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Screaming For Ice Cream

iced cream
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In these dog days of summer, the thought of slaving over a stove is less than appealing. So if you want to have friends over, but don't want to heat up the kitchen, consider throwing an ice cream party instead.

The folks at Food & Wine magazine have rounded up everything you might need for such an event.

Here are the products magazine's Gail Simmons talks about on The Saturday Early Show:

Machines

Best New Ice Cream Maker: Cuisinart ICE-50BC ($250)
Cuisinart newest model has a built-in compressor so you don't have to chill your ice cream mixture or the machine's bowl before making dessert. Simply add all of the ingredients, mix, and enjoy. You'll have soft serve ready to go in about 30 minutes; harder ice cream takes a bit longer. The one downside to this machine seems to be that it's noisy (similar to a blender).

Best Machine For Under $50: Donvier ($44.95)
This is a modern take on a hand-crank machine. Place the ice cream canister in the freezer for at least seven hours. It's also recommended to chill your ice cream mixture before churning. Once you're ready to make ice cream, place your mixture in the canister and turn the handle a couple of times. You'll need to turn the handle every two or three minutes for about 20 minutes. According to Food & Wine, the advantage to making ice cream in the Donvier is that you eliminate a lot of air, so your ice cream is quite dense.

If You Don't Want To Buy Another Appliance: KitchenAid Attachment ($79.99)
If you already own a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you can purchase a gel canister bowl for making ice cream. It offers adjustable speeds and a larger capacity that many other ice cream makers.

Other Tools

Ice Cream Sandwiches: Williams-Sonoma ($9.99) and Cuispro maker available at Sur La Table ($16.95)
Both of these sandwich makers work the same way. You place a cookie in the bottom of the mold, then ice cream, and then top with another cookie. You place what's essentially a lid on top of your concoction and press. The machine will compress your sandwich together so it doesn't fall apart.

The Best Ice Cream Scoop: Deni's Electric Ice Cream Scoop ($30)
Plug the electric scoop in so it will heat up. The heated head helps you dig into rock hard, frozen pints. It also has a specially shaped head to better help you scoop out ice cream along the sides and bottom of a carton.

Decorative Pint Containers: Plum Party ($30)
The aluminum containers keep the ice cream from melting, and make the container look prettier on a table.

Setting A Table

  • Sur La Table polka dot bowls ($14.95 for four)
  • Plum Party stoneware bowls ($12 for 4) In pastel colors; a classic French look.
  • Sur La Table anodized bowls ($19.95 for six). Anodized double scoop-sized bowls in bright colors. Good for kids because they are metal.
  • Alessi Footed Bowls ($49 for 1). These bright-colored bowls are made of melamine, which makes them great for kids. Also, they have removable silver bowls inside the colored bowl to keep ice cream chilled.
  • Modern Seed ($15 for 2). Also made of melamine; they are durable and great for little kids.

Ice Creams & Toppings
Dulce de Leche sauce is a popular flavor right now. Smucker's was actually the first company to release this on a wide scale. It's quite affordable at $3.

For chocolate sauce, here are the brands that Food & Wine says carry the best: The King's Cupboard; Fran's Chocolates; and Smucker's. All are found at major grocery stores.

Like sauces, the newest trend in ice cream is unusual flavors. Companies such as Ecreamery, Capogiro Gelato Artisans, and Lâ Loo's are now making limited batches of flavors like sweet potato, jasmine and cumin. Available at Ecreamery, Capogiro Gelato Artisans; and Lâ Loo's.

But vanilla remains America's most popular ice cream flavor. If you're not going to buy your own, Food & Wine's tasting panel says you can't go wrong with Haagen-Dazs.