Not so long ago, I asked the readers to help me decide whether I should get a slow cooker or an ice cream machine from CSN Stores, who had graciously offered me a gift certificate to use in return for a product review. It was a divisive debate, and when I opted for the slow cooker, I know a large portion of the readership was DEVASTATED by my choice.
Well, fear not. Everything has worked out in the end because CSN hooked me up with another gift certificate, and I was thus able to procure the ice cream maker after all. Happy ending! You could only imagine my excitement when it arrived. I immediately threw the machine’s bucket into the freezer (after washing, natch) and scoured the Internet for a recipe. I didn’t have to look very far. I soon came across The Kitchn’s “Best Chocolate Ice Cream” and was instantly sold.
Was it in fact THE BEST? Ice cream churning after the jump…
First I must set up an ice bath, as per the instructions. So far, so good.
Next I stir some cornstarch and half and half together. My use of a chopstick makes me feel quite global.
I then heat up three and a half cups of half and half, mixed with a quarter cup of sugar.
It doesn’t take long for the mixture to gurgle up like a vile foam beast, but I tame the monster, quickly lowering the flame and forcing the liquid back down to a less agitated state. Despite flirting with the edge, there is no spillover.
Eight ounces of semisweet chocolate and two ounces of cream cheese prepare for intense meltage.
The creamy mixture has bubbled away for about four minutes. Time to move on.
I pour about half of the half and half (a lot of halves) onto the milk. Had I been thinking, I might have softened the cream cheese in the microwave first.
Soon the mixture is dark and silky. It’s speckled with cream cheese bits, however, because I neglected to soften it beforehand.
I add the rest of the half and half. The ice cream batter is born.
The whole thing goes into the ice bath where it’s supposed to remain for twenty minutes. I keep it in there for about thirty or forty.
At last it’s time to summon the ice cream machine.
Since I’m ostensibly reviewing this device, I should note that it arrived with only three “feet” instead of four. Somewhat annoying.
Luckily, I’m quite resourceful; so I fashion a veritable peg leg out of the plastic case the once housed the power cord’s prongs.
Everything is in place.
I retrieve the bucket from the freezer where it has been living for the past several hours.
With the icy bucket in place, I then insert the paddle.
On goes the top and in goes the batter. Admittedly, the batter should have been colder, but I was impatient. Plus, IndianJones had just arrived from San Francisco and was yearning to go to dinner. I didn’t want to make him wait any longer than necessary as he is prone to crankiness and mischief when hungry.
The machine then pleasantly whirred around for the next thirty minutes. I’m happy to say that it wasn’t terribly loud either.
Here I am transferring the ice cream to a container. The instructions say it’s done when it looks like a soft-serve custard. This looked more like melted ice cream. But hey, we needed to get a move on. I put the ice cream in the freezer and then crossed my fingers.
Not very ice creamy.
Don’t get excited. This isn’t how it turned out. This is merely the frozen yogurt that IndianJones, Jenny, and I got after dinner. That’s right. We got froyo to celebrate the ice cream.
So how did it turn out? Well, first of all, I forgot to take pictures, which is really brilliant of me. Second, the ice cream was really good! Not exceptional, but really good. Jenny, IndianJones and I had a tasting later that night (after the froyo), and it was rich, decadent, and dense. In other words, amazing. However, it still hadn’t totally set, and had the consistency of soft-serve that was a little melty.
The next day, the ice cream had firmed up and then some. It was still very good, but not as awesome as the night before. In its colder state, the flavors were a bit more muted. Plus, it wasn’t as creamy as I thought it might have been. That’s probably because I used a non-egg recipe. Either way, it was still quite good, and a bunch of us later finished off the quart with my Bundt cake leftovers from earlier in the week. The combo proved to be pretty awesome.
As for the ice cream maker, it’s perfectly lovely. I had some concerns about not getting a Cuisinart, but so far this Deni machine is fine. The missing “foot” is pretty annoying, but my workaround seems to be holding up nicely. I’ve already employed the machine’s services a second time, making a quick and easy batch of honey rosemary ice cream. I was sure to chill the mixture beforehand, and unlike this chocolate attempt, it indeed turned into soft serve in the machine. Huzzah!
Next up: froyo! Or maybe margaritas. We’ll see…