I’ve been looking for one of these for quite a while now but could never quite justify the £300 price tag to myself. However eBay is a wonderful provider and one came up locally that was pick-up only and my restraint was undone. Its about 8 months old and has been used twice and given I only paid just over £110 for it then those were two very expensive ice creams!!
The pictures don’t really do justice to how large and heavy this beast actually is. Whilst I can pick it up then I wouldn’t want to carry it more than a couple of meters, its heavyyyyy and also about the size of a small microwave but just not quite as tall. It comes with a thick manual and recipes although most of the thickness is the translation into multiple European languages, the English is a little funny in places but it does the job.
The instructions are pretty simple, just screw it all together, plop in the mix, turn on the cooling and stirring blade and set the timer for 30 mins. Oh, and remember to pour some alcohol/water mix between the removable bowl and mail bowl otherwise they’ll freeze together. Wait for 30 minutes and voila… ICE CREAM (…on a day where its barely above freezing outside… but then again it’s always the right time for ice cream.)
Its a fairly noisy gadget as they go, the stirrer and the chiller make a fair noise, enough to hear over the TV in the next room but not enough to be a problem. After the 30 mins the ice cream is quite thick/stiff but not totally frozen, more like Mr Whippy consistency and beautifully smooth. Either eat straight away or put into a container and into the freezer.
The first ice cream was a Burnt Sugar Banana ice cream and very nice it is too. Very Bananarey (sic), a modification of this David Lebovitz receipe as I didn’t have any coconut milk or enough bananas and they weren’t ripe enough and it was almost too much for the pot, but hey it still turned out really yummy.
- 4/5 Large Bananas (preferably overripe but if you don’t want to wait…..)
- 600ml Whipping Cream
- 100-200ml Milk
- 175g Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Dark Rum (or White Rum if like me you don’t have any Dark Rum)
- Pinch Salt
- Place sugar and 1/4 of the whipping cream in a wide saucepan and heat until bubbling, stir constantly.
- Add the bananas and cook for about 5 mins stirring all the time, should be bubbling.
- Add the remainder of the cream, vanilla, rum, salt and blend until thick/smooth with a hand blender.
- Use the milk to loosen up the mixture
- Chill in the fridge and add to the ice cream maker when cold
Eat and enjoy!
I have to say that whilst the Gaggia gadget works perfectly and makes ice cream easy then its still very hard to justify the price for a machine at home unless you are either loaded or as I did buying second hand.
UPDATE: Well after 9 months we’re still making Ice Cream and when the Gaggia Gelateria works then its still good. We’ve had some issues with overheating, twice now the machine has overheated and shut down and made less than perfect ice cream as its just not got cold enough. After the last failure I decided it was time to open the machine up and take a look inside.
The insides are very basic/simple, a condenser like you’d see in a normal fridge along with a fan/motor to force air over the condenser, another motor and some cogs to drive the mixer, the insulated bowl and the switches/timer. It’s amazingly easy to take to pieces, just take out the 4 screws securing the bowl and the additional 4 screws in the left/right sides and off comes the lid.
It seems whomever assembled the unit was a little overzealous pushing the plastic fan onto the motor spindle and as a result the cooling fan would rub on the motor housing and run slowly or sometimes barely turn at all, a little careful tug on the fan moved it forwards enough to spin freely and now it runs like a charm.