For over three years, I had an ice cream maker sitting in my basement unused. I know how to (and love) making ice cream bases, but I had one excuse for not using the ice cream maker I had: I didn't know how to use it. My ice cream maker was actually the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it was a hand-me-down from a test kitchen I worked in and the instructions had long been lost. So in the basement it stayed.
While doing a bunch of research on which new ice cream maker I should buy, I discovered that the KitchenAid ice cream maker is beloved among even professional ice cream makers. It's only one of few ice cream machines on the market with adjustable speeds. So I set out to figure out how the thing actually works and master my favorite ice cream flavor — coffee — at once.
Everything You Need to Know About Making Ice Cream with the KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment
Frankly, making ice cream with the KitchenAid Ice Cream bowl isn't all that different from making ice cream in any ice cream maker. You need to freeze the bowl before you begin, you'll make and chill an ice cream base, and finally you'll churn the ice cream before freezing it solid. The KitchenAid attachment does have a few nuances that make it slightly different from other ice cream makers that you need to know.
- The bowl needs a longer chill time than most.
- Attaching the ice cream accessories to your KitchenAid is pretty simple.
- Low speed is best for most ice creams.
- Oh, and we'll be using it to make the best coffee ice cream, ever.
KitchenAid Ice Cream Bowl Needs a Longer Freeze Time
Home ice cream machines come in two basic varieties: compressor-based models and freeze-the-bowl models, with the latter being the most economical and widely used. KitchenAid's ice cream maker attachment is a freeze-the-bowl model, requiring the bowl to be frozen before churning.
Most freeze-the-bowl models call for freezing the bowl eight to 12 hours, while KitchenAid requires a minimum of 15 hours. I froze my KitchenAid bowl alongside the bowl for my new Cuisinart machine and immediately noticed the difference. The KitchenAid bowl still made a tell-tale sloshing noise when shaken, a sign that the solution that lines the interior of the bowl wasn't frozen yet after 12 hours. So if you want to make ice cream tomorrow, put your KitchenAid bowl in the freezer now — then give it a day to be safe.
Kitchenaid Ice Cream Attachment: Watch the Video
How to Actually Put the Ice Cream Attachment On
If you're like me and got the KitchenAid ice cream maker without the instructions — as a hand-me-down or garage-sale score — you'll need to know that the ice cream attachment isn't like other KitchenAid attachments that hook onto the machine's beater shaft.
- When you're ready to churn, remove the ice cream bowl from the freezer. Lift the head of the stand-mixer then attach the bowl to the base with a twisting motion until it locks into place. It's the same motion used to add the bowl.
- Place the dasher/churning paddle into the bowl. You can also place the paddle into the bowl before attaching it.
- Add the assembly attachment to the machine's motor head. It will slide into place. Bring the head of the stand mixer down so the assembly attachment meets the top of the paddle. The two will interlock when they are connected.
Use Low Speed for Ice Cream Churning
Turn your mixer to low or "stir" speed before adding the ice cream base to the machine. Pouring the ice cream base into the machine without the mixer running can cause the machine to seize, as the base becomes solid before churning.
Most ice cream bases take between 20 to 30 minutes in the KitchenAid bowl, but since there is no built-in timer or doneness indicator you'll want to keep an eye or ear on it. The ice cream should be the consistency of soft-serve when done. The KitchenAid assembly will make a "slipping" or clicking sound when the ice cream has reached max thickness for the machine, indicating that the ice cream is done and ready to be transferred to the freezer.
How to Make the Best Coffee Ice Cream
Häagen-Dazs® coffee is the gold standard for me and promises just five ingredients. My goal was to come close to that promise at home. This bases starts with half-and-half — a choice that is equal parts playful and practical, given that it's what most of us drink in our morning cup. It's also equal parts cream and milk, which is what most ice cream recipes require.
Use a coarsely ground dark or French roast coffee bean and infuse it into the half-and-half before making the ice cream. You can strain the coffee out of the half-and-half before making the ice cream base, but I found the ice cream more robustly flavored if the grounds stay in until the ice cream base is thickened. This way, the straining removes the coffee grounds and any bits of eggs that may have curdled in the process. It also makes for a smoother ice cream.
How To Make Coffee Ice Cream
What You Need
3 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup coarsely ground dark or French roast coffee beans
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Measuring cups and spoons
KitchenAid stand mixer ice cream attachment
Wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap
- Freeze the bowl overnight (15 hours minimum). Place the ice cream bowl from the KitchenAid stand mixer ice cream attachment in the freezer the night before you plan to make ice cream. (If you forget, you can make the base and refrigerate it overnight while the bowl is freezing, and churn the ice cream the next day.)
- Prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and some water. Place a smaller bowl on top of the water, and fit a fine-mesh strainer inside the smaller bowl. Keep this close by while you make the ice cream base.
- Infuse the half-and-half with coffee. Place the half-and-half and coffee in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium. Remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 10 minutes.
- Whisk the yolks and sugar until pale lemon-yellow colored. Place the yolks and the sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined — at first the mixture will be very thick and dark yellow, then it will smooth out and lighten to a pale lemon-yellow color.
- Temper the egg-sugar mixture with 1 cup of coffee milk. Scoop out about 1 cup of hot coffee mixture (no need to be exact). Slowly pour it into the egg-sugar mixture while whisking. This warms the eggs and prevents them from curdling in the next step.
- Pour the tempered egg-sugar mixture into the coffee mixture. Slowly pour the tempered egg-sugar mixture into the saucepan with the remaining coffee milk.
- Cook the ice cream base until thickened. Return the saucepan to the stove and place over low heat. Stir the mixture slowly but constantly with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan, until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of the spatula and registers 170°F with an instant-read thermometer.
- Strain the ice cream base into the bowl of the ice water bath. Pour the ice cream base through the strainer to remove the coffee grounds and any bits of egg that may have curdled.
- Chill the ice base completely. Leave the ice cream base over the ice water bath, stirring occasionally, until completely chilled. This will take about 20 minutes. Alternatively, cover bowl of base with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
- Churn the ice cream at slow speed, takes 20 to 30 minutes. If using the KitchenAid ice cream attachment, fit the bowl onto the stand mixer. Fit the ice cream dasher (paddle-like attachment), into the bowl, the fit the motor onto the dasher. Turn the mixer onto low speed, then pour the base in. (If using a different ice cream maker, follow the churning instructions for your particular machine.) Churn until the base has thickened to a consistency somewhere between a very thick milkshake and soft-serve ice cream. In most ice cream makers, this takes about 20 minutes — check the instructions for your particular machine.
- Freeze until hardened, about 4 hours. Transfer the thickened ice cream to a freezer container. Press a piece of wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.
- Storage: The ice cream will keep in the freezer for about 2 weeks before becoming icy.