There are no secrets to ice cream making at home. Classic ice cream recipes begin with a cooked custard base of milk or cream, or a combination of the two, egg yolks and sugar. Temper the eggs with the hot milk or cream, cool the mixture, pour into an ice cream maker and voila-home made ice cream.
Sounds simple enough, until a taste of your homemade batch reminds you of eggs, is filled with icy bits, and is gummy or worse, gritty in texture.
Jeni Britton Bauer understands the challenge to consistently create a perfectly creamy and flavorful ice cream. She has spent the last 15 years perfecting her "cow to cone" artisan ice cream scooped out at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, based in Columbus, Ohio. She presents the results of testing 75 versions for an artisan ice cream recipe to use in home kitchens, her perfected ice cream base recipe and techniques, in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home -- and in the super-cool video above.
Learn more about the book after the jump.
The cookbook begins with a promise for a better ice cream recipe for home cooks and for restaurant chefs looking for a recipe to stand up to the heat of their kitchens. Jeni shares her story- lessons learned working in a French bakery in high school, college French art studies, her desire to combine her crush on all things Gallic with her Midwestern roots, and her quest for flavor that lead to ice cream as a medium to express creativity.
She dips into the science behind ingredients- water, butterfat, protein, sugar, starch and air, and their balance and interplay in ice cream making. The first section is a guide as well as a reference with a detailed introduction to the four -step process used in the recipes that follow.
A few surprising ingredients in her ice cream base: cornstarch, corn syrup and cream cheese, and why they are used in the recipes is explained. In Jeni's shops, tapioca starch, not cornstarch is used in production. Jeni substitutes the cornstarch in the home recipe because it is more readily available to home cooks. Starch binds water crystals and acts as an "insurance agent" against formation of icy bits. Corn syrup (not high fructose), a replacement for tapioca syrup used in her commercial production, contains glucose, less sweet than table sugar, helps prevent ice crystals and adds elasticity. Cream cheese, high in casein proteins, helps bind ingredients and adds body to the final product.
Jeni thinks in color, using her artistic eye to guide her creative flavor combinations inspired by the Ohio farmland surrounding Columbus. The recipes are divided by season, with a profile of local producers, like Warren Taylor of Snowville Creamery, or source for artisan ingredients like Askinosie Chocolate.
Baked Rhubarb, Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry, Roasted Pumpkin 5 Spice, and Black Walnut Divinity are some of the seasonal representations. There are rich cheese recipes-Goat Cheese Ice Cream and Gorgonzola Dulce, recipes with a shot of alcohol- Kona Stout, Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, and Black Plum and Black Currant Lambic Sorbet and recipes that comfort-Toasted Brioche Ice cream with Butter and Jam and Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World.
Beyond the ice cream making basics and recipes that make you want to dust off the ice cream maker, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home includes recipes for Pop Art Push- Ups, Sundae sauces (including how to make a chocolate bombe shell), waffle cones and ice cream based cocktails. Its the most comprehensive cookbook on ice cream for the home kitchen.