232 of 235 people found the following review helpful
My kids bought me an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aide mixer for Mother's Day so I decided to buy a variety of recipe books, as I've never made ice cream before.
I bought this one, the Ben & Jerry book (also good), the idiots guide to homemade ice cream, and a few others that I picked up used.
Perfect scoop is our favorite! Everything we've made has been exceptional.
First off was the Chocolate Ice Cream which was my first attempt at a custard ice cream and the best we've ever had. Next we made the Rice Gelato (with Tangerine rind instead of Orange because that was all I had) which was very good also...sort of like a citrus scented frozen rice pudding.
Last weekend we made the Mango sorbet which was the best sorbet I've ever had, and it was so easy to make. Next up will the Banana Blueberry sorbet. It's a great book and if you're going to get an ice cream maker - buy this too! :-)
114 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2007
The ultimate ice cream book has finally arrived! And just in time for summer and the onset of the ice cream season (is there ever not a season for ice cream?) David Lebovitz, former pastry chef at Chez Panisse, hilarious and articulate [...], and cookbook author of several highly acclaimed books on desserts has written a gorgeous, informative, delicious book about ice cream, sorbets and granitas. The Perfect Scoop has over 150 recipes and over 50 stunning photographs. Ice cream recipes include the basics such as chocolate, vanilla, and butterscotch pecan, and branch out to aztec "hot" chocolate, apricot-pistachio, and lavender-honey. Papaya-lime sorbet and mojito granitas make appearances as well.
One of the things I love about David's work is that he takes the time to instruct us on the basics of whatever it is he is cooking. His Room for Dessert book has saved me over and over again with his explanations of the "whys" as well as the "hows" of doing a recipe. In The Perfect Scoop David describes right up front the methods you'll need to employ to make creamy, perfect ice cream. Using a custard base is what is usually called for, but can be a bit tricky for first timers. David's explanation makes it easy. David includes a section on the equipment needed, describing the pros and cons of the different kinds of ice cream makers that you can use.
If you love ice cream and want to try your hand at making your own, get yourself an ice cream maker and a copy of The Perfect Scoop.
205 of 232 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2008
I should start this review with the warning that I am a professional pastry cook and, therefore, am spoiled by stabilized recipes and a very, very expensive industrial ice cream machine. Compared to what I make at work, the ice cream produced by Lebovitz's recipes leave a bit to be desired. However, I happily accept the limitations of my home kitchen and, with that in mind, can recommend The Perfect Scoop although there are probably better books out there.
Since purchasing the book I've been working my way through it, randomly picking and choosing recipes that struck my fancy. The Milk Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream was to die for, both in texture and flavor; the Lemon Ice Cream was fresh and lemony, but also grainy; The Rice Gelato freezes rock-solid, but is one of the tastiest things I've ever eaten. Somewhere in the middle fall Avocado Ice Cream, Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, and Roasted Banana Ice Cream.
All in all, this is a solid purchase, especially at the Amazon price. I'd make it a part of your ice cream library, though, not your only book. The Ben & Jerry's Book is great, as is the book by Pippa Cuthbert. If you've got $250+ to shell out, Emmanuel Ryon's book is the ultimate ice cream book.
If you'd like to get a look at The Perfect Scoop before making your purchase, it is available for preview on Google Book Search (the Rice Gelato is there!).
94 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2007
I've been using my icecream maker for several years now, and have had a couple of favourite ice cream books, but none come close to this one.
What marks this book out for me isn't just that it is full of marvellous icecream/sorbet/granita recipes which work, or the fact that the different flavour combinations will inspire you to experiment all the more yourself, or the fact that, like everything else David Lebovitz writes, it's eminently readable (witty, chatty yet authoritative on his subject matter - the perfect combination for a food book). These are all excellent reasons to buy this book. No, what really impresses me is the space given over to icecream accoutrements, including incredible detail on types of toffee and caramel sauces, icecream "vessels" such as differently flavoured cones, mix-ins which range from the crisp and crunchy (pralined almonds, buttercrunch toffee, peanut brittle) to the soft and gooey (homemade marshmallows, cookie dough). All meticulously researched and beautifully presented (Lara Hata's photographs are excellent too).
62 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2007
I was in doubt whether I should rate this book with 4 or 5 stars. The reason being that this is probably the best ice-cream book out there for the home cook (along with Caroline Liddel's and Robin Weir's 'Ices'). It however cannot really be used by a professional without some alterations to the recipes (ie adding stabilisers, emulsifiers etc). There are much better (and much more expensive) books for the professional. So 5 stars for the home cook, but only 4 in general (otherwise what should the better books receive, 6 stars?).To the juice now.
This book has many recipes for ice-creams and sorbets, a couple for gelato (actually only one, the other one is full of cream, so it is classified as ice cream). The author has a very friendly approach to the subject, you actually think it's an old friend speaking to you. In a sense it's like reading a blog.
There is a plethora of recipes, using easy to find ingredients and different combinations, eg praline-vanilla, chilli-chocolate, vanilla-brownie. The chocolate sorbet is a real feast for the chocolate lover. Also there are instructions for mixing two ice creams together giving a marbling effect.
Not stopping there, David also provides recipes for ice-cream cones, cookies (to be used for ice cream sandwiches), brownies, sauces, variegatos ( additives + toppings) etc.
There are photographs throughout, not of every product, but of most, including some for methods and procedures.
The recipes are in both volume and in Metric and temperatures both in Celsius and Fahrenheit, which is very helpful.
To the minus I have to mention that the ice-creams contain a lot of cream. In most cases it is two parts heavy cream to one milk and in the best case usually one part cream to one milk. Cream has the tendency to mellow down tastes. That's why for instance, adding cream to different savory dishes, makes their taste somewhat similar and the taste of the main ingredient is toned down. The same is with ice-cream. The author mentions that his tastes have changed in recent years and the recipes in the book are lighter. What was he using before, 100% extra heavy clotted cream? Of course some extra fat is needed in the recipes since they have no stabilisers, to achieve a smooth and consistent texture. So be it. For reference just check out the differences comparing to the French vanilla ice-cream that I give underneath.
1lt (1qt+2oz)(4 cups)milk
250g (1 cup+1 Tbsp) sugar
240g (1cup) cream
1 vanilla bean
7-10g (1-2tsps)stabiliser (eg powdered gelatine)
The ratio is 4 parts milk to 1 part cream and you get a lighter product with a more pronounced taste.
To conclude, this book is probably the best home-cook ice-cream book I have ever seen. The price is really cheap for such an effort and quality.
Buy it, you will not regret it.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2007
Even if you already own a lot of ice-cream cookbooks, you'll want to add this one to your collection. I appreciated both volume and mass measurements in the recipies-- it is nice to have the option to weigh out the ingredients to get even more consistent results.
This book includes basic recipes and more exotic (Chocolate Guiness ice cream, anyone?) He has an extensive section on fruit ice-creams including caramel-pear, fig, plum, and currant. One of my favorite ice-creams is Avocado ice-cream. I was amazed to see that he even includes a recipe for this.
Not only is there an extensive selection of recipes, but the techniques and methods are reliable and can be used to improve recipes from other sources.
An added bonus to this book are the author's suggestions for accompaniments (whether it be a particular cone or another ice cream or sorbet). The section on mix-ins and toppings is also very useful.
Like many other authors, David Lebovitz has a blog which contains more information on sweets and other topics related to food (it is a nice reference to use alongside the cookbook).
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2007
Okay, so I expected to like this book. Heidi Swanson had excerpted the recipe for frozen yogurt on her blog 101 cookbooks. The recipe seemed almost too simple, but the results were so amazing. I made it twice in as many days. My husband and friends had to hear my rhapsodizing over this stinking frozen yogurt. (Not that I shared. Okay, so I shared one bowl with my husband but only because I had to.)
But, I didn't expect to love this book and oh I do. I read it yesterday and can honestly say that there are only a handful of recipes that I CAN'T imagine making. I'm so looking forward to exploring the ice creams, sorbets, granitas and all the amazing extras. I even liked the introductions for the recipes--his writing style is laid-back and engaging.
Oh, and did I mention I don't really like ice cream? Seriously. If I love this book, I can't imagine how an ice cream lover would feel. (Okay, so "big O" did pop into my head.) If you like ice cream at all, check this book out.
Edited to add: I've now made the peanut butter ice cream which is like no peanut butter ice cream I've ever tasted. It's as if you just froze peanut butter but it retained all its creamy goodness. Amazing stuff. And, I made some sour cherry frozen yogurt. Oh my. So delicious. AND, I've also made countless batches of frozen yogurt. (At least 10--you should've seen the looks I got when I bought 6 quarts of yogurt at a pop.)
I love this book more every week--I'm actually eyeing one of those self-contained ice cream freezers. Even though we don't have room in our kitchen, my husband seems to agree that it would be a good thing if it enabled me to make more, more, more.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2007
The recipes are great, but some need some time to "ripen" before they reach their best taste. If your ice cream tastes good, but not great, let it stand in the freezer for a day, and you'll have an absolutely incredible dessert.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
My ice cream has always suffered from a host of typical texture problems, but the custard recipes in here seem to have cured most of them (even though they're not all that different from what I'd been doing for years!). I made the fresh ginger recipe first--though I deviated a bit by using more ginger than it called for, letting it steep longer, and adding a bit of saffron to the mix--and the product was smooth and virtually crystal-less, even after hardening. Pretty tough to get it as airy as the store-bought stuff at home, but otherwise I have little to complain about so far.
I was pretty shocked that this was a hardbound edition when I opened the box. That's not something you usually see at this price point, but then there are quite a few typos sprinkled about, so maybe they skipped out on the whole editor thing and passed the savings on to me. Either way, good material and well worth picking up.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2011
Like a lot of events in my life, I discover them years (or decades) after everyone else does. I only recently heard someone (a pastry chef friend of mine) talk about his newest book, Ready For Dessert. Sitting at The Cupcake Cafe in NYC talking recipes, she mentioned she had just bought it and loved it. "You know David's work, right?" Nodding I said (lying), "Oh who hasn't. He's wonderful." When I got home I immediately Googled amazon.com and started ordering all his books! Why? Because my friend Ruth is always right on the money when it comes to cookbooks!
Today I made his Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream (Page 35) and cannot describe the taste, texture and aroma. Fantastic! However, I noted in the recipe he says 1 1/2 cups of sweetened condensed milk or 600 grams. 1 1/2 cups are not 600 but 300+. I called Ruth and she said, "Just go by the cups not the grams." She said this ice cream recipe is her favorite.
When Spring comes down home (Georgia) I will be ordering Georgia Peaches from Pearson Farms to make his Peach Ice Cream. If you're going to make something from scratch, why not use the very best ingredients you can afford? Right?
Matcha (green tea) powder is very expensive and, judging from comments on amazon.com, each matcha company's tea powder differs in strength and taste. I am going to scout around Manhattan to find the best brand for his Green Tea Ice Cream recipe. Then I want to make his Super Lemon Ice Cream.
The book is wonderful. Recipes for ice creams, sorbets, granitas and cookies you eat with your ice cream (all illustrated) make this the best ice cream book I have purchased so far. And I have four or five.
Now that I have all his books and the one he wrote about his life in Paris (about to be re-released on amazon March 1, 2011) I feel as though I know him personally. He seems so approachable and down-to-earth. Someone you would not be afraid to introduce yourself to if you ran into him at your local supermarket. As he lives in Paris, the chances of that happening are pretty much nil.
I highly recommend this book and all of his books. Beautifully illustrated and very well written. You won't regret it. Get them before they become so rare you can't afford them!