So I've had this machine for a while now. So far I've stuck to making vanilla ice cream - which definitely hasn't been disappointing. You see, before I got this machine I used to do ice cream by hand so that I'd first make the base then transfer that into a hotel pan (1/4 65mm deep or so). Cool the base down and then put it into the freezer - from there on you'd have to stir it thoroughly over the time period of 3 hours - once every 30 minutes. So all that back and forth going just to get the ice crystals out of the consistency by mixing the whole 'to be ice cream' was quite frustrating. Even though it was good - in terms of flavour.. The ice crystals were very present in the structure every time you took a spoonful of ice cream - however I was happy. Because after all it was homemade and tasted good. And ofcourse I didn't know of anything better at the time.
Now though things are very different - Plug the machine to the wall, turn it on and pour the ice cream base in - most of the time your ice cream will be of soft serve consistency in about 30 minutes (depending on whether or not there ice alcohol content in the base and so on.) Ofcourse this is a model where you have to freeze the 2 litre bowl atleast 12 hours prior to churning.
I used a simple base recipe I got from one of my colleagues who worked in the kitchen:
500 ml cream
5 egg yolks
100 grams of sugar
8-12 cl of Bailey's (or some other cream liqueur)
Yielded roughly a litre of ice cream
Start warming your cream in a saucepan, mix egg yolks with sugar in a bowl. When your cream is warm/ hot (not boiling though) temper the egg sugar mixture (add a bit of the cream to the sugar egg mixture and stir so it warms up, this supposedly decreases the chances of the egg yolks turning into scramble when you mix them into the rest of the cream). After tempering (or not if you so choose) add the egg sugar mixture into the saucepan. Start heating the mixture up and stir until the temperature reches 83 degrees celcius, after which take the saucepan off the heat and cool down the ice cream base. Once cooled store in a covered container overnight or for 6-8 hours, so it has properly chilled. Now you just add the base into your ice cream machine and wait for it to reach the desired consistency.
For me it took about 45 minutes or so - and even then it wasn't as firm as any of my previous ice creams. But ofcourse that is a result of the alcohol content in the base from the Baileys. And just to tell you - it will never get that rock hard feel to it, I've had it in the freezer for 2 days straight and it's still easily spoonable. But ofcourse that's not a big issue, it tastes good and looks good so what more do you need?