Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams from the Nation's Best Creameries - Cookbook Review
By Ellen Brown
(Running Press, 2011)
It was a tough job but somebody had to do it! Sampling her way across the U.S. to find the country's top artisanal ice cream parlors and recipes, veteran foodie and cookbook author Ellen Brown brings us Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams from the Nation's Best Creameries. Ignoring popular ice cream behemoths, Brown chose instead to focus her attention on small mom-and-pop ice cream shops and their one-of-a-kind creations. Some of these special frozen treats include classic American ice creams, European-style gelatos, dairy-free sorbets, unique low-fat sherbets and even frozen yogurts! In addition, Brown has adapted the recipes for use with ingredients and equipment easily available to any home.
Brown breaks the myriad of fanciful flavors into clear-cut, reader-friendly chapters: for instance, classic vanilla, chocolate and coffee are allotted their own sections, as are fruits, nuts and seeds and even liquor-infused ice cream. Furthermore, among the many ice cream selections you'll find creative standouts like the Grapefruit Campari Sorbet, the Mojito Ice, the Fig Gelato, the Chocolate Peanut Butter, the Sesame Brittle Cinnamon and the Apple Pie Ice Cream. There are also instructions for homemade hot-fudge, marshmallow and butterscotch sauces.
Brown kicks off her cookbook with an entertaining preface about how she came to specialize in ice cream, before launching into an explanation of how ice cream is generally made. She then follows that up by discussing the necessary techniques and tools (like rasp graters, instant-read thermometers, wooden spoons and — of course — an ice cream maker) needed for making ice cream at home.
Adjacent old-fashioned black-and-white photographs (along with color images of the iced goodies) put a face behind the ice creams, reminding readers about the all of the hard work and dedication that goes into making a quality scoop of ice cream.