on November 15, 2009
This is an excellent book for any ice cream lover. The author does not only provide great recipes, but also suggests food pairings. For example, there's a recipe for saffron ice cream, but what kind of meal would that accompany? You'll find out. What I found particularly helpful was his coverage of procedures and his advice on selecting quality ingredients for the best results. These recipes are easy to do at home and don't take long; I've tried several so far.
There are recipes for the traditional ice creams we all know and love, as well as some gourmet delights. Try the Guiness Milk-Chocolate recipe -- delicious! (Nine people had the pleasure of tasting it -- all loved it.)
For those of you who appreciate attractive gourmet cookbooks, this one will not disappoint.
This book had striked my fancy long before I was able to get my Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachement. I'm obviously a fan of David Lebovitz's work, but I think it's for the good reasons; because his book is truly outstanding and easy to use.
As usual with David, he is starting with 19 pages on ingredients and equipment, but also on good hygienic practices (one subject that is too much often skipped nowadays).
Then, you'll be able to flip trough the contents of the book:
Sorbets and sherbets,
Sauces and toppings,
What I like about the book is that it is so much more than just a guide to ice cream. Most authors want to keep everyting apart (big "fat" icecream in heavy desserts tomes, and the light and refreshing "healthy" sorbets and granitas in health cookbooks), but why ? It's like we wouldnt be able to enjoy both textures and flavors. Also, thinking one is better than the other is quite a misconception. There is still a lot of sugar in a sorbet (more than you'd think !) and you can decide to make your ice cream lighther by using leaner alternatives to 35% cream).
In the style of David, each recipe starts with a few words about the recipe, explains where is came from, tells how he invented it, or wathever else cross his mind. The paragraphs are short and a good introduction to the recipes, it gives them personnality. Also, all measurements are by weight as well as in volume, which is very useful. Instructions are as clear as they can get. Some flavors are very common and comforting, like chocolate and vanilla ice cream, or imaginative, as in parsley ice cream. I have tried up to now the watermelon sorbet (without a machine) and the date, rum and pecan ice cream (with my kitchen aid attachement), and both were huge successes. I might however choose to reduce the cream fat content in the future as the result is VERY rich, but that it my personnal preference.
One thing I loved about the book is that once you have made an EXCELLENT dessert, he gets you ideas on how to plate it and improve it. The section on sauces and toppings is just lovely. Coulis, syrups, fudge and candied fruits are just a few minutes away from topping your creations. Also the Mix-in section is full of ideas on what to mix in the ice cream, other than plain old boring nuts. The vessel section shows you how to create ways of serving your ice cream in edible containers. Would it be between 2 cookies for an ice cream sandwich, or a tuile folded to create a bowl, or a magnificently piped nest of meringue, David will show you how to achieve show stopping arrangements. Those sections makes this book a very complete one.
If you are willing to try on this delicious aventure on frozen treats, get this book ! It's the absolute reference ! Yes it takes a bit of work, but you'll have flavors you have never even dreamed of, and be always able to churn a fresh batch of imaginative ice cream. Also, when you have mastered the base custard recipe for ice cream, it takes absolutely no time to do and it's so simple to improvise, and get your own creations done ! You can't go wrong !
on November 6, 2012
I purchased this book for my husband's birthday this past Spring and we have used it constantly since. I know several people who have purchased ice cream makers this year who have asked me for tips and tricks on ice cream making. I tell them the same thing every time - "Buy The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz". He has a wealth of tips and tricks and he manages to be clear while still being concise. We tend to stick with the custard based ice creams (beyond delicious) but have tried recipes from all sections of the book - ice creams, frozen yogurts, sorbets, "extras", etc. and can honestly say it is one of the most consistent recipe books I've ever owned. You can tell that unlike many cooking/recipe books, these recipes have been tested to perfection.
Mr. Lebovitz puts a lot of emphasis on quality of ingredients throughout the book and I have to second this advice. If you are someone who is going to use vanilla pudding mix when he suggests vanilla bean don't buy this book. The quality of the ice cream that these recipes produce is also a result of the quality of ingredients he suggests and you use.
on March 8, 2013
I got a real nice gift a few weeks ago: an Ice Cream Maker! I was really happy and could not wait to try it, but I just know nothing about ice cream, sorbert, etc, and I needed some help.
Well, thanks to other reviewers, I chose this book. And I love it. The author loves ice cream and takes the time to explain the basics (french syle ice cream, philadelphia style, but also mexican or indian...). And then he gives us lots of good, original recipes. Salty, sweety ice cream, but also sorbet, sherbet and granito recipes. He has many suggestions for each flavor of what to eat with it (hot chocolate fudge, caramel, brownies, etc). A part of the book gives recipes for sweet accompaniments. So, let just say that it is really a complete book.
And I totally desagree with the negative review. It is true that there is no recipes for pure strawberry ice cream. But the book gives us the basics... so take any recipes (french style, or orther) and ad/switch to have strawberry ice cream. Easy as that. When you have the basics, you can let your imagination go.
Meanwhile, I just can't wait to try the goat cheese ice cream, which I've been looking for for a while!
on October 30, 2011
I bought an ice cream kitchen aid attachment this summer and started experimenting with recipes. I googled most of them & all the really good quality (and exotic) recipes were by David Lebowitz. I finally just bought the book. The recipes are easy to follow, are accompanied by cute stories which make it personal and best of all...nothing low fat about them! The sauces & accompaniments are excellent as well. My favorites so far are chocolate & peanut butter & green tea. Next up is lemon & speculaas for my sister! This book is for people who like to cook and appreciate quality.
on December 2, 2011
Great, great, GREAT ice cream recipe book for anyone starting out, or beyond. Has great tips and pointers, a detailed description of ingredients, and lovely anecdotes with each recipe. And all of the ice cream that I have made has turned out just like it should have, and was DELICIOUS!
on June 20, 2013
Maybe they're not the easiest recipes to do, but if you enjoy cooking, you'll love the book. When I got my ice cream machine, I tried 2 recipes from the web, they were good and easy to do, but I wasn't entirely satisfied. I felt like I needed to understand how ice cream is made, and this book does just that. David Lebovitz gives great explanations, most of the recipes start with an introduction and you have a good selection of easy recipes and other that will give you more challenge. So far, I've tried 3 of them and they were a real success! It's the book you'll need with your ice cream maker.
on August 8, 2015
David's recipes are perfect. The ice cream always turns out wonderfully. I've even made the basil ice cream, which is so good with the strawberry sauce recipe. He provides lots of ice cream topping recipes and other yummy things -- "wet" walnuts, buttery salted pecans, etc. -- you can stir into your ice cream. He provides detailed directions and all the recipes are easy to follow. And you must take the time to read the stories he writes before each recipe. The book is a good read!