As evidenced by my multiple drawers and cabinets full of kitchen gadgets and appliances, it's possible I have a slight obsession with them. So naturally I was thrilled when I was asked to test the Zoku Ice Cream Maker. A new gadget to play with and homemade ice cream as a result. Who could ask for more?
The Details: The Zoku Ice Cream Maker retails around $26 and will make 1 5-ounce serving of ice cream in about 10 minutes. You have to be prepared though, because the inner bowl has to be placed in the freezer for 12 hours before you can make ice cream.
The Downside: All the recipes that are included in the instruction booklet make 1 quart, or 6 servings. This is not very user friendly for a single person. You’d be left with enough mix for 5 servings and would have to wait 12 hours between uses. Instead, I decided to see if I could come up with a way to only make enough ice cream mix for a single serving.
The Test: My idea was to use an individual container of Greek yogurt as my base. (I always have yogurt on hand in the refrigerator.) I took a 5.3-ounce container of plain Greek yogurt, and I added 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. I let this mixture chill for about 1 hour.
I followed the directions and added the chilled mixture to the ice cream maker while continuously stirring with the spoon provided. The frozen yogurt was ready to eat within six minutes. The initial taste was smooth and chocolatey. However, when I set the bowl down on the counter and walked away for a few minutes, the yogurt was frozen so solidly there was no way to spoon it out. Next time I will thin the yogurt mixture with a little milk to see if that prevents the solid block of chocolate ice that refused to thaw for several hours.
Following that, I decided to use one of our recipes for frozen yogurt. I selected the Raspberry Frozen Yogurt, but substituted peach puree for the raspberries. This recipe yielded much better results. The mixture reached soft serve stage in about five minutes. Instead of leaving the frozen yogurt in the ice cream maker, I put it in a serving dish immediately after it was ready.
The Verdict: Love the idea behind this single-serve ice cream maker. Being able to make one serving of ice cream at a time, instead of a whole quart, is a lifesaver. Great for portion control, too!
The flavor possibilities are endless! I plan on experimenting with other flavors of frozen yogurt using individual containers now that I know the secret is adding milk to thin the mixture.