Beth called to tell me a VERY big box had arrived. I got home, moved the VERY big box into the kitchen and unpacked our new DeLonghi GM6000 ice cream, gelato and sorbet maker. It wasn’t cheap, but we’d developed a two scoop a day habit, and I was becoming less and less thrilled about the ice cream we were eating. Is high fructose corn syrup a health risk? Maybe. Are the flavors we’re buying delighting us? No! So, it was time to take matters in hand. I didn’t want a machine that needed ice and rock salt, I didn’t want a machine that required me to freeze a mixing bowl. I wanted to make ice cream, gelato or sorbet when I wanted to do so. I also wanted to make batches back to back without having a freezer full of bowls. So, a unit with a compressor was called for.
I looked at machines on line endlessly, looked at more Amazon reviews than I care to remember and finally picked the DeLonghi GM6000. I’ve owned some of their appliances in the past, and they’ve always been good for me. The only drawback I could see was the 1 1/2 pint batch size. It really isn’t easy to scale recipes since most are in quarts. Well, 1 1/2 pints is 3/4 quart, so it’s not impossible.
Our first ice cream was a vanilla ice cream. It turned out nicely, but wasn’t very special – then again, we were still learning. Our second batch, right on the heels of the first was a coconut ice cream. Beth and I had a coconut ice cream on a recent Alaskan cruise on some dam ship (a Holland-American joke) and it blew us away. The recipe we found was from http://www.ice-cream-recipes.com. It looked promising and very easy. No cooking, no custards, so we could just get back to running the machine! The author of the ice-cream-recipes site seems to love blenders. He seems to blend everything. Me, I think a blender is usually just one more thing to clean, so I skipped blending the ingredients. Another reason to skip the blender was that we wanted to see, feel and taste the coconut flakes. So, here’s what I did:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut flakes (packed down)
8oz can of sweetened coconut cream (this is NOT coconut milk – we used Coco Loco, found in the mixers section of most grocery or liquor stores, it’s used to make coconut mixed drinks such as Pina Coladas)
Whisk together the whipping cream, milk and coconut cream until smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine’s instructions. As the ice cream firms up, add the coconut flakes and let the machine blend them in, maybe 5 to 10 minutes before you think the ice cream will be done.
Alternately, you can run the ice cream machine until the ice cream is as hard as you think it is going to get and then decant the ice cream into a frozen mixing bowl and blend in the coconut with a spatula or dough knife. This has become our preferred way of handling crunchy add-ins.
We weren’t sure how firm the ice cream maker could, or should, make the ice cream, so when it looked fairly firm, we scooped out two serviings and put the rest in a sealable container in the freezer.
It was pure bliss! It had a velvety smooth texture, melted cleanly and filled our mouths with coconut and cream flavors. The flakes of coconut were little islands of crisp contrasting texture that also held more intense coconut flavors. This recipe is a real keeper – easy, fast and delicious, what’s not to like?
A column I read recently said one should spend ones money on experiences rather than things. Experiences lead to memories which mean more than things, and are easier to store. I can agree with that, but sometimes our things lead to experiences. And this thing, I think, will lead to many very nice experiences!
Here’s scoopin’ at cha!