All Hail The Dawning Of The Age Of Instant Ice Cream!

You may have noticed that in this week's Takeout draft of kitchen utensils, no one chose the ice cream maker. That's because it's one of the most cumbersome and least used of all kitchen gadgets. Sure, it's fun to mix up your own ice cream at home—once or twice. But then you realize that in all that time it takes to mix up a pint of double chocolate, you could have gone to the store and bought one ready-made, and you wouldn't be stuck with all those extra egg whites.

That all may be changing very shortly. This week Cornell University (the same institution, you might recall, that gave the world the chicken nugget) announced that one of its food science professors, Syed Rizvi, and a recent Ph.D. graduate, Michael Wagner, have patented an instant ice cream maker.

"In the traditional method of making ice cream," explains a press release, "the dairy-based mix flows through a heat-exchanging barrel, where ice crystals form and get scraped by blades.

"With this new method, highly pressurized carbon dioxide passes over a nozzle that, in turn, creates a vacuum to draw in the liquid ice cream. When carbon dioxide goes from a high pressure to a lower pressure, it cools the mixture to about minus 70 degrees C – freezing the mixture into ice cream, which jets out of another nozzle into a bowl, ready to eat."

This differs from ice plates, already available for home use, because it makes scoops of ice cream, not just rolls. And you might say, what the hell, ice cream is ice cream, but this is all about the form: scoops, which means cones.

The technology can be used to make other frozen and semi-frozen desserts, namely slushies. There's no word on when you'll be able to buy one of these machines, but Cornell is currently exploring licensing opportunities. Hey, Cornell, just so you know, The Takeout is willing to help test the new machines any time!