“ Brand: John Lewis / Bowl Capacity: 1.5L „
This is the first ice cream maker I have ever had and I really don't know how I went so long without one!
We only really got this because it was on sale the one time we visited John Lewis. We usually don't shop there as there isn't one near us, I don't know if these big sales on a single item are common but it was around half price from £60 to £30 on that day only. Considering I had seen their prices of other ice cream makers in the shop and the fact that I associate John Lewis things with high quality, I thought I would go out on a limb and buy it. I am so glad that I did.
The ice cream maker is so easy to use. It comes fully assembled in the box but to use if you actually have to disassemble it a little. To use it you must pour all of your mixture into the bowl and then freeze it for about 5 or 6 hours. You can also keep the bowl in the freezer so that you always have the mixture prepared before adding other ingredients - you can make all sorts of different ice creams from this pre-prepared base! Once this is done add the rest of your ingredients (flavourings). Now is the best bit, switch the machine on for it to get turned all ice-creamy! This process involves mixing the ice cream up to the lovely ice cream texture we all know and love, this process can take a while and is very noisy so best to go do something else during this stage. You then have ice cream! You could eat it straight away or store it in the freezer for another day.
As the only part of the device to get "dirty" in this process is the bowl, you can simply remove this part and wash it up quickly and easily, there are no awkward grooves or edges to the bowl so you will be done with this in seconds - very convenient!
The build quality of the device impressed me greatly, it feels very sturdy and I'm pretty sure it will last many years and make me lots of ice cream. The device has rubber feet to prevent it from slipping on the counter top. This is really useful ass all of that ice cream can make the surfaces slippery either through spills or condensation. You do not want all of your hard work to end up on the floor after the machine topples over. The switch is very "snappy" and easy to use, it requires a fair amount of force (not difficult force) to switch from on to off or off to on and therefore you will not accidentally switch it off and have all of your ice cream melt without you noticing - however even if somehow you did catch the switch, you would notice by the fact that you could hear your own thoughts again!
I received a John Lewis Ice Cream maker for my birthday, a very random gift, but I personally thought was very cool indeed. It is the sort of thing I would say you would never think about needing, but if you saw one, you would want it. After all, who doesn't love ice-cream!
The essence of how it works is that the ingredients are churned in a very cold container for the required time, and the end result is home-made ice-cream. The container is a 1.5L capacity, and contains some kind of liquid within its walls. What is required is to put this container in the freezer for 12 hours, and what you end up with is the liquid inside freezing, and subsequently stays frozen, thereby providing a freezing cold container for the ice-cream to form. A word of warning though, when you do take it out of the freezer, make sure you don't touch it directly, because your hands will stick to it due to its freezing temperature, and it hurts to then take your hands off it! I also kept it wrapped in a plastic bag, to stop any ice forming on the inside of the container.
Once you have left the container in for 12 hours you are then ready to start making ice-cream. The first time I reached this point, and then came to the realisation that I hadn't thought about what I needed to make ice-cream. Luckily, on the John Lewis website for the product, they provide a handy pdf guide which has step by step recipes for various ice-creams, sorbets and cocktails. A quick trip to the shops later and I was prepared to make 1.5 Litres of Chocolate Ice Cream. There was a bit of preparation involved with melting the chocolate and mixing the ingredients, but finally I was ready for some churning! The freezing container goes on a base that causes the container to rotate. Inside the container you place something that stays still, but as the container rotates, it causes the ingredients to be churned. This churning, coupled with the container cooling the mixture, meant that 20 minutes later there was ice-cream. A final point to mention is that it is very loud, but as you don't have to watch over it, you can just leave the kitchen while it gets on with it!
The chocolate ice-cream was very creamy and moreish, and when you make something yourself it always tastes better! I found it was a lot richer and better tasting than the shop bought chocolate ice cream I usually purchased. I kept it in empty ice cream containers, and it kept very well, tasting pretty much the same as it did when freshly made. The next time I made it, I added chocolate chips and crumbled cookies, but if you do add stuff, make sure it is near the end of the mixing process, to prevent it just being crushed up!
I think the beauty of the ice-cream maker is that it is really simple to use, and essentially you can make the ice-cream to a consistency and flavour that you like. I initially used the John Lewis guide as mentioned above, and the cold strawberry daiquiri recipe went down really well on hot afternoons! However there is a myriad of different recipes that you can find on the internet, and because it is so simple to use, it is great fun to experiment with different ingredients and quantities to get that perfect texture and taste for you! All my friends love what it produces as well and anyone can get involved with making an ice-cream, sorbet, or even cocktails!
Overall I think it is a great and fun little product, and even after a year and a half, it still works as smoothly as the day it was opened, so it is a well-made product too. I wouldn't classify it as a "kitchen essential", but it is really easy to use, and you can have lots of fun experimenting with different flavours and ingredients, and it can even make an impressive ice-cream for desserts at dinner parties. For £30 I don't think you can go far wrong with this, so I highly recommend it!
We bought one of these a couple of years ago and although it is a long way from being the most frequently used item in the kitchen it does get dragged out from the back of the cupboard on more than enough occasions to make it a worthwhile purchase.
Simple to use and great fun with children helping. You do need to get prepared before you start though, so make sure you've had the bowl section in the freezer overnight and have all the ingredients set so when you take the bowl out it doesn't sit around slowly warming up.
Its very easy to get a good standard of ice cream with this and having started off with Thai basil ice cream (very tasty but not really one for the kids) we've calmed down a bit now and tend to use it mainly for the standard flavours. Freshly homemade vanilla ice cream using plenty of vanilla pods on a summer day is hard to top and being that you can make up to 1.5 litres in a single batch, there should be plenty left over to keep in the freezer.
As a few handy hints, if you're adding chunks of anything to the mix (chocolate, mini marshmallows, strawberries, etc) do so towards the end of the mixing when the ice cream is getting stiff. This means it won't get smashed to pieces during the mixing and won't all end up sinking to the bottom. Secondly, be careful of the freezer bowl when emptying it out, as the inside edge is incredibly cold and will cause fingertips to stick to it.
The mixer is easy to clean and doesn't take up vast amounts of space in a cupboard so is easy to store. The only downside is the noise it makes! When it's churning away it does sound a bit like a small cement mixer. If you are stuck doing other things in the kitchen then it can get a bit anoying after a while.
If you like kitchen gadgets and you're considering an ice-cream maker then the John Lewis model should be on your shortlist.
Whenever I go over to my in-laws house we tend to make homemade ice cream. Now this either has something to do with the fact that they have five grandchildren who love ice cream or that they live by the sea but whatever, we make some wonderful tasty ice cream.
They have a John Lewis ice cream maker which is quite a nifty machine. It makes up to 1.5 litres of ice cream which is quite a lot and enough to satisfy all the grandkids and the grownup children. Homemade ice cream to me is always really creamy and a bit sweeter than store bought ice cream and so very very tasty. Now, to be honest I have never mixed up a recipe for ice cream so I do not actually know how to make a recipe but upon talking to my mother in-law she finds them either in speciality books or on the internet which apparently is full of amazing recipes. The nice thing is that the recipe is made by the time I get to their house so I get to do the fun part of adding it to the machine and then eating it of course!!
The machine has a freezer bowl which obviously goes in the freezer and needs to be completely frozen before use. I think it works on the same principal as a frozen drinks holder where the inside layer of liquid is frozen to cool down a drink when you put it inside the container. Anyway to freeze the bowl you put it in the freezer, obviously. You must freeze this bowl to begin with. My in-laws put it in their freezer for at least a day before they need to use it to make sure it is completely frozen and has no movement of the liquid inside at all although apparently to freeze it only takes about 6 hours but we always work on the safe side. You can actually store this bowl in the freezer if you wish so it is always ready if you wish to make some ice cream on a whim. Then when you have the freezer bowl you place the churning arm section into this bowl and add your ingredients at the top of the machine.
Then you just turn the machine on and the arm will start to move to churn the ingredients. Our favourite ice cream that we make is strawberry ice cream which we make with real strawberry pieces. We only add the strawberries right at the end becuase they are a soft fruit and you do not want them to get all churned up with the rest of your ingredients. The instructions also say if you wish to add chocolate chips or nuts you should do this at the end too.
Once the ice cream is ready you must remove it from the freezer bowl and not store it in this as it can damage the freezer bowl. We put them in old store bought ice cream boxes which work really well. After the ice cream is done in the machine you need to put it in the freezer again for about 2 hours and then it is done, lovely home made ice cream.
The freezer bowl does not go in the dishwasher so we usually wait until it has thawed out otherwise you can get a bit of freezer burn if you touch it and try to work with it/clean it. It comes nice and clean though because of the material it is made of. The rest of the machine is easy to clean too.
For £40 this machine has been a lot of fun and we all enjoy making our frozen creations!
Short name: John Lewis ICE20JLU