Monday, July 15, 2013

Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker #HBC2013 {review & giveaway)

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!" Especially in the hot and humid weather we've been having here in southern Ontario lately. Two things that really scream family summer fun to me - running through the sprinkler and eating ice cream cones. Refreshing and cooling fun! I was delighted to get the chance to try out Hamilton Beach's new 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker, so we can create our own frozen treats right here at home, using fresh ingredients and creating flavours tailored to our moods. (The sprinkler is already in place of course.)

This is the machine I was sent for review:

1½ Quart Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Maker

  • Makes ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet & more
  • No salt needed
  • Extra-large ingredient opening
  • Canister cover prevents condensation
  • Freeze canister, add ingredients & in 25-40 minutes dessert is ready
  • Transparent lid
  • Recipes included

Isn't she pretty? First off, I have to say that I adore this shade of green that Hamilton Beach is using in their products this season. It really is my favourite colour. Bright and cheerful, and makes me think of warm weather and growing things. Secondly, I am very happy with how easy this machine is to use.

Before you get on to making your ice cream, you do have to freeze the inner canister, and most of the included recipes require some heating (to combine) and then cooling of ingredients. So, be prepared and build in the required time. But really, the process is so easy - freeze the canister, then place inside the machine and cover with the lid and mixing paddle. Mix up your recipe. Then turn on the machine and pour your recipe through the wide opening on top. The ice cream will be ready in 20-40 minutes or there-abouts. You'll know it's reached maximum freezing when the motor begins to repeatedly stall and reverse. Scoop it out and enjoy!

A couple of notes -
- I thought the machine would be really noisy, but it's not. You can certainly hear it running, but it isn't too loud at all. 
- Don't expect the same hard frozen consistency you get with store-bought tubs of ice cream. This creates a softer treat that is quite easy to scoop. However, if you don't eat the entire recipe, you can move the ice cream to a sealed container and store it in your freezer. This will result in a harder consistency.
- You do need to be sure that your canister is thoroughly frozen and your ingredients well-chilled in order to get a good freeze on your end product.

This was my first creation, following the Chocolate Ice Cream recipe in the included user's guide. You can see that the ice cream is kind of like a soft serve.

The house was really hot, so I did get some melting before I could get a good pic, but even this softer consistency made for a good cone.

This one is the Easy Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. But I added some pitted cherries from my garden and chopped up milk chocolate. These extras need to be added after the ice cream has already started to freeze, at least 15 minutes into the cycle. Don't turn off the machine, just drop them through the opening and they'll get mixed in.  I put this in a container and tossed it in the freezer, You can see how the consistency now is just like store-bought. And it was delicious!

I want to try playing with some different flavours, working off the base recipes in the booklet. Basically, we're talking some combination of heavy cream, half & half, and/or whole milk, plus sugar and flavourings. The booklet includes Cappucino Gelato and Strawberry Sorbet recipes as well. This is going to get a lot of use in my family!

A Giveaway

Hamilton Beach Canada has generously set aside one of these babies for one lucky Raising My Boys reader! Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EDT, July 31. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, Best of luck!!

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary product for the purposes of my review. No other compensation was or will be received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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