On the Cookery Book Shelf...

Ice Cream and Other Frozen Delights

Ben Vear

Absolute Press

£20

Considering the weather we have been enjoying over the last number of weeks, this is the perfect book to really push the image of the best summer we have had in arguably 30 years. Aside from the obvious connotations associated with our fairly recent love affair with the barbecue, no other word sums up June to August in Ireland better than mention of ice-cream. And, while the concept of making your own ice-cream in this country is a very recent phenomenon, one should not be put off by the much-used excuse that ice-cream machines are a little on the expensive side when a fairly adequate system will set you back around €40 if you shop around. Also, having such a recipe book in tow, is not only a great treat; it is also a great bit of fun, particularly, for children who really enjoy the process of designing their own recipes with the most unusual of ingredients.

Ben Vear, who comes from a fourth generation ice-cream-making family, last year won the award for Young British Foodie of the Year, and already has a client list that includes Elizabeth Hurley and Lily Allen. He begins his take on the subject retelling a little of the history of his family’s association with ice-cream and summarises the basic essential steps that one needs to follow before pinpointing all the important pieces of kit from ice-cream makers to shot glasses. There is also a shopping-list of the crucial foody elements from berries to cocoa powder.

The best of the recipes (written to produce one litre of ice-cream ) include those for basic vanilla ice-cream; curiously healthy coconut ice-cream; birthday cake ice-cream; candied bacon and maple syrup ice-cream; liquid cheesecake ice-cream; vanilla and espresso affogato; baked Alaska; classic banana split; moon dust frozen yoghurt; butterscotch chip ice-cream; brown bread ice-cream; saffron and caramel; coke float; chocolate and rosemary ice-cream; simple choc ice; dark chocolate and mandarin ice-cream; double chocolate knickerbocker glory; dark chocolate sorbet; bombes; blackberries and cream ice-cream; blueberry pie ice-cream; Eton Mess ice-cream; balsamic, blackberry, and strawberry ice-cream; pink champagne and raspberry sorbet; summer fruits ice lollies; lemon meringue ice-cream; key lime pie ice-cream; orange, basil and bay sorbet; mojito ice lolly; wasabi ice-cream; chilli and lime sorbet; Earl Grey tea ice-cream; vanilla, rum and raisin ice-cream; gin and tonic sorbet; Guinness ice-cream; simple sugar cone; 21st-century whippy; and orange and Prosecco lolly.

Overall, a really good recipe book, beautifully photographed and bursting with fantastic ideas for any number of treats that will become your favourite ice-creams in no time.

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