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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Ice Cream
Format: Hardcover|Change

on 31 August 2013
Ben Vear's second book, Ice Cream & Other Frozen Delights, is a gelato compendium - containing everything you need to know about the mysterious ice that has been universally loved since its first incarnation as frozen milk, flavoured with herbs and spices in ancient China, to the modern Mr Whippy.

Ben is a fourth generation scion of family run Winstones Ice Cream, that began in the 1920's when his Great-Grandfather offered refreshments to passing walkers. The business has grown organically to produce more than 1,000,000 litres of ice cream each year. Ben is deeply passionate about the business: keenly preserving the Winstones spirit for sourcing the finest ingredients ethically and locally, whilst bringing his own flavours and scientific approach to the mix.

Ice cream making is somewhat of an alchemy - a scientifically complex balance of fats, solids and liquids - which in my experience essentially means it is very easy to screw up! Ben navigates you past the potential minefields with clear and easy-to-follow instructions. The book starts with a basic introduction followed by a chapter on each category of flavouring with striking pictures of each scoop.

The Introduction traces the history of ice cream from its royal roots, as the preserve of the rich and noble, to the modern day Mr Whippy, pumped full of air and chemicals. This is followed by an overview of the necessary equipment and ingredients, with detailed instructions for the basic technique accompanied by step-by-step pictures.

The flavours start with an exhaustive overview of national favourite Vanilla - discovery, extraction and useful tips for understanding extract versus essence followed by 17 variations. Ben starts with the most traditional, an adaptation of his Great-Grandfather's recipe, and graduates to the more experimental: Candied Bacon and Maple Syrup and the logic defying Baked Alaska. The highlight for me is the Moondust Frozen Yoghurt: vanilla, rum and toasted almonds topped with a sprinkling of sliver glitter - magical!

Sugar, Caramel and Toffee is the most decadent chapter: a detailed explanation of caramelisation, instructions for salted caramel and toffee is followed by indulgent Banoffee Pie and Salted Caramel ice cream (which is dangerously quick to make - ready in just a couple of hours).

The chemistry of our insatiable love for Chocolate is explained alongside instructions for tempering and the perfect chocolate sauce. This chapter goes well beyond a humble choc-ice with imaginative infusions of rosemary and truffle oil.

Ben goes local to the extreme, encouraging you to forage in hedgerows, for the Berries chapter. Here you can make the most of Britain's plump fruits with Gooseberry Fool and Balsamic, Blackberry and Strawberry ice cream.

Citrus guides you through the potentially disastrous addition of citric acid to milk and cream. The show stopping Lemon and Squid Ink looks more like a work of art than humble scoop, whilst the Blood Orange Sorbet is the ultimate refresher.

From here the book turns towards a more mature pallet. Herbs and Spices covers a wide array, from their most popular Mint Chocolate Chip to Wasabi - an unexpected success that is recommended with smoked salmon or game.

Botanical is the most experimental collection that sounds positively Heston-like, try Earl Grey Tea and the vibrant Matcha Green Tea (just don't use a standard green tea bag...it must be matcha or you will have a murky disappointment!).

Alcohol is another perilous ingredient, but worth the effort for Guinness ice cream and Absinthe ice lollies.

Don't skip the Accompaniments, which will showcase your homemade wonders in waffles, meringue nests and sugar-spun baskets. The final recipe pays homage to Mr Whippy, this 21-st century version involves freezing the mix in icecubes and blending to achieve the iconic whippy shape and texture without the chemicals.

You cannot help but be inspired by Ben's infectious love for ice cream
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on 7 August 2013
This book Ice Cream and Other Frozen Delights from; fourth generation of a family of ice cream makers, Ben Vear gives us a recipe for pretty much every single flavour possibility imaginable.

There are nine chapters, for a total of 286 pages, with most recipes taking two pages: one of text, and a photo. Chapters are on vanilla, sugar, caramel and toffee, chocolate, berries, citrus, herbs and spices, botanical infusions, alcoholic infusions, and accompaniments. The exhaustive nature of the book is reflected by no fewer than seventeen recipes in the vanilla chapter. Of the rest of the book, I'm particularly tempted by the brown bread ice cream - an old favourite, salted caramel ice cream, saffron and caramel kulfi, dulce de leche mascarpone ice cream, chocolate and rosemary ice cream, blueberry pie ice cream, balsamic, blackberry and strawberry, lemon and squid ink, blood orange sorbet, chilli and lime sorbet, gin and tonic sorbet, and sloe gin and damson ice cream. As well as the ice cream there are lollies, sorbets, frozen puddings, cones, biscuits and baskets.

The big test of any recipe book is obviously the quality of the results, and we have to say that Ben has triumphed here. We've tried a couple of recipes so far, both have been a great success and we are looking forward to trying more. On a practical note, we like the way that the book is bound in such a way that it lies flat easily, and that there are two ribbon bookmarks - appropriately enough, one white, one red.

Summer is obviously the high point for ice cream consumption, and as with all things, home made beats anything bought from a shop into a cocked hat. In the battle for space on our cook book shelf, this book has earned its place and we look forward to Ben's next offering.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 September 2014
I love this book. This and the David Lebovitz Perfect Scoop are my go-to books when making ice cream for my family.

Ben Vear comes from an ice-cream business family, but is passionate about the family business to keep ever evolving, trying new flavours and techniques to enliven the traditional recipes one would expect to see.

What I really like about this book is the way that the sections are themed by flavour rather than divided by technique, sometimes you have a glut of something and don't want to flit around a book for all the citrus or all the berry recipes, here they are corralled together meaning you can easily compare recipes (or combine)

I also really like his custard/French method process pages. Which have photo steps!! His technique sometimes differs in the book depending on the recipe but the basic step by step really helped me understand what I was looking for at each stage of the traditional custard process, which I had previously not got quite right.

Ben Vear's approach and style is really all-inclusive which whilst I love will annoy some purists (who either want it simple-plain or capriciously frivolous) as it includes your vanilla (pun intended) recipes, your more fanciful Blumenthal-esque recipes with squid ink etc, and the low fat healthy brigade (coconut oil based skinny vanilla)so you could literally please anyone with this book.

Overall, a great book to step away from the simple vanilla and vanilla swirled recipes and dabble!
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on 29 December 2017
Bought an ice cream maker and this to go with it: was not disappointed with the recipes, clear instructions and additional information about tools, ingredients and some of the history surrounding them. The history of the author is nice too, it makes for a nice read while your mix is chilling! I'm a beginner, but I can see it being great for a more experienced ice cream fanatic.

Comes with a variety of sections for different ice creams, sorbets, gelatos and khuflis. My favourite so far is the gingerbread ice cream, though I haven't made them all yet.

Sounds silly, but even has two bookmark ribbons rather than one, small details like that to a long way to making a great quality recipe book.
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on 9 October 2014
My ice cream has always been a bit hit and miss in the past - usually ending up icy and rock hard. Ben Vear explains the science behind ice cream making so that you understand the reasons for using the different ingredients. Having treated myself to a new ice cream machine, thought I would look into some recipes in more depth and this book fits the bill.

Have tried several of the recipes now, and all have turned out successfully (the honey and ginger is to die for). However, the ingredients are not cheap, and many of the recipes are not for those counting calories, though there are some healthier options. The book is organised into sections according to the main ingredients e.g. vanilla, citrus, chocolate. I love the two ribbons included for bookmarking the next recipes to try. Looking forward to working my way through the book!
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on 15 September 2013
A really comprehensive book of homemade ice cream is pretty essential - and Ben Vear's Ice Cream & Other Frozen Delights is unusually creative with its ice cream treats - everything from the basic vanilla ice cream to more complicated multi-step treats, such as chocolate coated ice cream bars and Coke floats.

I'd definitely recommend this book for cooks who have become familiar with the basic ice-cream making process, have maybe tried a few adaptations of their own, and are ready to move on to the next challenges.

Ben Vears is the kind of person who makes me feel like I've been slacking throughout my twenty five years. Only twenty four, he is the fourth generation of ice cream makers at his family's business, Winstones Ice Cream. Vears has also been incredibly active promoting natural, rich ingredients in making ice cream. A cookbook seems the logical next step - if you can't find the ice cream you like, he'll help you to produce it yourself. So Vear's cookbook is dedicated to the comprehensive ice cream experiences - which was great for someone like me who had mastered the basics and was looking for a step up, challenge-wise. Definitely recommended for the keen ice cream maker!
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on 8 October 2013
I bought this book having seen a brief mention in a newspaper and have been delighted with the recipes which include some unusual ones alongside the more familiar ones.
There are some excellent recipes including salted caramel, mint choc chip and white chocolate
Unusual ones include chocolate sorbet which I haven't tried yet and some I am not at all sure about like olive oil ice cream!
It is all beautifully illustrated with some very artistic photos of ice cream.
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on 12 February 2015
We recently bought an ice-cream maker. This was the first book we bought. Love the recipes. Especially the Basil and bay leaf sorbet, the olive oil ice-cream (it sounds so wrong but tastes so right and the maple syrup gelato with some added stem ginger. Love the photo's. They just want you to make more.
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on 16 January 2017
Of the flavours I've tried, the rose water ice cream had a misprint asking for 100ml of rose water rather than a couple of teaspoons, and the banoffee ice creams biscuits made an over sweet cludge that was so thick before freezing I think it has damaged the motor of my ice cream maker. I imagine the same will happen with any other digestive biscuit crumbling recipe. I have lost faith trying anything else in this book. Avoid.
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on 1 November 2015
Really good and simple, affordable recipes to follow, made a few for friends presents and went down a treat! Would recommend to anyone who has tried a few recipes in the past and wants to branch out on more flavors.
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