Ice cream machine--worth having?
Yesterday I was at Williams-Sonoma spending a GC and they were sampling ice cream and demo-ing the Cuisinart machine in which it was made (this is the relatively cheap one, about $50, not the more upscale industrial one). I was looking for a slicing knife but I did try the ice cream (v good!!!) and had a long chat with the demo-er.
I came very close to buying it but I had walked to the store, about a mile and a half from home, and did not want to lug a large-ish box back. But my thoughts drift back to it, especially as a birthday gift for my sweet-toothed husband, who has been agitating for one.
I generally don't go in for single-purpose gadgety machines, and the kitchen in my 1920s house is quite small. I am also slightly concerned about the enormous potential for gluttony and weight gain. On the other hand, the purchase would force me to clean out the freezer, this machine is not too huge, and I could always make sorbet, right??!
Thoughts or advice? Many thanks in advance.
I admit to being cheap to the bone and my kitchen is likely larger than yours. I have a Donvier model that I picked up for $2.50 at Goodwill and it makes great icecream and sorbet. I realize this doesn't help with a gift idea, but these small Donvier icecream makers (hand crank, but they really work in my opinion) are a great deal, even if purchased new. I'm not a trained cook or chef in any way by the way!
I'm not much of a dessert person but I bought an ice cream maker for my brother and his family for Christmas and they love it and use it a couple of times a week.
i have the cuisinart machine and it works great. my only problem with it is that the plastic parts are flimsy. our paddle broke and krazy glue didn't cut the mustard, so we have to be careful when we use it. i have been unsuccessful at finding replacement parts.
Got one as a wedding present and use it regularly. Weight gain and gluttony are a legitimate concern. Most of the recipes call for whole milk and heavy cream though you can mix it up a bit and use 2 percent and heavy cream (but NOT 2 percent and half & half).
We really enjoy the chance to experiment with our mix-ins. We've thrown in vienna fingers, donut holes (BEFORE the apprentice people put donuts in the ice cream mind you), nutella. If you ever do dinner parties you can also do stuff like make cinnamon ice cream to serve with your apple pie, things like that. Also, if you need to bring dessert to a party it's pretty unique for those instances.
I have the hand-crank Donvier as well, and I do like it. I've made ice cream or sorbet about a dozen times in a year, so its not very heavily used. However, if you are curious to try really cool unusual flavors that are unavailable commercially, its the way to go. I've made amazing cinnamon, fig-port-thyme honey, balsamic strawberry, a deadly chocolate sorbet, and a few others.
If I could live with the "usual" flavors, its is far easier to just buy Haagen Dazs or find a local producer. (And, why on earth does no one make cinnamon commercially???)