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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 9 May 2009
I stumbled across the author when I was looking for help on the web on how to make caramel. Then I spotted his salted butter caramel ice cream recipe, which is frankly the best ice cream I've ever tasted (not in this book incidentally, but don't let that stop you buying it). So I asked for his book for my birthday and I have not been disappointed. The Gianduja Gelato (choc praline) is amazing, and there are a host of accompaniments, sauces and vessels to go with the ice cream. There is a section at the start about the basics which is useful if you're new to ice cream making. And he writes personal little notes about each recipe that I find really interesting. Lots of fab pictures too. If in doubt, google "salted butter caramel ice cream", make that and then you'll know why you need to buy this book.
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on 22 July 2009
This is a sensational book. I have a couple of other cookbooks on icecreams but this is the best, hands-down.

It contains an almost overwhelming number of recipes (for icecreams, sorbets, other frozen desserts and other elements to serve alongside like sauces, cookies etc). It has great photography, the author is warm and informative, based on straightforward ingredients.

So far I have made the vanilla frozen yoghurt, the strawberry frozen yoghurt and the vietnamese coffee ice cream. All 3 have worked perfectly - the vietnamese coffee icecream, in particular, was the best coffee icecream I've ever tasted.

The only teeny negative point I can think of is the text lacks a bit of the cheeky, outrageous tone you get from the author's blog. But that's it. I now want to buy every other book David has written!
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on 15 January 2011
Do not buy this book if you are on a diet, or if you might go on one soon...

The book truly is full of utter deliciousness! I bought it recently, along with an ice-cream making attachment for my Kenwood, so I was/am a total beginner in the world of making ice-cream. This book has everything that I was looking for:

- a solid introduction detailing how ice-cream is made, how the different ingredients work together, plus tips and tricks etc.
- A wealth of recipes, that really do work, from the basic to the more esoteric
- Engaging writing

There really is every type of recipe in here, from far from 'bog-standard' vanilla and chocolate etc, to the literally sublime chocolate-peanut butter. Mmmmm!!
There is also a chapter on sorbets and sherbets, another on Granitas, and finally Sauces and Toppings and then Mix-Ins.

I cannot say I have made much of a dent in all the recipes form this book...just counted, there are 73 recipes in the ice-cream chapter alone! And that is not including the sorbets, granitas etc. But everything I have made has been easy for a beginner to understand, and has really worked. And has been delicious.

Despite my addiction to buying cookbooks, I genuinely won't need nor buy another ice cream book.
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on 15 May 2012
A great cookbook. I was so impressed with it that I have bought it as a gift for a friend. I have a simple ice cream maker, the type where you freeze the bowl before you use it. When I first used the book I had never made ice cream before.
The recipes are varied, simple and easy to follow. Try the cinnamon ice cream as an alternative to vanilla - its delicious.
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on 15 January 2011
I stumbled upon this book when looking for a place to start making ice cream using a machine and was initially impressed by the sheer variety of recipes on offer (I would never have thought to include cheese in an ice cream before reading this book!).

When it arrived I was incredibly impressed by the sheer detail offered into how to master the basics - how to make a custard, how long to leave flavours to steep and even such simple concepts as using cool mixtures in the machine rather than warm.

Once I'd mastered the basic vanilla I couldn't wait to start tucking into some of the more exciting recipes and to date I have made the following:
Dark chocolate raspberry
Coconut
Sour Cream strawberry
Peanut butter and chocolate
Pear and caramel
Pear & Pecorino cheese

And (with the exception of the cheese one which I found a bit too crazy for my palette) they have all been delicious (particularly the pear caramel / coconut) and since buying this book I have given up my haagen dazs habit as everything coming out of this book tastes so much better :)

Bottom line - if you have an ice cream machine or are at all serious about ice cream, this book is an essential purchase!
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on 22 February 2012
I've recently bought an ice cream maker and since now I've relied on the web for my recipes as I couldn't find a book that suited me. The Lebovitz book has provided me with what I was looking for, it is 100% about recipes as a recipe book should be, no wasted pages about the history of ice cream (just a short introduction on the tools needed and a description of major ingredients), no wasted pages on cakes, mousses, cocktails, etc., out of 244 pages 214 pages are filled with ice cream, sorbets, frozen yogurt and granitas recipes, plus a short useful section on making sauces and biscuit cones! All recipes are well written, have a short entertaining introduction from the author, most include a "variation" section and all include "perfect pairing" advice, a huge selection of flavours and styles are covered and all recipes use European measures (no cups!). I recommend this book to whoever is serious about homemade ice cream making and is looking for a entertaining, informative and comprehensive book.
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on 18 February 2012
I bought this book after reading many of the existing reviews.
My expectations were high and they were not disappointed. The recipe for Chocolate sorbet turned out to be superb - the chocolate sorbet turned out creamy with a lovely strong taste of chocolate. I used the very best cocoa I could buy. I have also made lemon ice cream which was fine but next time I will try the lemon sorbet. When the fresh fruit comes back in season I'm looking forward to trying some of the fruit ice creams and sorbets. The book is beautifully written and the recipes easy to follow. Indeed A Perfect Scoop in every way.
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on 17 January 2012
Recently my mum bought an ice cream maker and I bought her this book after seeing a recipe featured on the bbc food website by the author which looked fab.

This book certainly did not disappoint, there are some stunning recipes and I'm thinking of buying a 2nd copy for our house. The instructions are well written and the photography is great, but moreover the recipes are stunning.

Very very happy!
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on 17 November 2015
Brilliant, well balanced, well-tested recipes. Haven't found a dud one yet. I get rave reviews from my friends for the finished ice cream. Clear instructions with ingredients in UK friendly units. Beautiful photography and a well made sturdy hardback book printed on quality paper. Great present for someone who likes ice cream.

The book contains separate recipes sections for ice creams, sorbets and sherbets, and granitas and really interesting recipe sections at the back for sauces (e.g. caramel sauce), mix-ins (e.g. chocolate truffles) and containers (e.g. cone batter recipes). I haven't tried many of the sorbet or granita recipes, partly because sorbets and granitas don't keep that well in the freezer.

The chatty preamble to each recipe is engaging and fun to read though you can always skip straight to the straightforward and clear instructions if you're not interested. Good introduction to cooking techniques at the start though it doesn't cover the history or theory of ice cream as much as some other books.

For me the only weakness of this book is that the ice cream recipe section mostly focusses on the classic ice cream 'base' of 1:1 double cream:milk recipes thickened by cooking to a custard with egg yolks. Egg custards are a bit fiddly to make though it gets much easier with practice and a good temperature probe (e.g Heston Blumenthal by Salter Precision Instant Read Digital Thermometer, Pack of 1, Silver). I find that chucking the egg yolks directly into the cold mixture and gradually heating while stirring gets just as good results as the fiddly egg yolk tempering method so that simplifies the cooking a fair amount. After a fair bit of experimentation with other bases I can safely say that egg thickened ice cream is by far my favourite type of ice cream and the type that keeps best in the freezer for weeks or months. So for me, focussing on egg recipes isn't really that much of a weakness. It's well worth the extra effort.

There are a few non-egg ice cream recipes such as cheesecake, pear-caramel, peanut butter, chocolate sorbet, sherbets, roasted banana and philadelphia style ice creams to give you some ideas but they're in the minority. You could also adapt the egg recipes to other bases but results can vary quite a lot. See the Ice Cream Nation web site for discussion about ice cream bases (http://www.icecreamnation.org/category/base-recipes/)

There are quite a few recipes available for free on the author's great blog site if you want to try before you buy. Some are duplicates of recipes in the book, others aren't in the book at all. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/category/recipes/ice-creams-and-sorbets/ . If you google you can find copies of his recipes have been copied on various recipe blogs on the web but they're usually in US cup/oz etc. units. Even with all the content out on the web I still find this book is still a must have.

If you enjoy ice cream making then I can recommend getting a powered ice cream maker (e.g. Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker rather than the cheaper and fiddly frozen cannister type machine. The author used the previous Cuisinart model to test his recipes. With a powered ice cream machine you can churn directly from hot custard to frozen if you're impatient.

If you're using a frozen canister machine, make sure the cannister machine is completely frozen and that the mixture is really cold before churning. Unlike powered machines, you can't skip chilling the custard thoroughly with cannister machines, the results won't be good.

I can also recommend the Chocolate Trading Company (recommended in the book too) for bulk buying really high quality chocolate for making these recipes http://www.chocolatetradingco.com/.

FWIW I have no commercial connection to any of my recommendations, I'm just a happy customer.
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on 21 September 2007
This is a very good collection of ice cream recipes. It's also a very good collection of recipes for things that go with ice cream. Born of the most glorious, obsessional, refinement David Lebovitz provides the perfect inspiration to put your ice cream maker to use.

An exceptionally fine book.
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