Paul is the chef at the Lanesborough Hotel in London. It’s considered a “Destination” hotel and has a restaurant to match that status. This man is a familiar face on British food TV and is also an accomplished cookbook author.
All of Paul Gayler’s books (I have reviewed several to date) have been innovative but I have been at pains to point out that they have not been “cheffy”. That’s a term that smacks of criticism and usually indicates that the recipes are over-complicated and fussy. I am, however, persuaded to use just that word for Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Ice Creams and Sorbets.
No, dear reader, this writer has not changed her style of review. I have not turned overnight into the Gordon Ramsay of the cookbook review world. This time I use “cheffy” as a compliment. These recipes are not at all long-winded or fiddly but the chef has presented his culinary credentials in the form of amazing combinations of ingredients and textures that would have been difficult for a civilian to invent.
Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Ice Creams and Sorbets is an adult dessert cookbook. The first few recipes are standards and one would expect to find them here, but once settling you into a warm (or cold in this case) sense of familiar security, Paul takes a detour.
The Ice Cream chapter starts innocently with a simple Vanilla Ice Cream, but on closer inspection even this has a few exciting variations. Paul suggests the addition of some lavender, Earl Grey tea, lemon curd, dried breadcrumbs and rice pudding. You might be tempted to linger, but turn a page or two and you’ll find more soon-to-become-favourites.
Eggnog and Orange Peel Ice Cream could take the place of Christmas Pudding chez nous. Dark rum in almost anything is good in my book and it always reminds me of the holiday season. Keeping with the Christmas theme Paul offers a Christmas Bombe. This looks like a mint-green Christmas pudding but it’s a confection of ice cream and candied fruit.
Goats Cheese Ice Cream is rich and tangy. Paul uses regular milk in his recipe but that could be replaced by goat’s milk to make this an ideal dessert for those who are intolerant of cow’s milk. An alternative frozen treat would be Coconut Milk, Yogurt and Red Chilli Sorbet. Sophisticated and exotic.
How’s about Balsamic Butter Ice Cream? Paul serves this with Citrus Fruit Salad and Passion Fruit Jelly (recipe in this book). Sweetcorn Ice Cream would be quite a conversation piece. Black Pepper Ice Cream is another show-stopper. I think this might go well with strawberries – a different take on the traditional strawberries and cream.
Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Ice Creams and Sorbets packs a punch. It might be a little book but it’s well worth the equally small price. Paul once again showcases his skills and ability to think successfully outside the box.
Paul Gayler’s Little Book of Ice Creams and Sorbets
Author: Paul Gayler
Published by: Kyle Cathie
Price: £ 7.99
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018