It hasn't exactly been "ice cream weather" here in Interior BC for the past couple of weeks. But I recently received the Hamilton Beach 1.5 Qt. Ice Cream Maker (68321Z) as a gift and have been giving it a try out, in spite of the cooler temperatures. Ice cream with coffee or Caf-Lib is one of my fav combos so that helps! ;<)
This is the first electric/automatic ice cream maker I've ever used. A long time ago, we had one of those old-fashioned crank models, when I was a kid. It needed rock salt and plenty of muscle power to turn (make that churn) out a batch of homemade ice cream. Fun memories but how times have changed! Now it's oh so easy to make all kinds of ice cream treats, without any fuss or brute strength required LOL.
The Hamilton Beach 1.5 Qt. Ice Cream Maker is so easy to use. And clean-up is a breeze too.
The inner freezer compartment needs to be put into the freezer for about 24 hours before you are planning to make ice cream. It's suggested in the instructions to just clean the unit after use and return to the freezer, so that it's ready for the next batch of ice cream yummies!
After the liner is thoroughly chilled, it's placed in the outer plastic unit, and the chilled ingredients are poured in. Unit on....churning and presto, 20-30 minutes later, perfect homemade ice cream. Made with your choice of ingredients and add-ons. And with no thickeners, additives, colors...as is the case with most mainstream commercial ice cream. Just fresh and oh so delish results!
I've made Vanilla and Mocha Pecan ice cream so far, both were wonderful. You can read the post about the Mocha Pecan Ice Cream with recipe here.
I've also got an: Ice Cream Lover's Giveaway coming up shortly, so stay tuned for that!
Only a couple of things that I think would make this product even better. When the ice cream is finished churning, it needs to be scraped out of the freezer bowl and into a container for storing. It would be great to have a small, rigid spatula included to make this easier. I used a large cake spatula that I had, so as not to scratch the interior of the freezer bowl but it wasn't ideal.
Also, the churning paddle is adequate but I think it could be a bit more "heavy duty". Perhaps one in stainless steel instead of the rigid plastic this one is made of? It gets put through it's paces, when it's close to the end of the churning process and the ice cream is getting very thick.
Another thing to mention, if it looks like there isn't enough ingredients in the container at the beginning of the churning process, you'll be amazed how it expands as it's processing. Definitly good to follow the recipe instructions and stick to the amounts suggested.
There are a few recipes included with this product in the instruction book but I've got a couple of amazing Ice Cream recipe books to share with you soon. And of course, creating and tweaking your own ice cream favorites to make is part of the fun too!
If you've been considering buying an Ice Cream Maker, this is a good one to buy. Reasonably priced to at about $35. -40. It will pay for itself in no time, if you've been buying premium ice cream products on a regular basis.
Visit the Hamilton Beach site to read more about all of their fine small appliances and products. And stop by Europe's Best to enter their current Hamilton Beach small appliance contest too. Some great prizes up for grabs.
Overall rating for this product: Very Good. 4 out of 5.