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I have wanted to invest in an ice cream maker for a long time. I read online reviews and asked friends and other bloggers for recommendations but no one ever agreed on a model and most had quite negative views about some well known brands.
In the end the decision was made for me as the folks at Andrew James sent me one of their ice cream makers to review. The model (pictured below) is lightweight and compact and, at a mere £27, extremely affordable. It is also very easy to use and, most importantly, makes fantastic ice cream.
I had not realised just how easy it is to make ice cream. Most recipes call for a custard which is then flavoured and churned in the ice cream maker. There’s also endless variations for sorbets, frozen yoghurts and granitas. The ice cream maker comes with a manual that includes a few basic recipes which can be customised to your heart’s content.
Pros: affordable, easy to use & clean, fast, the bowl doesn’t take huge amount of space in the freezer.
Cons: none – unless you want to make vast quantities of ice cream.
Salted Caramel Ice cream with shaved chocolate
I made this to serve with the Mile-high apple pie – and made it again to photograph for this post. The first time I made it I used whole milk and cream. In this recipe I used cream and evaporated milk. The evaporated milk creates a richer and creamier ice cream.
You can either make the caramel and swirl it in after the ice cream is ready but still fairly soft. Alternatively you can add the milk into the caramel which is what I did in this version.
PS: The chocolate is optional but my kids insisted! This ice cream was a huge hit with them and their friends.
200g | 7oz (caster) sugar
125ml | 1/2 cup double cream, warmed in the microwave
Couple of pinches sea salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
500ml | 2 cups evaporated milk (or whole milk)
4 large free-range egg yolks
6-8 tbsp finely grated chocolate – I used 50% milk chocolate
- Put the ice cream maker bowl in the freezer, wrapped in a plastic bag, for 8 hours or overnight before you make the ice cream.
- Put the 2/3 of the sugar and 1 tbsp water in a deep, heavy pot. Stir the sugar and water and then bring to the boil.
- Once sugar starts to melt don’t stir anymore – swirl the pan instead. When the colour turns to golden amber (see photo) take off the heat and stir in the cream – be careful the mixture will bubble in an alarming fashion.
- Add the salt and vanilla and stir them in. You can strain the caramel if it’s not completely smooth. Let it cool slightly.
- Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with the remaining sugar.
- Add the evaporated milk into the caramel and heat gently, stirring to mix, until small bubbles form around the edges of the pot.
- Add the hot milk to the egg yolks very gradually while simultaneously whisking so as not to curdle them.
- Return the mix to the pan and cook over very low heat, stirring continuously, until the mix is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Strain into a bowl and cool completely before using – you can set the bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice or put in the fridge, covered, overnight.
- Fit the power unit into the lid of the ice cream maker and fit the paddle in. Remove the bowl from the freezer and slot it into the outer bowl.
- Turn the ice cream maker on and carefully pour the cooled custard into the the bowl. Let the machine run until the ice cream is mostly firm.
- Add the shaved chocolate and keep churning for a total of 30 minutes.
- Transfer to another container and freeze for minimum 4 hours before serving. The ice cream has a lovely soft serve consistency.
- Serve with some chocolate curls or drizzle with a little salted caramel.
I would like to thank Andrew James for sending me their ice cream maker to review. All opinions are my own.