Product Review: Ice Cream Ball – It works folks!

It’s summer time.  It’s hot.  I have a niece and nephew I see every Monday, and No AC. This means I need to be creative on projects for them to do to keep them occupied and cooled off.  I had remembered seeing a ball that you play with that contains an ice cream base mixture surrounded by rock salt and ice, and all you do is play with it non stop for 30 minutes.  It sounded like an incredibly fun project to do with my niece, and then enjoy a delicious refreshing treat after playing, cooking, who knows what to call it?  It became my mission to find this ball.

I had checked countless stores and had given up for about 2-3 weeks.  I finally decided again to look it up.  I found that L.L Bean had sold it.  Only thing that was unfortunate was it was a 30 minute drive, just to get an ice cream ball, that I was praying would even work.  It was 36$ for the mega ball which makes 1 quart.  I felt the 1 pint would just be too small.  I am going camping this weekend and I thought this would be a lot of fun for our group to do, but not fun if we had to do it 3 times for everyone to eat it.  I got home with my magic ice cream ball and looked up recipes for ice cream base.  I found a few I liked but none that I loved.  I finally decided to see whats the worst that could happen if I adapted my own.  My favorite one was Alton Browns Vanilla Ice Cream, so I started with that.  I had strawberries, so I used his recipe as the vanilla base but I also added fresh strawberries and preserves.  Then since I am a chocoholic I figured why not add chocolate chips?  This is what I came up with.

Strawberry Ice Cream With Chocolate Chips

  • 3 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • 9 oz White Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Raspberry Extract (I ran out of vanilla, I didn’t want almond, and mint didn’t seem right)
  • 1 Cup Strawberry Preserves
  • 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Chopped
  • Red Food Coloring, optional for pink coloring

And making her second appearance on the Piggy Tummy blog, my niece and Mini Sous Chef, Kaileigh!

First Mix together Whole Milk and Heavy Cream

Heat the mixture up on a stove, watching carefully to not scorch or bubble over.  In a separate bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and beat until it lightens in color.  When the milk mixture comes to a simmer, temper in eggs.  This is done by adding a small amount of the hot liquid, to the egg yolks and beat rapidly to allow them to mix together without scrambling the eggs.  Once you allow the eggs to become friends with the hot milk mixture, then you can add the eggs in a steady stream into the pot of hot milk.  Whisk rapidly the entire time until they are fully mixed together.  Continue to let this cook until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, continuously whisk.

Once the mixture is able to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat.  Add raspberry extract, strawberry preserves, and strawberries, mix well.  Let this mixture come to room temperature.  Once it cools off, put in the fridge to chill, at least 1 hour.  Now its time for the magic.  In the ice cream ball of wonders, add ice and rock salt to the area surrounding the metal canister, and screw on cap tightly.  Next add ice cream mixture to the metal canister in the middle, and screw on cap tightly.  Now – PLAY TIME!

We kicked it.

We bounced it.

We threw it.

We rolled it.

We sat on it.

We jumped on the bed around it.

It fell off the bed.

It survived.

We shook it.

We stirred it.

We repeated.

In 30-40 minutes time of playing with this ball, we had ice cream!

This ball is definitely worth the money.  We had ton of fun, a lot of laughs and some delicious ice cream.  Only down side of this ball is that when it’s full it does weigh around 10 lbs.  I found that playing with the ball on the bed made it significantly easier for her to maneuver.  I’m sure older kids would get a lot of use out of this ball (adults included!)