You know by now, dear reader, what a fan I am of this series of books – the 500 series from Apple Press. Compact, chunky and a picture with every recipe, and lots of recipes! There are basic dishes (or, in this case, ice creams and sorbets) and then half a dozen or so variations. The format works well and the recipes do too.
The author, Alex Barker, has had a wealth of experience in the world of food writing. She was the Cookery Editor of Woman’s Own and Prima UK magazines before launching and editing Let’s Cook magazine. She has devoted the last 15 years to her own business, Food Features Photographic Library and Studio.
I have been toying with the idea of an ice cream maker for a while. This book pushed me over the edge of temptation and I have in my possession a brand new gadget soon to be christened (not really a religious term but the only one I could think of) with chilled cream, milk and probably vanilla. I should say that the recipes in 500 Ice Creams and Sorbets can be made with a whisk and elbow grease but it will be a bit more or an aerobic work-out.
There can be few who don’t enjoy a frozen dessert of some description. We might prefer the stylish sorbet or water ice to a sundae with extra sauces, sprinkles, fruit and a paper parasol. It’s all here and with so many to choose from there will be something for everyone. These recipes are easy and inspiring. It’s not rocket science and the process has been evolving since at least Roman times, so I’d say the recipes should be just about perfected by now!
Yes, I’ll start with Vanilla Ice Cream but New York Cheesecake Ice Cream will follow shortly thereafter. Cream cheese and biscuit give this one its taste of Manhattan and would provide a nicely themed end to a meal of burgers and steaks from the BBQ this summer. Rocky Road Ice Cream is another with an all-American feel. A great one for the kids who will, no doubt, love the marshmallows and chunks of chocolate.
There are some very smart sorbets for the more sophisticated palate. Tropical Fruit Sherbet is made with any one of several exotic fruits. Alex suggests guava, pineapple, mango and papaya and I’d remind you that you can often buy cheap pineapples so plan ahead and take advantage.
The most stunning of the sorbets is, for me at least, Champagne Cocktail Sorbet. Freeze the glasses with a little brandy or cassis in the bottom. Alex says not to keep this for more than a few days. No problem!
500 Ice Creams and Sorbets is a book stuffed with ideas. Frozen desserts are a god-send for dinner parties. That’s one course finished days in advance. It’s a good way of getting milk into your children and you can keep an eye on sugar and additives. I think Ice Cream is the next big health-food trend!
500 Ice Creams and Sorbets
Author: Alex Barker
Published by: Apple Press
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018