Brits are being knocked out of SW19 by the hour and by our reckoning that makes it summertime. What better way to celebrate the arrival of intermittent sunny days than by giving the latest ice cream maker from Cuisinart a thorough tasting. Sorry testing.
There’s nothing complicated about ice cream - sugar, double cream, milk and flavouring (a vanilla pod, or some chopped strawberries will do) are all you need for a delicious, artery clogging desert, and while you can spend hours churning, whisking and freezing without one, most ice cream makers can do the lot for you in a fraction of the time.
The Cuisinart Duo is essentially two basic ice cream makers in one. It has two identical freezer bowls, churning paddles and covers. To get started you need to put the bowls (which are filled with the stuff you get inside cool blocks) in the freezer overnight. Once the coolant has set solid you’re ready to go.
The Duo comes with a great recipe book with clear ingredient lists and step-by-step instructions. First up we tried the classic vanilla recipe and much to our annoyance (after all, isn’t the gadget is supposed to do the work?) we had to hand whisk the ingredients for a good 10 minutes before the sugar dissolved. Once done we grabbed one bowl from the freezer, put it in place, inserted the paddle and covered with the big plastic lid. In went the ingredients and on went the motor.
That’s it. There are no timers (slightly annoying), no complicated controls, just an on/off button and a choice of one or two bowls.
After 15 minutes the ingredients were starting to firm up nicely, and by 25 it was the consistency of a good thick Mr Whippy. It won’t give you super firm Haagen Dazs style straight away, but if you put it back in the freezer for an hour or so it will firm-up perfectly.
And it’s delicious. Thick, creamy (that’ll be the double cream) and equally as good as shop bought, just a fraction of the price.
We experimented with both bowls, knocking up a batch of strawberry - we put a handful of mushed-up fruit in half way through the churning - and more vanilla, and the machine worked just fine. This reviewer however felt a bit sick after 2 pints of cream and sugar.
On a practical note, the plastic paddle and lid are dishwasher safe and the whole thing is easy to wipe clean.
The Cuisinart Duo churns up cream and sugar inside frozen bowls … and that’s it. Simple as you like and surprisingly effective, although for the price you’ve really got to love your ice cream. There are plenty of models out there that do just as well and at half the price. Even Cuisinart has the Ice Cream Deluxe which for £70 is still steep but it’s an altogether more compact and stylish looking gadget.
If you want to make two flavours of ice cream at once and have loads of room in the freezer, then the Duo is impossible to beat. For everyone else, there are cheaper, smaller and cooler models available.