The whole design of this ice cream maker reminds one of the soft serve machines in stores; the brightly colored candy in the side makes you feel like a kid again, but will these unique add-ons cause people to fall in love with it over and over again?
I admit, I kinda expected this to be the perfect ice cream machine. I was taken in by the cone holder, the spout, the handle for controlling the ice cream as it comes out and making it twirl into the cone or bowl. It just felt like it had everything I associate with ice cream. Clever marketing on Cuisinarts’ part has made many consumers also expect a fully automatic ice cream soft serve dispenser, one that produces ice cream exactly like they would get from the Dairy Queen down the road.
Sadly it doesn’t. It does say that it uses a ‘freezer bowl’, so you know its not fully automatic. Do your research before spending your money. Nestled in that tower is a double insulated, 1 quart freezer bowl, that you need to freeze before you can use this machine. It also has a long mixing arm (I am skeptical of its efficiency as I’m not sure if it is wide enough to touch the sides/walls of the bowl while mixing.)
This gizmo comes with a unique twist to the standard ice cream maker. It has its own candy dispenser. While you may have seen a similar feature on this Hamilton Beach, I can assure you that this one is way cooler.
First there are 3 condiment containers in which you can add in extra sprinkles, candies, nuts, chocolate chips of different sizes. This add-on also allows you to add bits from one, two or even all three containers when you are dispensing your ice cream. How cool is that?!!
Note though, use the included funnel to actually measure the size of what you are putting in, as anything that can’t fit through the funnel i.e. too big will jam up the machine and halt the ice cream production.
This gadget makes all flavours of ice cream and sorbets quite easy-peasy.
Being a freezer bowl model, you have to freeze the included bowl for up to 20 hours at 0 oF. This is easy to do if you have a chest freezer, just set it in the corner. If you have a larger freezer, also place it in a corner for rapid and thorough cooling. The bowl easily turns out between 1 and 1.5 quarts of your dessert, in 20 – 35 minutes, without any need for salt or ice.
When pouring the ice cream mix into the bowl, fill up the bowl until about an inch below the beater. Ice cream increases in volume as it is being made, hence if the ice cream base is too much and it starts to expand, there will be a mess as it will spill all over the counter top.
NOTE: Ensure you leave the bowl in the freezer till you absolutely ready to pour the ice cream base in and start production. This is because the bowl starts to lose its cool really fast and you don’t want to be left with soupy milk, now, do you?
With all said and done, the Cuisinart ICE 45 is easy to use to produce delicious desserts.
TIPS FOR BEST USE:-
- Turn on the machine and let it start running for about 2 minutes, before you actually pour in the mix. This will prevent it from sticking to the sides of the bowl, as soon as it hits the cold inner surface of the bowl.
- When you feel its all done, you have to keep an eagle eye on the machine to know the right time to dispense. Hey, that is the reason you bought this machine. You wanna dispense ice cream yourself and get to twirl the cone while you do it. Its the truth and you know it. LOL. Dispense too early, your slushy ice cream will wreck the cone; dispense too late, it will be even too hard to come out the chute.
- I also found that when you leave the machine running for too long, it will stall out. The ice cream becomes solid and the motor stalls; the motor will overheat and a thermal breaker will flip. The machine has to cool in order to work again.
Cleaning up after dessert
The necessary parts are easy to clean as they disassemble and are most of them can be washed in the kitchen sink. After scraping all the ice cream out of the bowl, take the lid off and pull out the freezer bowl. Wash by hand, dry and chuck back in freezer. Wipe down the top of machine if any mix was spilled while pouring in. You can also wash the condiment containers, condiment chute, and drip tray.
Standing at 17 inches tall and 9 inches wide, the Cuisinart ICE-45 isn’t one you can readily shove under a shelf, but that may not be such a bad thing. The bright colours of the candy you will put in the condiment containers are set off nicely by the white and pink colour that the ice cream makers themselves come in.
At 9 pounds in weight, you may be worried about it tipping over and falling on toes, but the wide stable frame and rubber legs at the base of this keep it quite stable. There is also a large drip tray at the bottom is designed to catch spills. It is also backed by a 3 year warranty.
The opening at the top of the machine is wide enough to pour the mix in while machine is running.
There are about 8 recipes, ranging from peaches sherbert to banana yoghurt, included with the instruction manual.
A few things I didn’t like though:-
- The manual didn’t talk about the machine cutting out when the mixture got too hard. You can panic and think you have broken the machine if you didn’t know about this.
- Also, in the manual, you are actually encouraged to ‘lift the lid and scoop out the rest.’, when ice cream stops flowing through. Dear Cuisinart, that kinda defeats the purpose of buying a machine with a soft serve spout.
The Cuisinart ICE-45 can be an interesting addition to your ice cream maker collection. Some like the mix in thing, some hate it. Personally, I’m indifferent. I would rather use my fave ice cream maker and sprinkle any additions on when I’m done. It’s just me and my dislike of having to wait 24 hours for some freezer bowl.
If you want to try the Cuisinart, its available here, with free shipping!
Photo Credit: sorbet and sprinkles