Over a month ago, I was commenting to my family that one of our favourite flavours of ice cream was no longer being made – Haagen Dazs Bailey’s Ice Cream. Hence in order to replicate the taste, I had bought some Haagen Dazs Vanilla ice cream, and added Bailey’s Irish cream to it – it had to be mixed in and resulted in a mushy mixture. I thought there must be a way of making ice cream myself. Hence I looked into getting an ice cream maker – one which did not cost too much. As Amazon had a good offer for the Aicok ice cream maker on their Lightning Deal, I decided to take the plunge and bought one.
To be very honest, I did not think the ice cream maker would work, but as it cost just over £20, I felt it was worth a try. Now there are a few key steps in making ice cream which need to be followed in order for it to work properly.
Step 1 (cool down the freezer bowl):
Put the ice cream freezer bowl in the freezer for a minimum of 12 hours (freezer must be -18 degrees C or colder). The longer it is left in there, the better it works.
Step 2 (mixing the ingredients):
Prepare the ice cream mixture. The base ingredients are the same (for chocolate ice cream, cocoa powder is added in as well):
3 egg yolks, 100 grams sugar, 300 ml full-cream milk, 300 ml double cream, 1/4 tsp vanilla essence.
(Optional: Cocoa powder/Milo powder – 80 grams, or Bailey’s Irish cream 80 mls – reduce milk by 80 mls if adding Bailey’s)
The 3 egg yolks are mixed in with 100 grams sugar to make a custardy mixture – I tend to do this while my oldest daughter does the milk/cream mixture.
To a small sauce pan, add the milk and double cream and vanilla essence and stir. As we were making Bailey’s ice cream, I reduced the amount of milk to 220 mls (so we can replace it with 80 mls of Bailey’s Irish cream at the end). This is mixed together under a low heat until it is near to simmering. If making chocolate ice cream, you will add in the cocoa powder at this point and mix it in.
Next the milk/cream mixture is added to the yolk/sugar mixture and beaten gently until it is slightly fluffy – should take under 10 minutes.
Step 3 (cooling down the ice cream mixture):
Next comes the most important step – allowing this mixture to cool down for at least 5-6 hours in the refrigerator. The cooler the mixture, the quicker the ice cream freezer bowl will work to freeze the mixture into ice cream.
Now the two flavours we like are Bailey’s Irish cream, and Milo chocolate. For Bailey’s ice cream, we replace 80 mls of the milk with the Bailey’s Irish cream (added after the mixture has cooled down). For the Milo ice cream, 80 grams of Milo powder can be added to the milk/cream mixture and stirred in, before it simmers.
Step 4 (making the ice cream):
Once the mixture is cold and the ice cream freezer bowl has been in the freezer for over 12 hours, you are now ready to make the ice cream. The mixture is gently added into the ice cream maker. I tend to start the timer and get the mixing blade moving before I add in the mixture – that way it will start churning as soon as the mixture hits the bottom of the bowl. It is worth noting that although the mixture looks to be very little when added into the freezer bowl, with churning of the mixture the level will rise up until it eventually reaches to the top of the bowl. The mixing should take between 25-35 minutes.
Below you can see that the mixture is looking more and more like ice cream.
Once it is done, I tend to transfer the ice cream into a container and put in the freezer for a few hours before serving. That way it will be a bit firmer than when it first came out of the ice cream maker. Home-made ice cream is softer scoop than store-bought ones, which means it is easier to scoop it out and eat.
Now I have to say that the ice cream maker definitely works, as the ice cream which comes out tastes lovely – same flavours as the original that we have tasted in the past. Although there are quite a few steps required to make the ice cream, it is not too time-consuming (save the waiting time for the cooling to take place) and well worth the effort as it means we can have ice cream which we simply cannot buy. While most of us in my family like both flavours of ice cream, my youngest only likes the Milo ice cream. This tastes particularly good when served on a slice of toasted waffle.
What I like about the Aicok Ice Cream maker?
- Low cost (under £30) – much cheaper than the ones with their own compressor system.
- It works very well to make lovely home-made ice cream – creamy and fluffy.
- It is possible to buy an additional ice cream freezer bowl (£9.99) if you would like to make more ice cream, or two different flavours one after the other.
What could be improved?
I can’t really find much to criticize about the ice cream maker since it is so cheap and works so well.
I was quite skeptical about the Aicok Ice Cream maker at first, but decided to take the plunge since it did not cost a lot. It does require a fair bit of planning ahead and/or waiting time while the mixture and freezer bowl are cooling down before you can start making the ice cream, unlike compressor ice cream makers which do not require pre-freezing. But the latter cost much more, are much bulkier machines – so not one I would get.
But my family and I are very pleasantly surprised at how well the home-made ice cream has turned out. We are now able to have two different flavours of ice cream which cannot be bought in the shops, although not in quick succession as we only have one freezer bowl currently. But if need be, it is possible to buy an additional ice cream freezer bowl (or two) at the cost of just under £10 each, if we intend to make more than one flavour of ice cream at any one sitting. Definitely recommended.