When it comes to gifts, most dads prefer ice-cream to a pair of socks. Better than a tub of their favourite flavour is this low-tech gadget which combines football and food preparation. Sounds brilliant in theory, so we decided to put UCO's Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker to the test.
The Play & Freeze is shaped like a football with a metal cylinder inside. The cylinder is where you add your ingredients. We were making vanilla ice-cream so our ingredients, which we prepared earlier as they say, were sugar, cream, eggs and vanilla pods. Ingredients to make 0.5 litre of vanilla ice-cream cost us around £2.00. With the cylinder in place inside the football, the rest of the space is packed with as much ice as you can fit in, plus salt. Rock salt is recommended but we used table salt and it worked fine. Rock salt should enhance the freezing ability.
Next step is to play with the football. It takes about 20 minutes of rolling the gadget to make ice cream. Not all our younger testers lasted the course, maybe because the ball weighs about 3kg when full, which is like rolling around a couple of bags of flour. But on a sunny day in the garden, at a picnic or on the beach it should be no problem to find enough helpers to keep the ball rolling. We had no problems with leakage. Our ice-cream tasted better than supermarket shop and we especially liked having control over the quality of our ingredients.
The instructions warn against throwing or kicking the ball. UCO suggests better uses for it once you've finished making ice-cream, like mixing your favourite margaritas.
The Met Office has promised a heat wave for July and August so bring on a summer of indulging in home made ice-cream.