I actually have an ice cream maker. (We blogged about it here ages ago.) It's great fun and really looks the business but has only ever been used about twice because it's not a spur of the moment thing. You have to place the metallic bowl in the freezer for at least 8 hours in advance and need to buy ingredients you may not have as store cupboard basics, such as full cream. And even then, the finished product is extremely runny, more like McDonalds milkshake than proper ice cream.
When the Easiyo ice cream kit arrived, I was amazed at how simple it is. You get an ice cream tub and a couple of sachets of mix. That's it ! (Oh, and an instruction booklet but it's so simple, everything you need to know fits on the back of the pack.) I started scanning the instructions to see what I'd need to buy in to be able to make it. But you only need to add one ingredient - cold water ! Sounds too good to be true !
It's actually a three stage process. First of all you mix the sachet in cold water and stick it in the freezer.
It comes out looking like this. Hmmm not very convincing at this stage ! Then things get very strange. You have to microwave it (yes, you read that right - you have to microwave the ice cream !) - just so that it goes ever so slightly soft like sorbet. Then you need to beat it with an electric beater.
But we decided it was much more fun to do it by hand and it works fine as well. During this stage, it will double in volume and go all lovely and creamy.
We were making vanilla ice cream (we also have a sachet of chocolate ice cream mix to try out too) so the girls decided to jazz it up by adding some Smarties. (I wanted to add some raspberry sauce and have fun making it swirl into raspberry ripple but I was outvoted !) It then needs to go back into the freezer "for a short time" to refreeze into the finished ice cream, but we left ours overnight.
There was one slight technical hitch - as you can see, the Smarties all sank to the bottom. But as you can also see, the girls didn't care one bit, even if they did get a bit crushed to bits when trying to dig the ice cream out of the tub !
The girls absolutely loved it, feeling very proud of themselves for making their own delicious-tasting ice cream.
And Pierre was all smiles too !
It really does taste of "real" shop-bought ice cream and has just the right texture too. (I was worried it would be full of ice crystals, as happened the last time I tried to make fresh peach sorbet.) One word of advice - leave it out on the counter for a few minutes before you try to spoon it out because it's rock hard at first.
Even better is - and I swear this is no joke ! -it's actually good for you ! The manufacturers explain : "As you would expect from EasiYo, the ice cream mix has the added health benefit of lactobacillus acidophilus cultures in each spoonful, producing bacteria thought to have beneficial effects on digestion and overall health." It's also gluten-free, contains no artificial colours or preservatives and has less than 3% fat (7g of fat for a 250ml serving) - unless, that is, you've crammed it full of Smarties like we did !!!
It goes lovely with Actifried apple wedges too !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £9.16 for the complete kit (chocolate & vanilla mixes & the ice cream tub)
for more information : http://www.easiyo.com/the-easiyo-system/three-steps-icecream.html
Other reviews you may be interested in :