Nov 18, 2009

Ice Cream Maker Tips - Choosing The Right Machine

If you are looking to buy an ice cream maker for the first time, you will be overwhelmed by the choice now available. Years ago of course it was not the case but today, as with so many other things, it is a very different scenario.

First of all, there is the choice between a manual machine and an electric ice cream maker. The latter, whilst much more expensive, bigger and heavier, actually freezes the ice cream as it churns it so you can go from your ready mixture to edible, servable fresh ice cream within as little as 20 minutes.

Secondly, even with an electric ice cream maker, there are different types and styles to choose from. Gaggia for example have developed their own very distinctive style of machine which you recognise instantly the moment you see one of their ice cream makers and Cuisinart have also developed their own style such as the very popular ICE-50BC Supreme Ice Cream Maker (see photo left).

Hamilton Beach makes an ice cream maker that looks entirely different again! Indeed, their Hamilton Beach 68330R 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker (photo right) actually works in a different way. It requires you to pour your mixture into the canister, insert the dasher into the canister, attach the easy-lock lid and then place the motor over the canister, locking it onto the bucket. Then you add layers of ice and salt to the bucket covering the canister. Your homemade ice cream will then be ready in 20-40 minutes. This particular ice cream maker can also be used for making frozen yogurt and custard. At under $40 it makes a great, affordable gift for a loved one or friend - especially if you know they love ice cream!

So you see ... choosing an ice cream maker is not that easy any more.

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Dec 4, 2008

Started Your Christmas Shopping Yet?

When it comes to Christmas gift shopping everyone seems to take a different view. Some people don't like to contemplate the idea of Christmas until around 17 December, a week before Christmas Eve. By contrast some people (me included) like to get their Christmas shopping done early so that they don't have to rush at the last minute coming up with ideas or trekking round a shopping mall amongst throngs of people.

To be honest I always try to do my Christmas shopping in October - before Halloween in fact. I will usually make one trip to a main shopping area, spend 2 or 3 hours there browsing and getting my ideas together and then when I get home I will go online to look for the best deals for the gifts I've decided to buy. I don't always find what I want straight away but by the 2nd or 3rd time I've been online I've got my list together of where I'm going buy my Christmas gifts. More often than not the suppliers are a mixture of the 'big guys' such as Amazon and the smaller, specialised retailers.

Here's are some examples of ice cream related Christmas gifts online ....

Electric Ice Cream Maker

USA Shoppers - have some great deals and their customer reviews and star ratings are a great bonus in helping you choose the right machine. This Cuisinart ice cream maker comes with an ice cream recipe booklet, 3 year warranty and has some great customer reviews. It's also at an affordable price and from a top ice cream machine manufacturer.

UK Shoppers - is a good route to take. There's a Phillips ice cream maker which is stylish and compact, has a 5 star rating and at under £50 is great value for money.

Ice Cream Books
On both the above Amazon stores there are sections dedicated to books on ice cream covering subjects such as ice cream recipes, making gelato, old fashioned ice cream and granitas. I could spend hours just browsing through these books alone! So I shall take a closer look at ice cream books in a later post and list my personal choices for what I think make great Christmas gifts.

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