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I had been reading many reviews on the internet about ice cream makers and thought they sounded good and quite easy to use! I had also been seeing them being used more and more often on Come Dine With Me and fancied the idea of making up my own creations. I absolutely love ice cream, especially Ben n Jerrys so I thought this would be a good way of saving money on buying those expensive tubs. I added it to my Christmas list, not really thinking I would get one as the ones I had seen were quite expensive. I was chuffed to bits on Christmas morning when I opened my shiny new Kenwood Ice Cream maker!!
The model I recieved is the Kenwood IM200 maker which is a decent sized model for a novice like myself! The ice cream maker basically comes in two parts, the bowl base and the chunky lid. I was surprised that it appeared so simple in all honesty, you simply attach the spatula onto the lid and that is as much assembly as it requires! The plug is attached to the lid of the maker, and on the very top you will find the on/off switch. The lid is mostly all see through so you can keep an eye on your ice cream at all times, and in the centre of the lid there is a reasonable sized hole in which you add your mixture.
I was so keen to attempt my first batch of ice cream, but obviously Christmas Day isn't the ideal time to do so, so I had a couple of days to plan my creations - Ben n Jerry were to have nothing on my ideas!! When it came to trying out the ice cream maker, I realised that you have to place the bowl in the freezer for 24 hours before use - now I am far too impatient to do that and I decided that 8 hours was enough! The ice cream maker came with a small leaflet containing a couple of recipes so I thought that I would try out one of those first of all (but adding a couple of goodies to it), and the banana ice cream sounded the nicest. Following the instructions was very easy, and within minutes the mixture was ready to be poured into the machine. It is advised that it may take 20 to 30 minutes for it to be ready at the right consistency but I soon realised that this wasn't to be the case for me! I placed the mixture into the freezer to finish off, and though it went ridiculously hard it was very nice!
I realised that it is very important to make sure you do freeze the bowl for the right amount of time as it does make a huge difference to the freezing process. It is also important that the machine is turned on and the spatula is turning as you are adding your mixture, this is to ensure the mixture doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl (providing you have had it in the freezer for the right amount of time!).
The ice cream maker is so easy to clean, it literally took just a couple of minutes! You only need to remove the spatula from the lid to wash, and of course the bowl, however the lid will need a quick wipe over also. It is adviseable to pop the bowl straight into the freezer after cleaning if you have the space as then it is always going to be ready should you wish to make ice cream on impulse!
I have now used my ice cream maker many many times and some of them have been fantastic and others not so great. My Irnn Bru one was delicious but just too sweet! My brother bought me the Ben N Jerrys Ice Cream Recipe book for Christmas also and that has some fantastic ideas in there though obviously it is very American so some of the ingredients are a bit difficult to get hold of!
The cost of the Kenwood Ice Cream maker was £29.99 on offer at Argos, which was a great price as you can now find it on Amazon for £38.99. I would recommend this as it is extremely easy to use if not like me you do it properly!