Soft serve ice creams are the favorite of Americans for decades. Not only during hot sunny days but the soft serve is served all year round. The credit for its extreme popularity goes to its creamy texture. The mixture is not too cold to cause numbness to your tongue as you eat it. Also, you can top it up with your favorite toppings and syrups for extra flavor.
First, these creamy soft serves were only available at dessert shops. But thanks to technology today that allows making delicious soft serves at home. Yes, it is now possible to make creamy ice cream at home with a soft-serve ice cream machine. Instead of a hard frozen texture, a soft-serve has a creamy consistency.
This consistency is achieved by infusing air into the ice cream mix. And this infusion of air not only provides a soft texture but also increases the volume. So for example, if you added 1-gallon of ice cream mix in the chamber it will yield 1.35 gallons of soft-serve ice cream.
What is a soft-serve ice cream machine?
Soft-serve machines not less than a little bundle of joy. And now you can own these small ice cream machines to make pure, homemade soft serves at home. But what is a soft-serve ice cream machine and how does it make softies so smooth?
The machine features a self-contained unit that stores the mix. The mixture is usually pre-mixed that is later poured into the storage chamber. This stay-cool chamber stays around 3°C (37°F). This keeps the mixture at an ideal serving temperature that is not too hard nor too loose.
The soft serve release from the canal as soon as you pull up the lever. But before passing down the draw valve, the mixture is infused with the set quantity of air. Now here, the air can be infused in two ways. Large commercial soft serve ice cream machines use gravity to infuse air into the mixture. These gravity-led machines are large and require staff to manually pour the ice cream mixture into the hopper.
The other ones are pressurized soft-serve ice cream maker that uses a pump to infuse the air. These pump pressurized machines are designed for home use. They are easy to operate as well as small in size.
Best Brands That Make Soft Serve Ice Cream?
Buying a soft-serve ice cream machine is not like choosing a topping for your softie. You only have limited good options in the market that makes quality machines. And at the end of the day, you want a reliable ice cream machine that can make you delicious serves on demand. And below listed are two popular soft sere ice cream-making brands that have been in the market for quite a while now.
You can’t go wrong with soft-serve making with Cuisinart’s “Mix it in” ICE-45 soft-serve maker. The compact, cute, and thoughtful design of the machine is excellent for home use. It features a hopper with a built-in churning lid that mixes the batter and infuses air just right to make smooth softies.
The built quality of Cuisinart ice cream makers is perfect for home use. While some of the models feature a plastic body, other has a stainless steel body. Both of which are completely safe to add eatable ingredients. But this particle model, “Mix it in” is perfect for making creamy swirls. It also features 3 chambers to add your favorite mix-ins while churning the ice cream mixture.
How long does soft-serve ice cream last in the machine?
Soft serve ice cream mix is of two types, powdered mix, and liquid soft serve mix. The storage and shelf life depend on which type of soft serve premix you’re using.
- Powdered Mix: If you’re not planning to make ice cream in the short run then go for a powdered mix. The shelf life of powdered ice cream premix is up to 1 year. But once you mix the powder with water, the blend is to be utilized within 14 days.
- Liquid soft-serve Mix: Liquid premix for soft serves has a shelf life of up to 5 weeks. To maintain its texture and taste, you should store the liquid blend in the cooler or freezer where it reaches a frozen state. And when you’re ready to make swirls, take it out from the freezer and thaw the mixture for 24-28 hours. Once the blend is properly defrosted, you can store it for the next 14 days.
How often should a soft serve machine be cleaned?
Cleaning a soft-serve ice cream machine is an important and unskippable task. A good rule is to clean the hopper and churning blade after every use. But you can check about the same with your local health inspector or health department. Also, many soft serve ice cream maker machines come with a user manual that specifies the cleaning of the unit. Follow their instructions for optimum performance of the machine.
The popular way to clean an ice cream maker machine is by handwashing its parts. As the parts of the soft-serve maker are removable, it eases them to wash in the sink. Make sure not to use any abrasive material while cleaning the mixing tub or blade. A gentle sponge with a few drops of dishwasher liquid would be enough to deep clean and sanitize the parts.
Then there are some high-end home soft serve ice cream makers that feature auto-cleaning mode. Here, you need to add clean water to the hopper and turn the churning process over for a few minutes. Repeat this process 2-3 times until you see clear water dispensing off the dispense valve. Even though the home/commercial ice cream machine offers auto cleaning mode, it is recommended to disassemble and sanitize the parts properly for deep cleaning. You can do deep cleaning of ice cream machines 2-3 times a year.
If you love soft serve ice cream then here is something you might like:
Making delicious swirls at home is extremely easy and all thanks to compact soft serve ice cream makers. I hope the guide has helped you get a better idea of soft serve makers. The detailed guide covers all, what are these machines, what type of mixture you add to a soft-serve maker, and overall maintenance. Consider all these things while buying a new soft-serve ice cream machine and you’ll get the best bang for your buck. And then, enjoy making swirls for yourself and your family on a hot summer evening.