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Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book Paperback – April 25, 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I see this as my little child, in a way. This is fantastic." - Ferran Adria

"These guys make their living creating the most fantastic ice cream and the only possible reasons that they'd sell you the recipes for their bourbon-and-cornflake flavor and the others in this book are that a) they are banking on the fact that the people who buy recipe books are too goddamn lazy to ever make the recipes or b) they are on a nihilistic quest to destroy their own business or c) they are completely insane."
--Ira Glass, NPR's This American LIfe

About the Author

Jake Godby is chef and owner of Humphry Slocombe. He lives in San Francisco.

Sean Vahey is operations manager and owner of Humphry Slocombe. He lives in San Francisco.

Paolo Lucchesi is columnist of Inside Scoop for the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in San Francisco.

Frankie Frankeny is a San Francisco-based food and lifestyle photographer.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452104689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452104683
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having corresponded with the proprietors of Humphry Slocombe, I was able to verify that they use a brand of salt (Diamond Kosher) that is less salty than virtually all other brands. Without going into much detail, it has to do with the size of the salt crystals. Therefore 1 teaspoon of the salt they are using is roughly equivalent to 1/2 teaspoon of other kosher salts and perhaps even less if you're using table salt. So for best results either hunt down the brand they use or modify the recipes accordingly.

That said I've enjoyed all of the recipes I've tried. Lots of fun off-the-wall flavors.
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I judge a cookbook at the most basic level: do the recipes work as written? All too often cookbooks are rushed to market and the recipes are not tested. These books can be full of innovative ideas and gorgeous art and personality, but if the recipes don't work then what is the point?

Sadly, the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book is one of these cookbooks.

I'm a fan of the establishment. I've eaten their delicious ice cream a dozen times, including a flight of beer ice creams during SF beer week. If this was a review of the *place* I'd give them five stars easily. But it's not.

So far I have made the Here's Your Damn Strawberry Ice Cream (twice), the Here's Your Damn Chocolate Ice Cream, Secret Breakfast, the cornflake cookies and the graham crackers. And none of them have worked out properly. One gets the impression that they wrote up one generic recipe for their custard base and copy-pasted it for every ice cream. Or that the baking instructions for the baked goods at the back of the book were rough guesses. I've had to cut the salt in half for every recipe otherwise the ice cream tastes like a salt lick. The cooking times for the chocolate were wildly off. The cornflake cookies were done after 13 minutes--doing it for the recommended 30 would have resulted in charcoal briquettes. And so on.

There are good ideas in here, but the execution is terrible.
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By Nick on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with most of the criticism. It's kind of a sloppily written book with odd errors. I can't imagine anyone not familiar with the shop buying the book. The salt and sugar content seem quite excessive. I've never used the recommended 1 teaspoon of salt per quart of ice cream, but did on one occasion use the 1 cup of sugar with the Vietnamese Coffee ice cream recipe, which also calls for sweetened condensed milk, and found it excessively sweet. Usually I use 2/3 cup sugar and a pinch of salt for a quart of ice cream, a system I have worked out and like based on previous experience making ice cream, and find these changes to the basic custard work well for the recipes in this book; I should point out this book uses the same basic base for almost every ice cream.

Another interesting difference in their ice cream base is the relatively small amount of egg yolks compared to most other recipes I have seen. This can be a bit of a problem for the home cook as its easy for someone like myself, who only makes ice cream once a month at the most, to slightly over cook the custard and end up straining out a bit of scrambled egg. If you end up over cooking the base too much the ice cream doesn't set well, so adding an additional yolk or too might be useful to the home cook who doesn't make ice cream several times a day' most other recipes I've read use at least 5 yolks per quart, the recipes in this book require only 3.

The primary reason I bought the book was for some of the shops more famous (or infamous) recipes such as secret breakfast (the bourbon and corn flake recipe). Unfortunately the bourbon ice cream, probably the reason everyone bought the book, contains a major typo and calls for double the bourbon necessary.
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Format: Paperback
If the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book were a vehicle, it would be recalled. As several reviewers indicated, the recipes simply are inaccurate. We tried making the Caramel Bourbon sauce twice to no avail. Frankly, I think at least one ingredient was left out. We ended up with a solid mass, not sauce.

Conversely, the Breakfast ice cream was runny beyond runny. It just would not solidify. Incidentally, we've NEVER had a problem making ice cream, just from this book. Beware.
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Format: Paperback
I am glad I checked this book out at the library and tried the recipes. If I had purchased it, would have been peeved.

The book is very interesting and whimsical, but it does not seem that the recipes were tested or proofed.

Directions are not clear.

Who adds 2tsp of salt to a one to two quart recipe of ice cream? For starters, the ice cream won't freeze or harden with that much salt. Second, way too much salt to be healthy per serving.

Did the authors not want to share their recipes? Did anyone test the small quantity recipes? Were they in a rush to publish? Did their proofreader go on vacation? Really sorry to have to say this, but....

Great concept and inspirations for unique ice cream flavors if you already know how to make and perfect your ice cream recipes. But, don't buy it if you are planning to use the recipes in the book to make the ice cream.
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