Product Type: DeLonghi electrical appliances
Newest Review: ... egg yolks and cream, although this can of course be varied to suit. The unit can make just over a litre of ice cream, which I find suffic... more
Summer is finally here, time to make some ice cream!
Member Name: julwhite
Advantages: Great to produce ice cream quickly and efficiently
Disadvantages: A bit noisy, and quite expensive
This review is of the DeLonghi Il Gelataio ICK6000 ice cream maker, allowing you to make ice cream in just thirty minutes, ideal for the several days of sunny weather that can be expected this year.
I didn't actually buy this, just initially borrowed it to try from a friend who used it once, and then finding it worked quite well, have now acquired it permanently. I don't have a wide experience of ice cream makers, so I can't easily compare to other machines.
Although I'm not entirely sure on how ice cream makers work generally, I understand that there are some where you need to freeze the bowl before making the ice cream, and some which have an in-built freezer which do this for you. This particular model does the latter, which is what I understand makes it more expensive.
In terms of ease of use, I found this a really easy machine to actually make ice cream. Everything is done by the machine, so after placing the required ingredients in, start it off, and ice cream is ready in around half an hour. What ingredients to use and their quantities are detailed in the book, just a mixture of milk, sugar, egg yolks and cream, although this can of course be varied to suit.
The unit can make just over a litre of ice cream, which I find sufficient, but for those that want a larger quantity, they'd of course have to set it off again after it's finished. For larger families, some planning therefore might have to go into how much ice cream is needed, but at least of course it's a product which can be easily frozen to use another time.
The unit is surprisingly quite heavy to lift although this does however also make the ice cream maker feel quite robust, and I've used it without any technical problems over the last year, so I feel that it will be quite reliable.
I do find that the machine is excessively noisy, I'm not sure exactly how much noise ice cream makers are meant to make, but this is a constant noise which is louder than I had expected. This isn't necessarily a problem as it can just be left in the kitchen, but I do find the noise it makes more noticeable than I had expected.
Getting the ice cream out of the unit I find quite difficult, and it's not clear whether there's a more efficient way of doing it. As the unit inevitably becomes very cold when the ice cream is made, this does tend to freeze up the parts, and holding the bowl to remove the ice cream requires covering your hands to avoid the cold.
Taste-wise, I think the ice cream that it produces tastes superb, no little ice crystals, just really fresh tasting ice cream. It's also great to know exactly what went into the ice cream, and to be able to add any extra ingredients that you want to. The texture of the ice cream feels quite smooth, and I've had no problems with lumps or areas of the ice cream which don't quite taste right.
Difficult as it is to see the ice cream ready and not start eating it, I do find that it's best to freeze it for another 20 minutes or so, otherwise it is a little too soft for my taste, and I prefer to properly frozen. But again of course, tastes will vary, and it's fun to experiment!
In terms of cleaning, I found that the unit was easy to clean. The outside of the unit does need to be wiped down regularly, and the inner parts of the machine can be taken out quite easily to wash. I noted that the parts can be washed in a dishwasher, although I find that hand-washing them is easier for me.
One of the advantages of having an ice cream maker is that you do have extra choice in what flavours and the like you want to try, and a small colour book of suggestions comes with the machine, which is a useful starting point to try some different ingredients.
One of these machines is certainly fun for families, with the kids being able to choose what flavours to make and what extra items to add. It is a lot of money to pay for a machine, so users do have to get a lot of usage to justify the cost, otherwise it'd be cheaper just to buy the ice cream from a supermarket.
The machine retails for 269.99 pounds, but at the moment is available on Amazon for 212.99 pounds including free delivery. I understand that this machine was bought from John Lewis initially for about 250 pounds.
Overall, I found that this machine did the job well, although was a little noisy and sometimes cumbersome. As I have this machine on permanent loan from a friend who decided not to use it, I do use it every few weeks but it is of course a lot of money to spend. However, this is more convenient and fun and gives extra flexibility on ingredients, and if you think you'll get a lot of use out of it, I'd recommend it.
Summary: Robust machine, ideal for experimenting with new ice cream flavours
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