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How to make shaved ice: A Review, Instructions, Tips, Toppings & Homemade Syrup Ideas!
What Is Shaved Ice?
I’ll admit – shaved ice is new(er) to me.
Here on the East Coast, most of us are familiar with Water Ice & Italian Ice – like sno-cones.
Then a little roadside Hawaiian Shaved Ice stand opened nearby three years ago – it was a total game changer!
Hawaiian Shaved Ice is so much different than our water ice. It’s soft, fluffy, it’s snow-like. It melts in your mouth. No crunch, no balls of ice – just icy cold clouds of sweetness!
Easiest Way To Make Shaved Ice At Home
I’m sure there are DIY methods, which I’m guessing are tedious or risk injury…so we’re not gonna go there.
Most homes are not going to need an industrial type machine – which in fact, we have rented before for a party. What’s funny (or not so funny) is it would have made more sense to just buy a home machine. We spent more to rent a professional machine for the day, and buy syrups – and had to return it after 24 hours.
There are many models, but I chose the Hawaiian Shaved Ice “Homepro Shaved Ice Machine”. It’s a powerhouse! Hawaiian Shaved Ice machines are highly rated, durable & easy to use!
The Type Of Ice Used Matters
Ice specs vary from machine to machine. Our model favors a solid disc/puck of ice. Which makes sense. The ice goes into the machine and gets shaved in a spinning motion.
Lucky for us all, the machine comes with 5 molds for ice. Fill 3/4 full with water & freeze flat.
You can use crushed ice if you have to, but the consistency is not the same. The texture will be a bit more gritty like a sno-cone.
One disc of ice makes approximately 16 ounces of shaved ice – which makes about normal sized 2 servings.
TIP: If you’re planning on having a party and making a lot of shaved ice, I would suggest molding ice ahead of time. Pour into molds, freeze, remove, store in freezer & repeat. Easy storage would be on a cookie sheet. You could line layers with wax paper or parchment paper if you’re worried about melting/sticking. You can also order additional molds.
Preparation Ease of Use
Directions are simple & thorough – just as operation is.
Remove top of machine (there is an open/close dial). Place your ice disc, flat side down. Put top of machine back on (press down firmly until it locks into place) and press start. There’s no pushing or holding down during use, no hand turning, cranking or rotating – just press & hold the start button.
The machine is a little noisy – but boy is it fast! Be prepared with cups or bowls, syrups & toppings for serving!
Disassembly & Cleanup Of Machine
I truly appreciate the ease of disassembling & cleanup of the machine! I have certain small appliances (I’m looking at you juicer) that are far too intricate of a process.
When you’re all finished, remove the top of the machine. There’s three pieces. The top disc (it has little spikey knobs on it- be careful), the bowl liner and the shaving “bowl” ( there’s a blade – be careful).
Gently wash everything in warm, soapy water – a soft bristle bottle brush works great for this. Let dry & reassemble.
Syrup & Topping Ideas
We enjoyed using the syrups that came along with the machine – Cherry, Cotton Candy & Pina Colada. These syrups have the exact taste you’ll find at your Shaved Ice Stand. Drizzle lightly all over the top. You want a fluffy shaved ice – not a cold syrup soup.
If you’re into making syrups yourself you can make a simple syrup (50% water to 50% sugar and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved – no need to bring this to a boil) and add just about anything your heart desires. Syrups & toppings don’t have to be super sweet & sugar laden – you can enjoy shaved ice and keep it healthy!
- Top with sweetened condensed milk
- A scoop of ice cream (slow churned vanilla is our favorite)
- Fruit juice
- Unfrozen freeze pops make a cheap & flavorful topping
- Any fruit topping – dice fresh fruit, canned fruit, or make a simple syrup with diced fruit – we loved strawberry!
- Macerated Strawberries – click here for my recipe
- Sprinkles & candy
- For adult creations – Margarita, Strawberry Daquiri, Malibu Bay Breeze – use your favorite fruity mixed drinks!
- Anything you enjoy – get creative & have fun!
The Hawaiian Shaved Ice Machine has been a fun, exciting and regularly used addition in our home. It’s slender design takes up minimal storage space. Simplicity of use, disassembly & cleanup make it a joy to use.
We’ve used it for entertaining and it was an absolute hit! I can’t wait to use it for a BIG party!
Oh, and we’ve already had some cold/flu season bugs in the house. The sore throats were thankful for the soft, fluffy icy treats!