Having my own ice cream machine has given me much more flexibility when making different types of ice creams and frozen ices. Without the machine, the method of hand stirring and still freezing ice cream was very time-consuming with some recipes. Home-made ice cream without all the additives is a big plus. Children love to cook and I know that making their own ice cream will be a big hit with them… it was with mine!
Rock salt and ice used in the freezing process of ice cream
Some years ago I decided to buy my first ice cream machine and the only one I could find at the time was the type requiring rock salt and ice which you had to layer around the inside container of the machine, chilling and freezing the mixture inside while being churned … at least the churn was electric and not hand-cranked!
Crushing and layering the ice was a bit of a hassle plus keeping an eye on the salt and ice levels (living in a hot climate) posed another challenge. Over time, excitement and enthusiasm of making home-made ice cream began to melt away (pun intended) and the machine ended up in the store-room gathering dust…eventually given away.
Churning the ice-cream with an electric paddle helps break up the ice crystals and incorporates air, resulting in a lighter and smoother ice cream
When traveling, visiting kitchen shops are always high on my list… so it wasn’t long before I had a new ice cream machine wrapped snugly inside my suitcase… bound for Bahrain .
The freeze bowl type with the electric churn is the most popular and the one I use, light in weight and taking up very little space on my kitchen worktop. The bowl houses a special liquid freezing solution (hurray no ice and salt) insulated inside its walls which then needs to be placed for a minimum of 10 hours (depending on model) in the freezer before use. Before buying you might want to check that your freezer, especially drawer types can accommodate the size of the bowl.
Make sure when drying the bowl that you use a lint free cloth, taking care to dry all the little nooks, if they get blocked with ice the motor head will not attach properly, plus chipping the ice away may damage your bowl.
Tip: After making a batch of ice cream I always return the bowl (washed and dried) back to the freezer compartment where it is stored all the time, making it always available for use.
The larger and more expensive ice cream machines contain their own freezer unit and work independently. The big advantage is that they can churn out one batch of ice cream after another. Heavy and taking up a much bigger space on a kitchen worktop.
Other uses: Need to chill a bottle of wine fast…use the freeze bowl!
Pumpkin Ice Cream coming up …!