and transfer to the ice cream maker. Sprinkle in the turkish delight and leave to churn. Yum!
Summary: A great machine with just a couple of niggles. I'd still buy it again though!
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