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Sorbets and Gelati - The Definitive Guide
It’s winter and a book-buyer’s passion might not
immediately turn to frozen desserts ...but it should.
Yes, chestnuts are roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost has already
been nipping at your nose (nice words – think I’ll write a song) but it
is indeed the season to be jolly and to enjoy light desserts after
those heavy celebration meals. Tempting and made in advance so as not
to add more stress to those events.
Ice Creams, Sorbets and Gelati is a huge tome and amazing value for
money. It offers more than 300 large-format pages, over 400 recipes,
iconic illustrations, ice cream lore and information on one of the
world’s most popular food groups.
The progress of ice cream has taken it from the sublime to the
ridiculous and back again. It was once the preserve of kings, emperors
and the very wealthy. The secrets of its manufacture became more widely
known and the raw materials became more reasonably priced, resulting in
an inferior and often unhygienic product being made available to all.
Penny Lick glasses filled by unscrupulous vendors and enjoyed by one
eager buyer were returned unwashed and filled ready for the next
victim. Several epidemics of fatal diseases have been attributed to the
practice. Laws were tightened to give ice cream lovers a sporting
chance at long life, and then the boom was in full swing.
These days we enjoy good quality frozen desserts along with an even
larger choice of shoddy goods, but at least many of us have the
opportunity to make some truly delightful ices at home. The best and
freshest of ingredients are used, and these ingredients are few and,
for the most part, readily available.
Plenty of history here and it’s amusing and fascinating but you will
likely buy this book for the recipes. They are a fine and eclectic
bunch and there is truly one for every occasion and every taste,
including a few savoury examples (although they are not my favourites).
I have been particularly taken by some ices that would be a perfect end
to those enormous holiday dinners. Decadent but full of festive
flavours. Cranberry Sorbet is tangy and refreshing. Good for a dessert
or a digestive between courses. Terry’s Chocolate Orange Ice Cream is
bound to revive childhood memories for those of us who only had those
chocolate novelties as a Yule-tide treat. Crème de Marron Ice
Cream is the ice of choice for those having a Continental Christmas.
Mincemeat Ice Cream has become popular over the last few years but this
book suggests an alternative which might be even more appealing:
Christmas Cake Ice Cream. This honestly does contain Christmas cake,
although omitting the icing. This might not be the lightest ice around
but it will offer a hint of tradition.
My pick of this book isn’t a seasonal delight but an intriguing
confection of, well, confectionery. Werther's Ice Cream is made with
Werther's Original Butter Toffee (candy). Those melting and moreish
sweets are put to good use in this recipe which produces a rich dessert
that is bound to become a regular in those colder months.
Ice Creams, Sorbets and Gelati is a winner. The weather is not hot but
it’s the time for gift-giving. This could be a welcome present for
those with an ice-cream machine, for those who aspire to such a thing,
and for those who love frozen desserts. The recipes here are inspiring
and simple. This will be on many a wish-list to Santa.
Cookbook review: Ice Creams, Sorbets and Gelati - The Definitive Guide
Authors: Caroline and Robin Weir
Published by: Grub Street