Ice Cream Scoop

The ice cream scoop

As well as being used as a scoop, all types of ice cream scoops are great to use as generous serving spoons

ESSENTIAL USER NOTES

Showing outward similarities to its smaller cousins the melon baller and gobi scoop, the ice cream scoop is a utensil designed for single-handed use in scooping cold or semi-sticky substances like, but by no means limited to, ice cream, into measured portions, spheres and dome-like shapes. It is frequently specified for use in recipes. Nigella, for example, in her recipe for Really Extremely Exceptionally Death By Chocolate 110% Cocoa Solids More Chocolatey Than Chocolate Totally Chocolatey Triple Extra Double Triple Chocolatey Chocolate Choc Chip Choc Chocolatey Chocolate Cookies recommends using one not only for eating chocolate with but also for scooping the chocolate (and a bit of cookie) mix onto the baking tray, most probably because the only practical alternative would be to use a shovel.

There are three distictly different types of ice cream scoop (left to right in the main picture): the one with a mechanical release that sweeps across from one side to loosen the scoops (known as the CONE type), the one that doesn't have a mechanical release(known as the WAFER type), and the less frequently occurring one. Each variant has its own advantages and disadvantages.

CONER: As well as being able to provide nice neat dome-shaped scoops, ice cream scoops fitted with the Chef Operated Neat Ejection Release system are able to handle many ingredients that are far too sticky for other scoops to manage. Ice cream flavours such as honeycomb toffee, bubblegum, butterscotch & maple syrup, peanut butter & liquorice and even sticky mozzarella, marzipan & marmite are handled with consumate ease, and the scoop's reliability at creating perfect, identically-sized domes when required makes it equally effective at presenting neat mounds of mashed potato, rice, tinned tapioca pudding, corned beef or Ready Brek to the presentational standards demanded by top restaurants.

Use this utensil to make Cheesy Potato Profiteroles in a Cherry-Orange Coulis

WAFER: Because of the lack of a mechanical release mechanism, scoops equipped Without Any Functional Ejection Release system tend to produce smaller, less dome-like and more spherical scoops, and are more suited to handling less sticky ingredients. Such scoops, however, are more useful in the preparation of ice cream dishes containing multiple flavoured ice cream balls, as well as dishes where smaller-sized spherical scoops are desired. Its use also extends substantially beyond ice cream. Many soft materials that can cling together, such as minced beef, cooked vegetables, puddings, fish, egg mayonnaise and even tofu can be scooped successfully, making it the ice cream scoop of choice for many of the world's top chefs. It's also quite a good substitute for a spoon.

Use this utensil to make Jamaican Scratchy Balls

TOSSER: The Thumb Operated Switch Scoop Ejection Release type of scoop represents a sort of compromise between the CONER and WAFER scoop types in that it does have a mechanical scoop ejection system, but it's about as simple a system as it could possibly be. You push a lever with your thumb and the scoop falls out. It's not as effective as either of the other two scoop types at each of their specialist uses. Flicking scoops out with your thumb is quite exciting at first, though, but after about the second scoop you tend to lose interest. That is, until you realise how good it is for firing small projectiles like ping pong balls or olives for cats and small children to chase. Brilliant.

Use this utensil to make small children and cats chase olives around the kitchen

Ice cream scoops are handy tools for scooping all sorts of materials, both in and out of the kitchen

QUICK START GUIDE

DO:

  • use the ice cream scoop for all types of scooping operations in and out of the kitchen;
  • use CONE ice cream scoops for handling stickier ingredient types;
  • preferentially use WAFER ice cream scoops as substitute spoons;
  • use TOSSER scoops to annoy cats and small children.

DON'T:

  • use ice cream scoops for kitchen activities that do not require scooping;
  • use ice cream scoops as substitutes for utensils that can't scoop.

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