Fab or flub: Ice Cream Magic

Posted Monday, Apr. 28, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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After the complete fail of the last As Seen On TV product I reviewed, you would think I would stay away from any more of them for a while.

But I was hooked once again when I saw the infomercial for the Ice Cream Magic, a plastic ice cream maker that promises to make a single serving of fresh, soft-serve ice cream with just three minutes of continuous shaking.

Now maybe it was the promise of making my own delicious ice cream in just three minutes that got me, or maybe it was the cute little kids with their ice cream-smeared faces. Either way, I figured the product (if it worked) would make for a fun after-school activity for families.

I was able to track down the Ice Cream Magic at my local Walgreens for $10. The product, which is shaped like an ice cream cone, comes in three colors: pink, white and brown. I opted for white.

After making one more stop at the grocery store to pick up an ingredient I didn’t have, I went home ready to get my shake on.

First impression

On looks alone, the Ice Cream Magic is pretty adorable. Not only is it shaped like an ice cream cone, but it also comes with a matching ice cream cone-shaped spoon. I, however, was wary of this.

It seemed very possible that the cute design of the Ice Cream Magic was hiding the fact that it was an overall dud of a product.

I took the gadget apart so I could familiarize myself with it. It has four parts: the cover lid, the ingredients lid, a freezing bowl and an ice chamber.

Because the product marketing is aimed at kids, I wasn’t surprised to find that the instructions for the Ice Cream Magic are pretty simple.

I started by filling the ice chamber (or the cup portion of the product) with ice all the way up to the indicated line. Then I added to it 4 tablespoons of salt and 4 tablespoons of water.

After placing the freezing bowl (or medal dome, as I call it) on top of the ice chamber and popping it into place, I took 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and poured it up to the fill line.

Then it was time to choose a flavor.

Using Ice Cream Magic’s flavor guide, I opted for chocolate ice cream and added to my heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup. I sealed the freezing bowl with the ingredients lid, then screwed on the cover lid and began shaking my little heart out for three minutes.

It was at this point that I realized that three minutes is a really long time. After what seemed like an eternity, it was time for the big reveal. With eager fingers, I unscrewed the cover lid then pop opened the ingredients lid to find that the ice cream had not firmed.

It looked like soup. I poked around with my ice cream cone-shaped spoon. A small amount of ice cream seemed to form at the bottom of the freezing bowl, but for the most part it was liquid. Having followed the instructions carefully, I was stumped at what went wrong.

I tried it again, thinking the second time might be the charm.

Fab or flub?

Flub! In total, I tried the Ice Cream Magic three times and each yielded a similar result. Not surprisingly, Internet reviews revealed that many other users had wound up with soupy “ice cream,” too. There were, however, a handful of individuals who got it to work with modifications to the instructions. I decided to try some of these.

For my second attempt, I placed the freezing bowl in my freezer for an hour before using it in hopes the colder temperature would help the ice cream freeze better. The result was a more milkshakelike liquid, but not solid ice cream.

For my third attempt, I kept everything the same except I tried shaking the Ice Cream Magic for 15 minutes instead of the normal three. A great workout, but no solid ice cream.

From what I have concluded, the Ice Cream Magic does not work as presented in the instructions.

Sure you could tinker around with it and try modifying the original steps and ingredients, but that seems like devoting a lot more time to a product that was supposed to be a quick and easy way to make ice cream.

At the end of the day, I’d rather take my $10 to Cold Stone Creamery.

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