I was first asked to demonstrate this at a recent trade show. It had won a highly recommended status in its category at the 2016 Product Innovation of the Year Awards so I was expecting to be impressed. When retailers put something up for an award, it must be good as they are a very discerning lot, not unlike you consumers! I was not disappointed, being mightily impressed not only by the results but the ease of use.
One of the products in Gourmet Gadgetry's Vintage Tea Party stable, it is a perfect partner to their Ice Cream Maker which I tested earlier.
Trawl around the internet and you will find that there are other similar dual purpose machines available in a variety of price bands but the thing that I really like about this one is, apart from the very small price (around £25), it that it is totally uncomplicated and simple to use.
Opening up the maker, you have 2 hinged 16cm diameter heated plates both with raised waffle pattern. Being non-stick, they are a doddle to clean - just wipe over. Close it up and it will stand sideways in a cupboard, taking hardly any room at all but is good looking enough to stay out on your worktop.
Now to put it to the test! Waffles first.
Leaving the machine in a closed position to allow the plates to get to temperature, I switched it on and immediately a red warning light illuminated on top of the lid, to show that it is ON. This light turns green when the plates are ready to be used. Be aware that they are VERY hot.
Opening up the lid, I ladled a small amount of my prepared waffle batter mix into the centre of the plate and carefully closed the top lid over. Just by closing the lid, the weight spreads the batter evenly across the base plate and as the two plates are separately heated the waffle will be cooked both sides at the same time within 4 minutes. Lifting the lid there was my perfect waffle then using a non stick spatula I quickly and carefully remove the waffle off the plates onto a serving plate and piled it high with my homemade raspberry ripple ice cream (made with the GG Ice Cream Maker of course!) and fresh berries. It was eaten in half of the short time it took to make it and tasted delicious with the waffe itself being crisp and beautifully browned on the outside, yet fluffy in the middle.
You don't have to stick to a flat waffle - remove straight from the plates and whilst still warm shape into a "basket" look by placing into a small shallow bowl and allow to cool to that shape, then fill with whatever you fancy!
Remember that you can make potato waffles using mashed potatoes or use a normal pancake mix (thicker than normal, like a Scotch pancake or drop scone) and serve with scrambled egg and bacon for a Sunday brunch.
Now for the cone!
Following the same procedure as before, I waited my 4 minutes and then removed the waffle onto a non stick silicone mat. Taking the cone roller supplied, I rolled the still warm waffle to the perfect cone shape, removed it from roller and placed upright to cool. You can buy specially made plastic cone holders (as you see in ice cream parlours) but I improvised and simply placed each one point down into a small glass. It did the job as well as any cone holder!
I still had mixture left so decided to make a half dozen cones, letting them all cool thoroughly before placing them in an airtight container to keep them crispy for use later on. But not before I filled up one cone with my homemade ice cream and wolfed the lot (no sharing!).
Personally I like a thick cone but my wife prefers hers a bit thinner - so just use less batter on the plates and experiment until you have the optimum thickness. Just a tip but don't make them too thin as when filled with the ice cream or frozen yoghurt they may break before you get to the bottom so bear that in mind!
There are endless uses for the cones, ice creams, sorbets, popcorn, frozen yoghurts, cheese cake mixture and fresh fruits and trifle. I made an Eton Mess (whipped cream, strawberries and crushed meringue) and spooned it into the cone. I never got chance to eat that one as my son had the pleasure of that!
I would give the Gourmet Gadgetry Cone and Waffle Maker 10/10, a neat functional and good looking product, to grace any kitchen.
For more information and to see more matching products in the Vintage Tea Party Range, go to www.gourmetgadgetry.com