for the love of ice cream

September 8, 2011

‘I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!’ was a constant refrain during my childhood…

I remember lots of ice cream adventures – from eating delicious Gooey Gumdrop ice cream at MacAndrew Bay on Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula (how did they make it taste like bubblegum?), the excitement of trying gelato for the first time, to the complete and utter tragedy of buying an ice cream on a hot day, only to walk out the shop door and watch two scoops of ice cream slide off the cone and fall at my feet.

Ice cream is still a major preoccupation.  Never have I been more excited than the day I saw the words ‘artisan gelato’ on the sign outside Cow and Moon’s new store in Newtown, Sydney – just across the road from my house!  And whenever I go to Coogee Beach, I make a point of stopping in at Love Coogee for some of their delicious Pear and Rhubarb ice cream, or the Salted Caramel with shards of Belgian White Chocolate.

My ice cream obsession reached new heights this last Christmas, however, when my mother and sister gave me my very own ice cream maker.  Some very messy Chocolate Sorbet making ensued.

Yes, things were getting serious.

This was the point at which I realised that I needed my own personal library of books devoted to the science of ice cream making.  There were so many questions to be answered… traditional custard vs Philidelphia style ice cream with just milk/cream or cream cheese?  the correct ratio of fruit to sugar syrup for a successful sorbet?  how many different kinds of alcohol can you put in ice cream?  (the answer… lots!), and what about mix ins?  I soon discovered that there were many delicious things that could be added to ice cream to make it taste even better.

Luckily, I found some experts to help me in my experiments.  My two favourite and most invaluable ice cream cookbooks have turned out to be:

The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz (The Traditionalist who encourages experimentation)

David Lebovitz provides basic recipes for a finely curated number of ice creams and sorbets, but what makes his cookbook so great is that it offers variations and additions that allow you to get really creative and adapt even his most basic recipes to your own tastes and ingredients.  I’ve been desperate to try his Chartreuse Ice Cream, but haven’t been able to get my hands on any Chartreuse – so instead I made it with honey liquer and a few tablespoons of runny honey.  The result was delicious.  Same goes for his dairy-free Chocolate Sorbet, which I jazzed up recently for some vegan friends with fiery tastebuds by adding four red chillies and a pinch of chilli powder.  Lebovitz champions fresh ingredients and has a friendly, chatty writing style – which he makes the most of on his blog and twitter.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for the Home Kitchen by Jeni Britton Bauer (Innovator, and Girl Whose Life I Covet)

Jeni Britton Bauer begins her ice cream book with an inspiring description of her journey from small town Ohio college student working in a French bakery, to Ice Cream Queen.  I love the sense of community that she captures in her introduction, as she describes her initial start up selling ice cream at her local Farmers Market and her progress as she sets up a successful ice cream business.  Her commitment to scientific process and food best practice appeals to the food geek in me, and the ingredients she uses inspire me (she even has a section devoted to sorbets made with beer!).  This is a great recipe book for anyone who has an interest in making ice cream, but who has an egg intolerance or allergy – as all her recipes are made with cream cheese, without the traditional egg custard base called for in most ice cream recipes.

Thanks to my lovely Mother and Sister (ice cream co conspirators) and David Lebovitz and Jeni Britton Bauer, there will be plenty of ice cream parties this summer!  And yes, I may secretly dream of opening my own ice cream store one day.

The newest ice cream flavour I’m planning: Violet.



One Response to “for the love of ice cream”

  1. readitadmin Says:

    It’s the childhood treat that just gets better as you get older. I want to live long enough to try every flavour!

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