Sunday, July 5, 2015

Beat the Heat with a Homemade Treat! #Zoku Ice Cream Maker #Review

I don't know if there's a single dessert we love more during the summer than ice cream. I am partial to ice cream with real fruit chunks in it, or sorbet. Hubby and B love mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, or plain vanilla. With ice cream prices being a bit on the high side, buying ice cream from the store to keep in our freezer is a bit of a treat. We save the arguing over what flavor to buy, and settle on one that everyone can agree on. The toughest thing about purchasing store-bought ice cream, is that we are the pickiest family you will ever meet regarding taste, texture, and natural ingredients. The bottom line- we don't want junk in our ice cream, and we want to be able to recognize every ingredient on the label.

We don't care for chalky-tasting, super creamy or gritty ice cream. We like that sort of flaky texture, and for our family, the ice cream has to be just right. We have been talking about wanting to just make our own ice cream at home, but it has always seemed to be a bit of a painstaking process. We recently had the opportunity to give the ZOKU Ice Cream Maker a try, and were surprisingly impressed by the process, and final results.


It all started with a seemingly simple idea: what if we could make Popsicles freeze faster? And after months of research, testing, and prototypes, ZOKU's Quick Pop Maker was born. They knew they were on to something and soon, Williams-Sonoma agreed, picking them up for their holiday season. Today, ZOKU offers pop makers, ice cream makers, recipe books, and more- making it easier than every for families to make and enjoy some of their favorite cool treats at home!

The ZOKU Ice Cream Maker, with needed ingredients to make ice cream at home!

The ZOKU Ice Cream Maker is a fantastic item to have at home. The Ice Cream Maker comes with a bowl for freezing, serving bowl, scraper, and recipe booklet. We noticed right away that we only needed a few simple ingredients that we always have on hand, to make vanilla ice cream at home: whole milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla.

The instruction manual- a quick and easy read will fill you in on how to make the ice cream, and how to best use this product.

I took time to read through the instructions- twice.

The process for making the ice cream is very simply, but there is a bit of prep involved. The bowl used to make the ice cream needs to be frozen for several hours before use. We actually stuck the bowl in the freezer 24 hours before we intended to use it. We wanted to make sure it was super chilled.

The ZOKU booklet has many recipes- we can't wait to try some of the others!

I was happy that the recipes looked like they were going to be easy to follow. Every now and then I get a step out of order, or am off on a measurement, so simple is best for me. The ice cream would take less than ten minutes to make. B was so excited to help make the ice cream. This was the very first time we had aver attempted making ice cream, so we weren't quite sure what to expect.

As instructed, we whisked together the milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. This was a great job for B.

Eventually, B got tired of stirring, and opted for a dress-up break.

After the ingredients were all mixed up, we set up a little add-in bar. We happened to have sprinkles, chocolate chips, chocolate chip cookies, and marshmallows on hand. I thought it would be fun for B to make his own ice cream creation, and his eyes widened considerably when he saw all of the yummy goodies on the table.

Check out our yummy toppings bar!

We chilled the ice cream mixture for about 30 minutes, before we attempted to freeze it in the ZOKU Ice Cream bowl. Once it was good and cold, we took the mixture out of the fridge, and the ice cream bowl out of the freezer. We were ready to get to work and make some ice cream!

We grabbed the outer bowl and the scraper... the bowl situated, and then got to makin' some ice cream!

The actual freezing of the ice cream part is the trickiest, so I recommend thoroughly reading through the directions before you attempt this part. Making sure our bowl was super cold, and the ice cream mixture was chilled, we poured 5 oz. of the mixture into the bowl, and began scraping the mixture from the sides of the bowl.

The ice cream mixture began to start freezing almost immediately.

We kept scraping the side of the bowl, continuously, as the ice cream began thickening, and freezing.

The ice cream began freezing to the bowl in thin layers. We scraped the flakes of ice cream off of the bowl, to allow more of the mixture to come into contact with the metal. Within just a few minutes, the ice cream was fully thickened. We felt that it was a bit too soft for our liking, so we stuck the bowl back in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Once the ice cream was frozen, we were ready to add in all of the fun yummies!

B wanted to add in a bit of everything, so I let him have at it. We wouldn't normally go for an ice cream with all of these extras, but since this was a special experience for us, I wanted B to be able to use his creativity and customize his treat.

In went the crushed cookies, a few sprinkles, and mini marshmallows.

B enjoyed stirring in all of the extras by himself.

The finished product- yummy vanilla ice cream, with added yummies!

I snuck a taste of the plain vanilla ice cream, before it became overly sweet. I loved the texture- creamy, yet flaky, and very vanilla-y. It's definitely as good, if not better than the brands we usually purchase in stores, and was more of a treat to eat, because we made it ourselves. B couldn't wait to try the ice cream, so we headed to the dining table for the most important taste-test of all.

One bite was all it took for this little sweets lover to become hooked on our homemade ice cream. He quickly explained that he was not going to be sharing the rest of the ice cream with me.

Extra yummy- just how ice cream ought to be!

The vanilla ice cream we made with our ZOKU Ice Cream Maker was simply fantastic! We love being able to make ice cream anytime we want to, and being able to customize a basic recipe with add-ins and toppings. I have a feeling that Sacha will be wanting to make some peanut butter ice cream, and I look forward to making some black cherry vanilla ice cream in a few weeks (when I can have ice cream again).

The ice cream was delicious, but rich- so there was a bit leftover to share with daddy!

To me, one of the best things about having the ZOKU Ice Cream Maker on hand, is that you can make an individual serving. Every now and then, we forget that we have a pint of ice cream in the freezer, and that expensive ice cream becomes freezer burnt and goes to waste. With this, there is no waste, and everyone is able to have their favorite flavor of ice cream! For a larger family, you might want to pick up one or two of these cool treat makers! They also make fantastic gifts!

Features of the ZOKU Ice Cream Maker

Make individual portions of ice cream, custard, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, or sherbet in as little as 10 minutes with the Zoku Ice Cream Maker! Whether you prefer classic flavors like vanilla bean, mint chocolate chip, fresh strawberry, or dark fudge, or you like to create your own flavors, fresh ice cream can now be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Top your creation with fruit, candy pieces, nuts, or brownie chunks, and for a classic flourish, add a bright red cherry on top.

Check out a few other ZOKU products we're itching to try...

Triple Quick Pop Maker
Quick Pop Maker

Chocolate Station
Chocolate Station

Character Kit
Character Kit

Polar Pop Molds
Polar Pop Molds

Slush & Shake Maker
Slush & Shake Maker

Want one? Get one!

Head on over to ZOKU to check out all of their cool products, to view product manuals, recipes, and more! Look for ZOKU products in store, or purchase online. Check out the ZOKU Recipe Blog, or sign up for their Recipe Newsletter for tons of fabulous recipes! Connect with ZOKU through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Special thanks to ZOKU for allowing us to try out their fantastic Ice Cream Maker! We hope you'll pick one up & give it a try, too! We give the ZOKU Ice Cream Maker two spoons up!


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