There is a little shop in our town that sells Slushies. They are not my idea of a treat at all but my kids love them - the more tongue staining the better! I can understand why the ChillFactor Slushy Maker from Character, which enables you to make your own Slushies at home in seconds, has been a huge success. Using the same 'Rapid Freeze Technology' a new product has been added to the ChillFactor range - the Ice Cream Maker - with the tag line Freeze, Squeeze, Enjoy!
I may not get excited at the thought of Slushies but I do love ice cream so I was intrigued to try out this new 'cool' gadget when I was sent one to review.
The ChillFactor Ice Cream Maker is designed to look like a larger than life ice cream cone complete with sauce topping in Vanilla Pink or Choc Delight - very cute. It consists of a number of components, some of which are dishwasher safe. The cornet part is made from a soft, flexible material into which slots a thick inner sleeve that contains the magic 'freeze technology' compound. This needs to be placed in the freezer for 4-6 hours before use.
There is a recipe guide included but it encourages you to experiment with different flavours and quantities to suit your personal taste. It suggests using single cream because double cream gives a very rich result. I only had double cream in my fridge and I was keen to try out the gadget so I went for it.
Following the instructions, I measured 100mls of cream (without stopping to think how many calories that was!), poured it into the lid of the Ice Cream Maker, added a good couple of dollops of chocolate syrup and gave it a quick mix. I then tipped this into the cornet part, fresh from the freezer, and attempted to screw on the lid. The box promises 'no mess' but I must be a bit clumsy because my hands became rather sticky which made this a more difficult task than it should have been. I cleaned myself up, shook to make sure everything was well mixed and then squeeze, squeeze, squeezed. The squeezing is supposed to take a few minutes and be the fun part but it actually made my hands ache (touch of arthritis maybe - I am nearly 50). My husband came and finished the squeezing for me. It does say for a thicker ice cream to squeeze longer but we seemed to have got to the point where it wasn't making any difference any more. Taking the top part of the lid off enables you to get at the sweet treat with the long spoon provided.
The taste was much as you'd expect - creamy, sweet, very sickly (perhaps single cream would have been a better option). The texture was more like melted ice cream than ice cream - very soft - but it certainly had an icy coldness to it.
It was quite awkward to get the ice cream out. The spoon was a little too flexible to stand up to the cushions of the inner liner that seemed to close in around the contents and deny access. I eventually slopped it out into a bowl but it looked a little pathetic compared with the Cornish Ice Cream that the rest of the family were tucking into for dessert.
The Ice Cream Maker was much easier to wash up than I feared it might be.
Even taking into account the novelty value of making your own ice cream, I actually think there is at least as much fun to be had from the ice cream sold by the litre from your supermarket once you start adding toppings and sprinkles. I do not feel particularly inspired to repeat the Ice Cream Maker experience.
However, I have a daughter who does not like ice cream - never has. She cannot help feeling a little left out when we are all getting excited about some mouthwatering variety of luxury ice cream. I am thinking that this ChillFactor Ice Cream Maker would be perfect for making alternative frozen yoghurt desserts for her on such occasions. Being able to create her own flavour combinations and having all the fun of magically 'squeezing' them into existence may just make her the envy of the rest of us. I can't wait for her to be home from Uni so we can put it to the test.