Today is National Ice Cream Day (July 20, 2014). Have you celebrated the day yet with your favorite ice cream? I haven’t yet but I plan on making my own ice cream later on today after dinner with my family.
Did you know you can make your own ice cream in the comfort of your own home? There are several ice cream makers available, not many of them you can “have a ball” making your own fresh ice cream – that is until now.
Introducing SoftShell Ice Cream Ball from YayLabs! Now you can make fresh home made ice cream in less than a half hour using the SoftShell Ice Cream Ball. Instead of sitting around waiting for the ice cream to be made you can have an active part in making the ice cream.
The SoftShell Ice Cream Ball is exactly that – a ball. It looks like a small kickball and part of it feels like a kickball too. DO NOT KICK THE ICE CREAM BALL! It’s not a read ball. Kicking it will result in injury and possibly breaking the Ice Cream Ball.
FYI… our dog thinks the ball is a play toy. You may want to keep that in mid if you have a dog at home.
I received one of the SoftShell Ice Cream Balls to review. My very first impression of it is that there was no way this contraption could make delicious ice cream. My initial thought was that it was one of those “As Seen on TV” type products that was a lot of hype and failed to deliver. To my surprise I was wrong.
You’ll need a lot of ice and rock salt to make the ice cream. I had a hard time tracking down rock salt but I did find it and made sure to buy a big bag so I had plenty for future ice cream making. I also bought a bag of ice because we didn’t have room in our freezer to make our own ice cubes.
The basic recipe for making ice cream involved heavy cream, sugar and Vanilla. You can change the recipe to suit your needs or preferences. For example, use Almond milk instead of regular cream, or organic sugar. And you can try different extracts. So far we’ve only used Vanilla but I plan on trying Root Beer the next time we use the ball to make ice cream.
Please note – The higher the fat content of the milk/cream you are using the faster it will turn into ice cream. Typically it should take 20-25 minutes but other milks/creams could take up to 35 minutes. You can stop and test out the consistency of the ice cream at any time so you can judge if your ice cream needs to be shaken up a bit longer or not.
Our first attempt (heavy cream) took around 20 minutes (I think it was more like 22 minutes, but you get the idea).
As I said, you can stop and check on your progress at any time. You can also drain out any melted ice and add more ice and rock salt if needed. You’ll also need to stop half way to scrape the sides of the ice cream container to help it with it’s freezing process. You’ll need to use a wooden or plastic spoon.
How you shake the ball is up to you (just don’t kick it or drop it). You can roll it back and forth between people or shake it with your hands like a giant maraca. We did both – pushing it back and forth between my kids on the living room floor (they refused to let me take their picture doing it) and we took turns shaking it with our hands.
When the ice cream was done it had a soft serve consistency. My kids ate their servings right away with a drizzle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. My husband had his plain (“as is”). I put mine in a glass left over dish (with a cover) and popped it in the freezer for about an hour. It firmed it up very nicely. I ate it “as is” too but next time I want to see about topping it with some nuts, fruits or cereal (I love Captain Crunch cereal on ice cream).
The SoftShell Ice Cream Ball doesn’t make a lot of ice cream at one time but it’s enough for my family of four to have a small dish each. You can also make ice cream a few times and combine them in a larger container and pop it in the freezer so they all have the same consistency. I am going to try that as well.
This is great to have on hand for those times you want ice cream and don’t have any in the freezer, or if you are looking for something to keep the kids busy on a hot summer day or a rainy day. I can see younger kids having a blast with this (teenagers not so much – LOL).
This would be great to bring with you when you go camping. It would be a lot easier to keep cream/milk chilled then ice cream. Making ice cream by the camp fire would be a lot of fun along side your S’mores.
If you are impatient this is NOT the product for you since it takes a while to make ice cream. If you can wait upwards of a half hour it’s well worth it. The ice cream tastes really good and you can add your own fresh ingredients and even come up with your own flavor varieties.
I don’t know if you can add ingredients aside from the basics (milk/cream, sugar, extract) into the ball when making ice cream. I think you’ll need to add the extra ingredients AFTER the ice cream has been made. It might not freeze good enough if you put the extra ingredients in the ball.
In honor of National Ice Cream Day, YayLabs! SoftShell Ice Cream Ball has partnered with Organic Valley to host a special Facebook giveaway.
Starting today (July 20, 2014) until August 1, 2014 YayLabs! and Organic Valley will be giving away 25 prize packages that include: a SoftShell ice cream ball, a Zak Designs ice cream bowl, a Light My Fire Spork, and an Organic Valley 1 Free Product Coupon.
Here is the link to the giveaway: https://a.pgtb.me/k5lHGJ. It’s hosted on the YayLabs! Facebook page.
Have you ever made your own ice cream?
What is your favorite ice cream flavor and/or ice cream topping?
Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.
*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.