Inside the machine that transforms a handful of ingredients into the much-loved frozen dessert.
An ice-cream maker works by simultaneously freezing your ingredients while churning them together. The ice-cream mixture is placed in a double-walled bowl, which has a coolant sandwiched between its two layers. Some more snazzy devices let you remove and pre-chill this chamber before you start, while older versions use a combination of ice and rock salt, which melts the ice to lower its freezing point.
As the ice-cream ingredients (ie eggs, sugar, cream and flavouring) make contact with the frozen interior of the bowl, the mixture freezes. A set of paddles driven by a motor continually churns the contents to circulate the frozen particles within the mixture. This motion breaks down any ice crystals that form, while introducing air to encourage a creamy texture recognised as soft scoop ice cream. If you hanker after a harder scoop, or you’re blending a boozy dessert, you may need to refrigerate your ice cream in order to complete the freezing process.
1. Pre-chill – Chill the inner chamber or introduce a blend of ice and rock salt to establish a frosty environment.
2. Deep freeze – Add your ice-cream mixture to the bowl and the freezing temperatures start chilling it immediately.
3. Frost-free – Switch it on, and the motorized paddles mix the ice cream as it cools to avoid the formation of ice crystals.
4. Cool to touch – As the mixture makes contact with the frosty walls, the liquid ice cream starts to freeze.
5. Keep it moving – The paddles keep the frozen particles circulating to guarantee an even freeze and soft scoop.