Celebrating National Chocolate Ice Cream began as a normal ice cream demo- and progressed into a delightful DIY adventure! Beth chose a rich and creamy recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Book. With cocoa and melted chocolate callets, the flavor grew from delicious to ridiculously rich in just two ingredients- and with a cooked base of whipped cream, whole milk and cornstarch- it started thick and froze up even thicker!
We put the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker up against the Breville Smart Scoop ice cream freezer to see which we preferred and found the following:
If you lack freezer space or remembering skills and don’t have extra time to put the Cuisinart freezer bowl in to freeze, the Breville is for you. Though it is more expensive, it offers the flexibility to just turn it on and go. Because the unit is cooled electrically like a real freezer, it does take longer to reach freezing temperature, but if you take into account the time it takes to freeze the bowl for the other unit, the net time is still less, plus it has an adorable timer that sounds like an ice cream truck when your frozen treat is done. It also has settings for yogurt, sorbet and keep cool. At first we were disapointed by the time difference between the two, but another of our chef instructors pointed out that if you want to make more than one flavor and have only one bowl, the Breville wins out again since you would have to wait for the bowl to refreeze before beginning a second batch, though the max batch in the cuisinart is 2quarts where as the Breville is 1.5.
So, depending on how you use your ice cream maker, there are benefits to each machine. One idea we conjured up involved an ice cream event, reunion or party where different groups make their own flavors, with their own mix-in choices and share them amongst themselves. The Breville will sound a chime when it is at the correct consistency for mix ins- alerting you of just the right time to dump in the extras through the little opening in the lid.
We did also notice that the smaller bowl allows for more crystals to form in the ice cream batch so the overall texture of the small batch verses the larger batch in the Cuisinart is thicker at completion, so when you put them in the freezer to ‘ripen’ the small batch will be easier to scoop after it solidifies, where as the large batch will freeze more solid with more liquid to freeze hard.
In the end, no matter how you freeze it, there will be ice cream, and where there is ice cream, there aught to be cones… so why not make those too? Our only problem was that we sold our last ice cream cone cooker a few months back, but a quick internet search opened our eyes to the use of our trusty Breville Panini Press instead, and we were quickly on our way to amazing-ness. Get recipe here.
Since we didn’t have a cone shaper, we borrowed the wooden ‘pestle’ from the cooking school chinois and were instantly delighted with our selves once we saw how easily these rolled up. We used a small cookie scoop to portion our cones- but don’t think that just because they are small that you can cook more than one at a time because the minute you take one off they begin to cool and thus harden. But if you don’t pull it off the grill, it continues to cook and rapidly goes from golden brown to almost burnt in a matter of seconds. Take care as the flattened scoop will be very hot, so watch your fingers as you roll.
Also, the angle of your roll is important because you want to make sure the tip of your cone is tightly wound so as not to leave a large hole for ice cream to sneak out of. We learned this the hard way, so a number of our cones needed ‘spackling’. For that we dropped a few Callebaut callets into each cone, melted a bowl of others and carefully spooned a small glob into each cone then spread it around to coat the bottom with the handle end of a fork.
We thought we were rather brilliant using a pop over pan to cool our cones in, but the smaller our cones became (we decided we like the little ones better anyway) the floppier they became in the pan-
until a second stroke of genius from our chef, Amanda, opened our eyes to the pepper popper grill stand into which the small cones sit perfectly!! It also makes scooping and serving less awkward and messy because you can carry it by its handles from place to place or face to face to share!
Watch Ashley make mini-panini-cone-inis here!