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Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream Book Paperback – Apr 11 2012

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Product Details

Product Description


"Godby has drawn a loyal following from the start. His ice cream addresses two major grievances in the contemporary culinary scene: boredom with menus that all look the same, and irritation with the orthodoxy governing how we're all supposed to eat." - from Elizabeth Weil, The New York Times Magazine

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.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 34 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Fun book with a caveat July 4 2012
By Hugh B. Anderson - Published on
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.
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
The recipes just don't work June 5 2012
By Salmon Dathers - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Sloppy Jan. 13 2013
By Nick - Published on
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. I think someone has already pointed this out, but its worth repeating as the ice cream doesn't fully set with the appropriate amount and I can't imagine what would happen if you put the written amount; I imagine it would not set at all! to re-iterate the correct amount is 1/4 cup per quart and not the 1/2 cup written in the book. I happened to see the correction on the shops twitter feed around the release of the book, but I imagine no one woulds know otherwise.

I also wish the book include gram measurements as some other books do. I find it very convenient to weigh everything in one or two bowls rather than have to clean multiple measuring cups and was a little surprised that a cookbook by a former pastry chef at a fine dining restaurant did not do so (the owner used to be the pastry chef at Coi in SF a 2 star michelin restaurant). I would also agree with the reviewer who mentioned this book could have been a little more detailed about technique as it appears obvious it is meant for a home cook.

For me the book has served its purpose in teaching me the secrets to my favorite flavors, but I can't imagine someone not a fan of the shop having any interest and would agree with the reviewer that recommends the David Lebovitz book The Perfect Scoop as the best all around ice cream book - Lebovitz other dessert books and blog are great too! I also appreciate the story behind the shop and other details of the book that someone unfamiliar would probably not care about.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent flavors, a little light on technique June 24 2012
By R D - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an inspiring, creative cookbook! I've made four different flavors so far.

* There's a lot of "behind the scenes" material that really brings life to the recipes- numerous anecdotes and (in)famous twitter updates project a very strong, distinctive personality
* Incredibly creative flavors and combinations
* The secrets behind a number of popular flavors
* Truly delicious ice cream!

* Has the common malady of chef-created cookbooks where the authors have forgotten what was tricky about certain techniques back when they learned them... candymaking in particular is an important part of a number of recipes (caramels, brittles) but the steps provided sometimes lack detail sufficient to get a beginner through successfully the first time. That's not to say that every cookbook should be a remedial course in technique, but the long-form recipes give the impression of handholding that is a bit misleading. (Yep, I screwed it up the first time on each candy-making recipe before resorting to techniques from other sources).
* Several recipes feature hard-to-find ingredients, without any source recommendations. For substitutable ingredients (like "McEvoy Olive Oil") a more specific description of the character of the original ingredient would be helpful.
* For those who live too far from SF to have tasted the originals, it's difficult to know if a recipe came out right. It would help to call out that (for example) "Here's your damn chocolate" might best be described as "chocolate *salted* caramel", or that "Elvis the Fat Years" has a very bananas foster-esque flavor (with the bacon playing a distinctly minor role). At least, that's what I'm hoping they were supposed to be! :-)

Yes, I know I used more words on the weaknesses than the strengths, but do not mistake me- this is an awesome book that I would recommend to anyone looking to walk on the wild side of ice cream and experience flavors you almost certainly have not had before.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The breakfast of which we shall not speak Aug. 11 2012
By E.W. - Published on
Format: Paperback
Who makes a cookbook without testing all the recipes? We've followed the Secret Breakfast recipe to a T a couple of times now and have been left with a soupy mess. (Reducing the amount of bourbon helps.) I've been to the shop several times and love it, but it's obvious this recipe (and others, apparently, going off other reviews) was either never tested on the kind of equipment people are likely to use at home or never had its process properly explained. We're willing to keep trying until we get it right, but a quick Google search shows that other folks are having the same problems.

My tip for you home ice cream makers would be to add the cornflake cookies as a topping, rather than mixing it in, until you can perfect a recipe that freezes properly. Otherwise, you'll get soggy (yet tasty) cookie bits that look like wet dog food floating on the top of your ice cream. Gross!

Some recipe refinement or detailed troubleshooting instructions for such a tricky flavor would've been nice.

If you're looking for an ice cream book whose recipes work as presented, I recommend The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments? Start with their flavors and work your way up to this book's less than perfect formulations.