Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Scream, You Scream

We all scream for vegan ice cream! Well, dagnammit, it's about time! Two new vegan ice cream books have arrived. And this girl couldn't be more excited.


Now, first you must understand something about New England to understand why I am so excited. New England has the #1 per capita consumption rate of ice cream of any region in the country. Why? Not exactly sure but I think it is because ice cream is part of our local culture. Really. When I talk about growing up in NE with other native New Englanders we all have the same stories from our childhood. Going to Friendly's for a grilled cheese and ice cream with the grandparents. Taking a ride on a hot summer's eve with the family to wait in line at the local Creamy Cone under a stretch of tall pines while the purple mosquito lamp buzzes. Or day dreaming of the long gone Bailey's of Boston ice cream parlor complete with marble floors and tin sundae cups. And our "frappes" are not wimpy milkshakes..they're so much thicker cause the main ingredient is, you guessed it, ice cream!

So what's a girl to do when she goes vegan? Distance herself from her dairy-ridden past? No way! In Boston we are so incredibly fortunate to have a vegan ice creamery to line up during the hot humid summer months sweating in relief. Okay, even in the wintertime when New Englanders' appetite for the cold creamy stuff doesn't disappear with the first snow. Our own Wheeler del Torro opened up his Wheeler's Frozen Dessert Co. Shop just last year. I hadn't heard a peep about Wheeler's new book, The Vegan Scoop until earlier this week when I stumbled upon it in my local bookstore. Imagine my surprise (jumping up and down in the cookbook aisle is a regular form of exercise for me). Just released last week, so hot, or should we say cold, off the presses! This book is AMAZING! If I must tear myself away from its gorgeous pages to say, shower, feed the Goos, or go to work, it's only out of necessity. Check out his book web site..some sample recipes and fun stuff.


Also released recently is Lick It!, another vegan ice cream book. I have yet to get my hands on a copy but Tami from Vegan Appetite has heaped praise upon it and Tami's thumbs up is good enough for me! Check out the publisher's web site and sample chocolate raspberry ice cream recipe.

So finally, with new cookbook in hand, I realize it is time to invest in my own ice cream maker. I've had my upstairs neighbor's hand crank ice cream maker on "permaloan" (upstairs neighbors rock!) but I find it's not a very good ice cream maker. Well, not to my creamy perfection at least. So time to go electric? Maybe...so off to Williams Sonoma. Now, just a quick disclaimer..yes, Williams can be a bit overpriced with some items..but not always. I usually compare on Amazon. But when making an appliance purchase, I usually try to purchase at Williams because of their AMAZING return policy. I can't tell you how many times I have bought small appliances at other retailers, even local mom and pop ones, only to have the appliance malfunction or break in the first months, year, etc. and be told by the retailer that I'll need to contact the manufacturer. Contacting a manufacturer is often torture (I'd rather be blogging, cooking or eating!) and if they won't cover the shipping it can get expensive. Williams is a snap for situations like these. Even if it's been several years..just bring in your original receipt and they'll either give you a new appliance or give you a fair value discount based on your use of the item towards a new item. They rock! And as long as every darn small appliance I want just happens to be made in China, I feel I need the little extra insurance (no offense meant to my chinese factory worker blogger friends..which number zero at this point but ya never know!). Okay..sorry, didn't mean to turn this into a Williams Sonoma advertisement! To get back on topic, some ice cream machine options I am considering:

At almost $300 this guy is WAY out of my budget. And I think it would be a bit overkill for just me and H. The main advantage with this guy is that he has a built in compressor so you don't have to prefreeze the chilling bowl. Isn't this the same ice cream maker that Lorelei receives as a wedding gift after she calls it off with Max in what, the fourth season of Gilmore Girls? He he he!


This one is $79.95 and does 2 quarts. You do have to freeze the chilling bowl in advance. Williams Sonoma is offering a $30 gift certificate for when you purchase this guy. Cool. Literally!

This guy is $59.95 and includes an extra freezer bowl..hum, sounds convenient. Makes 1 1/2 quarts at a time vs. 2 quarts in the machine above but hey, 1 1/2 quarts is quite a few servings of ice cream. Even for a New Englander...
Do you have an ice cream maker to recommend? Let me know!

15 comments:

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Oh man, now I need a new ice cream maker! I wish I had a suggestion about which one to buy, but instead it's more of a 'steering you away'. I have that bottom cuisinart. I like it, but I don't love it. I know there are better ones out there and I'm just waiting for mine to die, which is a horrible attitude, I know.

I can't wait to see which one you get and what you make!

Amanda said...

Thanks Tami! Can you tell me what you don't like about the smaller cuisinart? That would be helpful too! thanks!

shellyfish said...

Thank you thank you thank you!!! You're so generous - I am IN LOVE with "The Vegan Scoop"...I've been having a difficult time putting it down since I opened my package from you eariler in the day...I just don't know where to begin!

Jeni Treehugger said...

I would so love an ice-cream maker - it is on my list of gizmo's and gadgets to buy.

craftyvegan said...

I have the last cuisinart ice cream maker. Don't be put off by the size it makes a lot of ice cream. I also have the vegan scoop book...so far I have made the vanilla, rocky road, and mint chocolate chip. The recipes are so easy to make and the ice cream comes out so creamy. I have tried other recipes using tofu or nuts as the base but they haven't had the true ice cream taste.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

It does make plenty of ice cream, CV is right. My complaint with it is that it never gets as solid (in the ice cream maker) as it used to in the old fashioned hand crank kind. My thinking (which could be wrong)is that the motor works so hard and so long to get it thick that it gets warm. You can feel it on the sides. I think that it stops the ice cream from really getting hard. The ice cream seems to get thick enough and certainly hardens up in the freezer, but right out of the maker it's more like soft serve.

But hey, what do I know? And I do like it, just not crazily so.

Jeanette said...

I had a cuisinart, and did not like it that much. The paddle attachment was hard to use, and did not stay in place very well.

VeganCowGirl said...

I just bought the top one pictured (but I splurged because we are having a baby this summer and can't travel...so we put our travel money into an ice cream maker).
Anyway, although it is great not to have to worry about freezing the inner bit, I don't think it makes that much of a difference - I say go with the middle one.
Good luck with your hunt! We have been so happy with having the ability to make super yummy vegan icrcream in under an hour!

For the Love of Guava said...

Hehee... I think I have one of those!! Or at least a version... Mr.Guava and I have been on a coconut mint chip spree that I was actually just going to blog about. Only thing is I guess I have to find a better recipe or "cream" sub b/c it doesn't really firm up. The cool thing about the coconut milk mix is that you can just pop it in the fridge stirring at intervals until it gets solid... because it never really gets super hard. The chips do tend to clump up at the bottom though... were you the one saying nix on the coconut bliss though? Might be too coconuty for ya. Anyways.. mm... go for it!

p.s.
kudos on the gilmore girl reference! we should have a gg marathon! :)

Amanda said...

Thanks everyone for all your comments on the ice cream maker!!

Jeannie said...

I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker and like it just fine, but I have drooled over the super-duper $300 unit that is the star of your post.

Are you familiar with this blog:
http://veganicecream.blogspot.com/

She has a ton of recipes.

Jeannie said...

Me again - I should look at things more closely. I should have specified that I have the cheapest Cuisinart ice cream maker you blogged about -- the white plastic model at the bottom -- and that I have no complaints.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

I hope you do an ice cream post soon. Just sayin'.

Maris said...

I wish I had an ice cream maker! I will probably eventually buy the attachment for my KitchenAid. I'm not sure if I really even want to though because then I will have to admit to myself firsthand how much cream and sugar is in there and can no longer live in blissful denial.

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