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Book review: Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelati

06 January 2011 by
Book review: Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelati

Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelati: The Definitive GuideBy Caroline and Robin WeirGrub Street, £25ISBN 978-1-904943-46-4

Building on the foundations they laid with the publication 15 years ago of Ices: The Definitive Guide, Caroline and Robin Weir have now produced what must be the ultimate book on the making of ice-cream.

Starting with a history of how, where and why ice-cream has been made and served down the centuries, Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelati: The Definitive Guide goes on to provide professional chefs and enthusiastic cooks with everything they need to know to make the widely loved sweet treats.

There is a comprehensive chapter on the science behind the making of ices, which will help serious ice-cream makers understand, for instance, the underlying dimensions required for freezing different types of ingredients to create a perfectly balanced texture that is neither grainy nor watery.

As well as a detailed introduction to the equipment that is needed to help an ice-cream maker on their way, there is a useful section on the basic ingredients needed. Then, most inspiring of all, is the A-Z of recipes for ice-creams, gelati, graniti, bombes and parfaits.

Flavours include the traditional chocolate, strawberry and pistachio - and almost every variation of these you can think of. But much wider is the selection of recipes for more unusual flavour combinations found in the likes of lychee and lime sorbet, and peach and hyssop ice-cream.

There is also a wide range of ideas for sauces to accompany ice-creams, such as cider, black rum and mint, and Russian toffee.

The Weirs' knowledge and passion for ice-cream cannot be doubted. To them, ice-cream is a simple product, made, in its very basic form, from milk, sugar and cornflour, with added ingredients for specific flavours and textures.

For them, good ice-cream never contains additives, emulsifiers or stabilisers. They particularly take issue with manufacturers who pump their products full of air.

It is unlikely you will eat more than three scoops of ice-cream made according to their recipes in one sitting. The resulting, denser, high quality product - full of natural flavours - is something to be savoured. If that is what you are after in an ice-cream for your establishment, then this is the book for you.

If you like this, you'll love these:

â- Ice Cream by Liz Franklin

â- 500 Ice Creams and Sorbets by Alex Parker

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