Pros: Custom ingredients, easy-to-use, cleans easily, delicious, not too big, sleek, compact.
Cons: need 2nd bowl, have to make sure freezing bowl is frozen solid
The Bottom Line: When non-dairy ice creams compromised to unhealthy ingredients, I was thrilled to get this ice cream maker for a gift. It is a great source of family entertainment too!
In order to stay at top level health, I have not been able to eat traditional dairy ice cream for many years. A very long time ago (before it was chic) I began to purchase various non-dairy ice cream products. The first being RICE DREAM which back when it first came out was a fantastic frozen amasake type dessert. It was lucious. The company was bought out by IMAGINE and the quality went way down, but it still did not have cane sugar in it so I continued to purchase.
My dessert of preference then went to soy based ice creams. They were creamy and lucious, however, the green eyed monster of greed grabbed that industry and the fountain of delight became polluted with cane sugar making the desserts not different from the traditional ice creams that lead to many sicknesses and diseases.
So, having very few alternatives, I decided to go back to RICE DREAM frozen dessert (which everyone here refers to as RICE DREAM ICE CREAM). Despite it not being nearly as good as its original recipe, the quality was still decent.
Then a few months ago, our local stores began to replace the RICE DREAM shelves with a so-called *new and improved* version which emblazoned ORGANIC across the front of it.
Well, arsenic is still organic, that does not mean that it is healthy for you....
The price jumped to SEVEN dollars a quart, and I decided to try it one last time. Well, it sure WAS the LAST time. THat was the worst tasting garbage I have ever had. It tasted TERRIBLE.
The best way I could describe it was like guar gum-carageenan sludge frozen and slammed in a carton. No vanilla flavor. No substance. No amount of tasting made any of us feel like we had eaten anything.
I wrote the company who gave a robotic reply of how great consideration goes into the creation of new improved recipes, but they would forward on my comments, blah, blah, blah, blah etc. The response was accompanied by some coupons to get more of the organic RICE DREAM and I described with such frustration and disgust. WOW, just what I want- more terrible tasting junk!
I was moaning to my mother one day when she got a bright idea. A few days later, the UPS man delivered a CUISINART 1.5 QUART FROZEN YOGURT ICE CREAM & SORBET MAKER.
I was so excited I could hardly stand it!
WHAT COMES WITH THE CUISINART ICE CREAM MAKER?
In our box, we got a lovely base (this one came in red instead of traditional white) which has an on off switch in the front. The top of the base has wavy scrolls which is what holds the cover in place when making ice cream. The cord is about three feet long ad will push into the base which is a hollowed out handle that you can also use to carry the base. The plug is polarized two prong. There are four rubber feet which keep it stationary when using.
The lid is a clear lid with wavy bottom and a little locking button which keeps it on place on the base when using. In the top of the lid is a very large opening with has fluted edges to direct the ice cream if you taste it while operating and happen to spill a drip on it. The opening is about 2 1/2 inches across- allowing for tasting while making the ice cream.
THE MIXING ARM
Reminiscent of old time hand choppers, the mixing arm is a round cylinder with 1 inch bands of plastic that go down the sides and around the bottom. The center of the mixing arm is open to make the ice cream move around nicely and evenly. The mixing arm is the same color as the base.
THE MIXING BOWL
The mixing bowl is filled with cooling liquid which MUST be frozen solid in order to work correctly. That means allow at least 12 hours but preferably 24 hours to make sure that it is frozen very well before trying to use it. The bowl is made from aluminum and has a plastic housing. It is heavy duty, but be careful not to drop it when frozen on granite floors or stone because it could crack.
There is a thin 12 page instruction book with a few recipes to get you started with the CUISINART ICE CREAM MAKER, and general instructions as well. There are recipes for yogurt, ice cream, frozen kool aid, sorbets, sherbet, and even a recipe for frozen strawberry daquiri as well as pina coladas.
HOW TO USE THIS MACHINE
Once you have washed, dried and thoroughly frozen the freezing bowl, be prepared to take some time in ice cream preparation.
Depending on what you are making, you need to whiz it in the blender for complete emulsion and then make sure that it is completely chilled before trying to use it in the ice cream maker. This is especially true if you are making frozen custard.
Once that is accomplished (some people stick the liquid in the freezer for a bit to quickly cool it instead of waiting for the refrigerator to work), then you assemble the ice cream maker completely.
Turn it on.
Slowly pour in the liquid you are using into the top opening of the lid, being careful not to spill it.
Then run the machine for about 20 minutes, setting a timer , and then check it after that to make sure you watch it and shut it off when done.
Take the ice cream out of the bowl.
Put in container and stick in freezer, or eat as is.
Wash the bowl and lid if necessary BY HAND - NOT DISHWASHER, and then wipe clean immediately, or the water will freeze into the bowl. (some people like to keep their bowls in a plastic freezer bag to keep it from getting that freezer taste if left there over time unused).
OTHER SUNDRY THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN USING THE CUISINART ICE CREAM MAKER
If you want to add anything to your ice cream, you have to wait until the last minute. I prefer mixing the items in by hand.
Such things for this would be chips, nuts, m&ms, sprinkles, - anything that is chunky in any way will jam up the ice cream maker.
There is an overheating circuit which will shut off the machine should it overheat.
DO NOT STORE ICE CREAM IN FREEZER BOWL- take it out instead and put it into another container.
Different recipes take different amounts of time to reach thickness. Ice cream made with cream generally will freeze up in 20 minutes, but when using rice milk, it can take up to 35 minutes. The key is to MAKE SURE THAT THE INGREDIENTS ARE MIXED UP IN A BLENDER AND VERY COLD WHEN STARTING.
DO NOT USE HARSH CLEANERS WHEN CLEANING THE BOWL. Also just wipe the rest of the machine with damp cloth- do not immerse in water. Many times we will just wipe out the bowl after a use making it easier to clean and dry quickly.
We have been using this ice cream maker since we got it a couple of weeks ago. Although it was supposed to be for Christmas, my parents had mercy on us and told us to start using it right away. At least I could continue my little ice cream treat that I had missed so much from time to time.
Unless you live alone, I would recommend that you purchase another freezing bowl. Having one is not enough- because if you have company, or a hungry family, or have two people who want DIFFERENT ice cream at a time, it is much nicer to have two bowls going in the freezer at once.
This is especially true if you have someone in the family with dairy allergies or other allergies who need special ice cream- then they are always free to make what they need.
Although a quart and a half capacity sounds like a lot, with a family of four, it is barely enough to satisfy a craving. On the plus side, it limits our ice cream intake. On the negative side, it only gives us each a small tea cup of ice cream at a time.
This is a great way for me to keep having the type of dairy free desserts that I want to. Unfortunately, it is not like going to the freezer to get a quick little bit of ice cream before anyone notices. Instead everyone comes running when the machine is going and that is very annoying. It makes ice cream treats alone impossible.
That is not the ice cream maker's fault, just a frustration with family who hover like starving wolves over the ice cream maker.
At least I can have any type of ice cream that I want to now, and not have to depend on companies to make it for me. It is much cheaper and the flavor is wonderful so far.
I have made Blue Moon Vanilla Maple Walnut Strawberry Carob
Each time it has been lovely - but the Rice Milk version still needs some fine tuning. It does taste much better than the store bought version, however, so I am happy about that.
The ice cream that comes out of the machine is quite soft, so if you like harder ice cream, be prepared to let it freeze for a while in the freezer. As each freezer is different, I can not begin to tell you how long that might be.
All in all we are very happy with our new ice cream maker and for me it is a great relief as the products out there that I can eat are so few now that I was getting frustrated.
WHERE TO GET THIS ICE CREAM MAKER
I have seen the CUISINART FROZEN YOGURT ICE CREAM & SORBET MAKER at
While I'd like to try to coconut bliss and other various forms of coconut milk made vegan ice cream, I just can't do it. Why? Because they cost $5 a pint and why pay that when I can throw whatever my little heart desires into a blender, toss it into the ice cream maker and have home made ice cream inside of 30 minutes? Yes, I used to eat lots of store bought vegan ice cream, and Turtle Mountain is still my favorite in that department. But now I can eat … more
More often than not I end up with 'milkshake' rather than 'ice cream' then have to freeze it for a few hours to get just the rig ht consistency. But then you better eat it right away or else the ice cream hardens into a rock! Cute maxhine though, just doesn't meet my needs.
One of the best things about homemade ice cream and ice is that they seem to encourage people to join in making them. When I first started using mine for dinner parties, I would apologetically excuse myself, duck in the kitchen, muffle the noise of the freezer with a towel and scoot back every so often to check on progress. What I discovered was that people like to gather around the thing while it's running, so now I simply hand people a drink while I get the ingredients and we all stand … more
Creating up to 1-1/2 quarts of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or frozen drinks at home takes only about 20 minutes with this electric appliance, and salt and ice are not needed. After the machine's chilling chamber has been in the freezer for about eight hours the liquid between its walls becomes thoroughly frozen. The chamber then goes atop the power base, the unit's paddle goes into the chamber, the transparent top is locked in place, and the machine is turned on. Ingredients go into the chamber through an opening in the top as the paddle turns. The chamber chills the ingredients to whatever consistency is desired--though dense treats are hard to make because the paddle churns in air.
Chocolate chips, chopped fruit, nuts, and other special ingredients can be added toward the end. The nonstick chamber makes cleanup a snap. Storing it in the freezer ensures a frozen confection is only 20 to 40 minutes away when the mood strikes. The machine measures 10 inches in diameter and 15 inches high and weighs 9-1/2 pounds. It carries a three-year limited warranty. A detailed instruction booklet including many recipes comes included. --Fred Brack