Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ice Cream Machine

I am a bit of a kitchen equipment junkie at home. i own a immersion blender, blender, crock pot, rice cooker, hand mixer, stand mixer, electric griddle, stove top griddle, grill pan, mini food processor, waffle iron, ice cream maker, pressure cooker, coffee pot, soda siphon, isi whip cream charger, tortilla press, toaster, and i am sure i am leaving out a few. thing is i use all of them, i need all of them. i try to never own a piece of equipment that is sub-par in quality or even uses. it isnt odd for me to use three or four tools to pull off a dinner for guests.

i really enjoy making ice cream, i made a quick purchase on an older style cheap top motor machine a few years ago (ice, salt, noise, the whole bit) that in hindsight was a bad move. it never worked very well for me and i have always been disappointed with the results. last week my wonderful wife thought i deserved something cool and came home with a brand new Cuisinart ice cream machine with two bowls for me. it is the exact machine that i wouldve bought for myself. the kind where the you freeze the bowl, so you can turn cold ice cream base into ice cream in less than a half hour. both bowls have a 6 cup capacity, so if i needed i could churn close to a gallon in a hour or so. it also will be perfect for sorbet, frozen yogurts, or even frozen beverages. i was stoked, but i didnt really have to much time to deal with it last week. today i hit it hard making two batches of strawberry ice cream. i may or may not need to explain that to make good ice cream base you need to scald cream and let it sit, whip egg yolks, combine and heat, cool thoroughly, macerate fruit, then spin in my case in a bowl that has been in the freezer for 14 hours. then you have to (at least i do) have to freeze the freshly churned ice cream for at least a few hours to get the consistency right. its definitely not as easy as my boys would think, or as easy as an hour worth of work.

i will do some research in the coming weeks with the egg to cream, to milk ratio that will work best cause every great chef i know has an opinion, an opinion that is a bit different from the other. i will say that good vanilla scented ice cream base before its has been brought up to temperature is the begging of a perfect creme brulee, after its cooked it is also a popular dessert sauce called creme anglaise, or ran through a machine making vanilla ice cream. very versatile and a method worth learning more about as it will up your versatility at home. i promise to have some hard core info on it soon. the strawberry was a request from a friend and i have a pint or so for her. another cool, fun, do at home summer task that got the whole family involved. i hope to work with boysenberry ice cream, and a local peach sorbet in the very near future.

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