In certain households across America, the launch of a new KitchenAid® attachment is a buzzy event. Those of us smitten with our stand mixers know there’s almost nothing they can’t do (short of taking the dog for a walk). This new attachment continues to ramp up its capacity for awesome. Think: frozen. Think: juleps, slushies, primo coffee granitas, shave ice, frozen drinks, and the cocktails of your dreams. The new-this-week KitchenAid® Shave Ice Attachment is the sort of thing that will inform your spring and summer goals.
So buy the tiny umbrellas, because Test Kitchen Manager Devon Francis is here to tell you how it can charm you through all the warm months unfolding now. Here’s how it works and why she loves it.
How It Works
As you can see in the video above, you start by making a big ice cube, or “puck,” using plain or flavored ice. Once it’s frozen, you let it sit for a few, pick up the lidded cup that looks like sort of a mini-prep food processor, select “fine” or “coarse” shave ice, attach it to your mixer (ANY of the KitchenAid stand mixers), and press a button. Boom: You can produce more than a pint of shave ice. (And it works equally well with coffee or fruit juice!) From there, it’s off to the races in terms of flavor and toppings. As Devon says, “The fun part about it is getting creative. It feels like a new recipe when you change a drink’s texture!”
1. Get Out of the Sno-Cone Rut
From the Japanese kakigori to the New Orleanian sno-cone, shave ice, as it’s known, is global. And why not? It’s fantastic. We love that this machine has two options for fine or coarse “snow.” Devon suggests keeping in mind that “all syrups will react differently with the shave ice (different sugar percentages), so do a tester before you add a syrup”. (Nice tip if you’re serving the dessert to guests!) When it comes to those simple syrups, it’s easy: It’s just one part sugar to one part water. “Dissolve the sugar, then infuse the syrup with your favorite fruits for color and flavor.”
2. Think Beyond Water
Think beyond H2O: coffee cubes; juice cubes; tea cubes; milk cubes. Most types of ice should be tempered (rested at room temperature for about 10 minutes) for the best results when shaving; otherwise, the ice is too cold to shave properly. Devon adds, “Infusing milk with vanilla or cinnamon before freezing it into pucks can create a whole new pathway for shave ice.” She’d also like to try it “with lemon syrup, maybe some poppyseed, lemon zest, even a meringue on top.”
And you don’t need to stick to one puck. “Pre-freeze different colors and flavors of puck so you can shave layers into each glass!” Add color by adding a colorful fruit syrup, or turmeric.” You’ll have to experiment to make sure you’re not adding too much sugar to your puck, which can affect freezing; the KitchenAid® manual has lots of recipes to try.
3. Plan Ahead, KitchenAid® Style
The same way you might freeze cubes of stock or soup, consider storing pre-made ice pucks (or juice pucks, or coffee pucks) in another container inside your freezer. “Ice harvesting” will ensure you always have ice on hand when the occasion calls for it.
4. Add Cream
Hawaiian shave ice can sometimes have ice cream on the bottom, ice on top. Or drizzle condensed milk over the top for a creamy (yet still icy) result. Devon suggests: “Try Matcha or Thai iced tea with sweetened condensed milk on top, or canned full-fat coconut milk with maple syrup for sweetness.” Or, start with a frozen milk puck for the lightest ice milk ever.
5. Leave It Fluffy or Pack It
Pro tip alert: Fluffy ice will melt in your mouth but will also melt quickly in the glass—especially after a syrup is added. Using a large spoon or spatula to gently pack the ice will help it last longer and will enhance the definition between different colors of syrup. (And consider chilling those glasses!)
6. Make Your Cocktails Frozen
For recipes with alcohol, don’t let your puck exceed 8% ABV for proper freezing. (You want it hard enough to shave.) Remember you can add alcohol and mixers and the end. The sky’s the limit, here: Use mixers! Make a shave-ice margarita! (How about a prickly pear lime margarita?!) We have such a splendid array of cocktail mixes, including this knockout guava-ginger number from Casamigos. And don’t forget bubbles: Avec sparkling cocktails are primo poured over shave ice.
“You can even use shave ice as a garnish!” Devon reminds us. Honestly, what can’t this gadget do?