So, the summer is here (or is it?) and what do we think about on those hot sunny days as a treat for children and adults alike? Yes, that’s it, ice cream. No, I don’t mean that synthetic stuff that is full of air and melts as soon as it hits the plate or dish, which you get on offer from your local supermarket. I mean something a whole lot more substantial than that. Of course you can go for the higher end brands that have greater density and fuller flavour and cost substantially more, from the neighbouring shelves, but how much more satisfying is it to make your own? It’s really not that difficult and of course, you know exactly what goes into it.
If you are not wishing to go to the faff of going to the freezer every 15-20 minutes to whip your mixture and you already have a KitchenAid food mixer, you might like to invest in their ice cream making accessory. I borrowed a KitchenAid Artisan food mixer and their ice cream making accessory recently and I can tell you that this equipment is not only strong and robust it is also a very attractive piece of kit. Essentially the principles of ice cream making are the same whatever you use, whether it’s a bowl in the freezer that you keep revisiting to whip while it slowly gets thicker and thicker through the freezing process, a churn inside a bucket of ice and salt crystals (that make the ice dip to a lower temperature than it otherwise would) or using a machine of some description.
The way the KitchenAid ice cream maker works is to freeze the bowl in which the ice cream is churned, essentially it is a double bowl, a smallish metal one encased by a larger plastic one and between the two is a liquid. You freeze this double bowl (for some 18 hours or more), it is then attached to your food mixer bowl housing with a paddle inside it which churns the mixture, there is a device that you attach to the hub that is driven by the mixer’s motor and turns the paddle, et viola you have an ice cream churn. Making sure that you have the machine running on a low setting, you gently pour your ice cream mixture (which you have made some hours before and chilled) into the inner frozen bowl. You then leave it to churn until you get to a soft set, a bit like double cream when it gets to a stage when it has soft peaks, once having poured the mixture into the bowl whilst it is churning, it only takes about 15 minutes to get to that stage. You then scoop it into a suitable container and put it into the freezer to finish off setting. What could be more simple, or more rewarding, than that?
In testing out the ice cream attachment, I tried the French Vanilla ice cream recipe from the instruction booklet and I have to tell you that it did turn out exceptionally well, even though I say so myself! The process of freezing it was made a whole lot easier than it otherwise would have been. The ice cream was smooth, creamy and full of flavour, my guests loved it and so did I.