How does it work?
Pour the liquid recipe mixture (flavoured cream, sweet water, etc.) into the cooling bowl of the ice cream maker, which is equipped with plastic blades. These move the mixture, all the while freezing it. This continuous movement, also called churning, makes it possible to obtain a smooth texture, without crystals. If the liquid mixture does not move, the water in it will turn into ice and it will become a hard block.
By churning the liquid, the plastic blades let air through and make it creamy. The more you churn, the softer it becomes. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes of churning for the preparation to set. This time varies depending on the recipe, the amount of mixture, the ingredients used (e.g., alcohol, sugar, fat) and the desired consistency.
The ice cream maker step by step
First, choose your frozen dessert recipe and then follow these simple steps.
- Put the cooler bowl in the freezer at least 8 hours before starting the recipe.
- Prepare the ice cream, sorbet, slush or frozen yogurt mixture, following the recipe instructions.
- Take the cooler bowl out of the freezer and quickly place it in the ice cream maker to prevent it from warming up. Add the mixture.
- Churn the mixture between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the recipe, or until it has set.
- Transfer the icy mixture into an airtight container (we’ve designed our own 1-litre airtight ice cream containers for your creations, sold online at ricardostore.com and in-store) and freeze for a few hours until ready to serve. Allow to temper for a few minutes before serving, if desired.
If you’ve never used an ice cream maker or you’re a homemade iced dessert amateur, this information will help you to make the best possible use of it.
- 1. Leave the cooler bowl in the freezer so that it’s always ready for use. If it’s not cold, it should be put in the freezer at least 8 hours before starting the recipe.
- 2. Never put the cooler bowl upside down, to ensure that the refrigerant (Ice Pak-style) remains at the bottom of the bowl and not on top.
- 3. To ensure that the container does not smell like a freezer, keep it in a freezer bag.
- 4. Do not use hard or sharp utensils (e.g., a metal spoon) to remove ice cream, as they can damage the inner surface of the bowl. The use of wooden or silicone utensils is recommended.
- 5. Prepare the ice cream mixture at least 4 hours before starting the recipe and store it in the refrigerator.
The secrets of a good frozen dessert
Once you understand how to use the ice cream maker, get churning! Here are some practical tips for exceptional frozen desserts.
- An iced dessert fresh from the ice cream maker will have a soft texture. If it is too soft and you want to make scoops, put it in the freezer for an hour so that it becomes firmer.
- For optimal ice cream maker use, it’s suggested that you refrigerate the basic preparation beforehand so you can reach the desired icy texture more quickly. If you are using frozen fruits, skip the refrigeration step.
- Some might be inclined to reduce the amount of sugar in an iced dessert recipe; however, this could yield a really hard texture. It’s better to stick to the requested ratio in order to obtain the best result.
- If the ice crystallizes, it’s possible to let the ice cream melt and use the ice cream maker to get it back to a creamier texture. To keep it for a long time, opt for an airtight container to avoid freezer burn.
- The serving temperature of ice cream should be about 40°F (-4°C) to have the right texture. Since the freezer is at 0°F (-18°C), temper it before serving.
- Serve your frozen dessert in a glass cup or a porcelain bowl previously kept in the freezer to ensure it stays cold and melts more slowly.
- In terms of ice cream toppings, the choices are endless: peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, maple flakes, dulce de leche, Smarties, basil, banana slices, matcha tea powder, lime zest, cookie pieces, sweet popcorn, pretzels, gummies, candy... Have fun!
Our favourite ice cream maker recipes
You can make all sorts of frozen delights with an ice cream maker: ice cream, of course, but also sorbets and even slushies. Here are our favourite recipes.