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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(2 star). See all 529 reviews
on March 7, 2016
Recipe ingredients are way too complicated/hard to find for my style of cooking. I should have expected it having been in a Jeni's store.
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on October 24, 2016
Lots of talk and very few recipes.
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on September 19, 2014
I found this book to be written backwards with really obscure recipes. Basic techniques for making ice cream were in the back of the book and the seasonal recipes were in the front, however the seasonal recipes called for the basic techniques. It's like buying a book on how to make pizza and how to make dough is the last page.
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on August 21, 2015
This is a very good book. My first purchase of a recipe book electronically written. I know now because I want cookbooks done in print!
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on March 25, 2016
Every (a majority) recipe uses condensed milk, which I find leaves an unsavory after taste (in ice cream) however please consider that I prefer ice cream made with fresh cream.
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on June 16, 2013
If you are looking for a book that provides the basic flavors and some exotic options skip this book. Buy The Perfect Scoop by Leibovitz instead. Better yet subscribe to Cooks Illustrated online service which has one of the few recipes which deals with the issue of stabilizers to prevent iciness. If you wish to make an unusual exotic flavor for a special occassion then by all means go ahead and try. Because of rapid deterioration, you can't prepare this far in advance and freeze it. For that you need stabilizers or the ice cream will turn icy and unpalatable. None of these recipes offer any suggestions for stabilizers. Some should in case the cook wishes to make something that will keep for more than 2 weeks in the freezer. Several threads online deal with these issues and I found "organic" stabilizers but few recipes that include exact amounts and how to vary flavors using them. Cooks Illustrated did the best job so save the book money and subscribe to Cooks online. Unfortunately, none of their many books contained an ice cream recipe and I have most of them. I did learn that making ice cream is best left to the professionals. You really can't make a better tasting ice cream than Graeters of Ohio, Marble slab, Ben & Jerrys or Baskin Robbins.
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“Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home” begins with the story of Jeni Britton Bauer’s artisanal ice cream business in Columbus, Ohio before moving on to ingredients and equipment and explaining “the craft of ice cream” and, finally, the recipes. The discussion of “the craft of ice cream” is helpful. It explains balancing water, fat, sugar, and protein for a smooth ice cream and how to add water-soluble versus oil-soluble ingredients. Jeni’s ice creams and frozen yogurts are all eggless. She explains that the proteins in milk are better at binding water and fat than egg yolks are, which doesn’t explain why she feels the need to add cream cheese, starch, and glucose syrup to every recipe to bind water.

The recipes are organized by season, with the occasional frozen yogurt or sorbet mixed in, so, if you’re looking for a particular ingredient or for frozen yogurts, it’s best to use the index. Formatting of the recipes is odd. The introduction to the flavor is printed in large font, followed by the ingredient list in small font and the recipe in medium font. Most ingredients are printed in light blue or light green font, with titles in yellow, and lack sufficient contrast to be read easily by older persons. After the debacle with yellow font in “The Gourmet Cookbook” (2006), I would expect publishers to know better. There is a space for tasting notes on each recipe, which is nice. Each recipe takes two pages.

In short, everything tastes like cream cheese. I did a taste test with three homemade vanilla ice creams side-by-side: a custard-based vanilla ice cream (recipe by David Leibovitz, “The Perfect Scoop”), a Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream (recipe by Melanie Barnard, “Williams Sonoma Mastering Series: Frozen Desserts”), and Jeni’s Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (my vanilla beans were not Ugandan). The custard-based ice cream was very rich and creamy with good vanilla flavor, though a little heavy for my taste. The Philadelphia-style ice cream tasted like a frozen milkshake, as it is eggless, but had good flavor. Jeni’s had better texture than the Philadelphia-style but tasted like cheesecake. Vanilla flavor was lacking. Easily the worst of the three.

I also made Jeni’s Lime-Cardamom Frozen Yogurt. The addition of cornstarch and cream cheese resulted in a smooth-textured frozen yogurt, where many homemade frozen yogurts are icy and crumbly. But even the strong, tart lime could not overcome the cream cheese flavor. Lime frozen yogurt that tastes like cream cheese is not appealing. I may try this flavor again, if I can find a better frozen yogurt base. If Jeni’s flavors appeal to you, I suggest making a note of the ingredients and incorporating them into a classic ice cream base of egg yolks, heavy cream, milk or half-n-half, and sugar for better results.

There are too many ingredients in Jeni’s ice creams, and cream cheese is a nonstarter. The ice creams do not have clean flavors. Flavors are adulterated, and cream cheese dominates. Cream cheese is added to improve binding, as these ice creams don’t have the benefit of proteins from eggs. Cornstarch (or tapioca starch) also binds water molecules. Corn syrup is listed in the ingredients, but Jeni explains that she actually means glucose syrup which –you guessed it- binds water. You can use tapioca syrup or brown rice syrup, which are glucose syrups. But light corn syrup usually contains high fructose corn syrup (look for organic brands that don’t) and vanilla flavor. I couldn’t find a glucose syrup with acceptable ingredients, so I used a homemade sucrose syrup, which worked well. If you have trouble getting the cream cheese to incorporate smoothly, I used Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free Cream Cheese. It incorporates easily.
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on July 19, 2011
I am disappointed with this first effort by the famed Jeni of Jeni's ice creams. Here in the Cols. area her ice cream is the go to shop for a creamy to die for taste sensation preferred by most. However this cookbook is flawed by misprints & unclear directions. The base mix is identical for almost every recipe and various unique flavorings are added to create the different tastes. You would think this would make it easy however out of the first 6 or 7 recipes I wanted to try I've had to guess or correct what was written. For example, the milkiest chocolate calls for 1/4 cup heavy cream but should be 1 1/4 cup and so on. Because the book is so poorly written I do not recommend purchasing even though I'm a big fan of Jeni's. I suggest waiting for the next edition & hope for corrections.
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on March 6, 2013
I love the recipes, but I bought the book in large part to look at the pictures.
The pictures themselves are nice, but on every facing spread, the main picture that is cut right in the middle because of the binding!
What were the book designer thinking? For me it ruins the pleasure of looking at the pictures and reduces the value of the book itself. I wouldn't have bought it if I had a chance to look at it beforehand.
Five stars for the content, zero star for design.
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on October 20, 2012
This is maybe my 15th ice cream book, and I'd rank it dead last in that heat.

Jeni says in her introduction that she doesn't like most homemade ice creams because, among other things, they are "eggy."

So, all of these recipes are cornstarch thickened and eggless -- they taste like stovetop pudding, because they are.

I'm not crazy about this. I guess I like my ice cream "eggy," though of course properly tempered eggs will not instill a "scrambled egg" flavor that overcooked ice cream occasionally has. Maybe Jeni's never had it done right.

We only made one recipe, called something like "the most chocolaty chocolate ice cream you will ever have." In short, it was not chocolaty. It wasn't bad, per se, but for the effort and the calories, I'd like an actual, normal, delicious, chocolaty ice cream. Back to the other books.
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