Customer Review

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous recipes for ice creams, sorbets, April 18, 2012
This review is from: Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery (Hardcover)
I am fairly resistant to cookies and cakes and pies, finding them heavy, overly sweet and not worth the calories, though they can be good on occasion. But when it comes to frozen treats, I'm apt to be as silly as a five year old.

If you are going to indulge in a frozen dessert, it might as well be the best there is. And if you like fruit ices, which I do, the commercial ones available can taste artificial, overly sweet and not terribly good.

One point this book makes that I totally agree with; the "litmus test" of a good ice cream maker is their vanilla (to quote my husband; "If you can't make a good vanilla, I care not for your tutti-frutti." He'd always test out the vanilla first when we'd go for ice cream.)

This book has many, many exciting recipes, and of course you will need an ice cream maker. You don't actually have to have an ice cream maker for a few of the recipes, although it does help in the process. For example, one of my favorite recipes, granita, is frozen in the freezer and takes advantage of the fact that freezing solid and only stirring up occasionally, will result in ice crystals. These are anathema in ice cream, which should be creamy and smooth, but granita is a kind of frozen slushy snow that depends on a granular texture as part of its charm.

I really enjoyed the mango sorbet--and it uses the interesting addition of tapioca syrup to sweeten (though you can substitute simple sugar syrup.) Why tapioca syrup? It has the properties of corn syrup (preventing crystalization) but it doesn't come from possibly GMO corn. Nice touch. No mangos? Fresh nectarines can work too. The sorbets also include herb and tea flavored, and there are also green tea ice creams and flavors you won't find in most shops. A few tiny scoops of these can make a very wonderful addition to a dinner party--put them in a chilled champagne glass and serve between courses.

The book is organized by flavor (chocolate, coffee, tea, herbs, nuts, fruits, berries) and there are some unusual recipes like Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream which they suggest can be served on a base of gingerbread and you better believe that's going to show up on my Thanksgiving menu. What a nice alternative to pumpkin pie. There are recipes for pops (very popular these days even for adults) and ice cream pies and other confections. There is one vegan recipe using coconut milk (I was a bit disappointed to see none others, perhaps using rice or soy milk, but the recipes come from a shop, so their clientele is mainly not vegan and at least they had one recipe.)

There is also a discussion of home ice cream makers including the one that fits on the Kitchenaid mixer. Also a discussion of scoops and other kitchen apparatus that will help you if you decide ice cream making is something you want to devote serious time to.

Most unusual, there are cone recipes here. Cones can be a nice addition if they are made from great ingredients with great recipes. A bad cone, well, the cardboard carton can taste about as good. The cones use baking sheets, so you can do these at home. The book gives you a method to make a cone mold. And how to make ice cream waffle "bowls" from cone batter. Any of these ideas would be great at a baby shower, fancy dinner, or party.

Finally, there is a detailed discussion of ingredients, freshness, how to buy and keep fresh. I think this is so important; nuts get rancid, flours go stale, and these confections depend on fragrant, fresh ingredients. I think this is the best ice cream book I've read yet.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 11, 2012 2:26:02 PM PDT
I just have to thank you for your thorough review...and also for teaching me the word "anathema."

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 5:28:36 PM PDT
Well, I could have just as easily wrote "a bad thing" and been more clear. Never use a 10 dollar word when a few 10 cent words will do.

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 5:28:36 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 11, 2012 5:28:43 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 6:02:17 PM PDT
I was being serious! I love learning new words, so don't change a thing! :)
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Joanna Daneman
(VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   

Location: USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3