I purchased Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home because I only had one ice cream cookbook
(Lebovitz’ definitive book for the home cook, The Perfect Scoop)
and I thought it was time to try something new.
Splendid Ice Creams does not use eggs in any of its recipes
whereas most of Lebovitz’ ice creams are custard-based.
I prefer a custard base for ice cream
but the egg-free recipes are what interested me about this book from the start.
If you don’t try new recipes
how do you grow?
Bauer writes she doesn’t like to use eggs because they muddle the ice cream’s other tastes
(sounds like another chef I know).
Instead of using xanthan gum,
a typical emulsifier in ice cream recipes without eggs,
she uses cornstarch and cream cheese to thicken the ice cream.
When I was researching the book before I purchased it
her use of cream cheese made me pause for a moment.
I didn’t want the ice cream to taste like cream cheese or cheesecake.
I have a funny relationship with cream cheese.
I like cream cheese
but you’ve never seen me turn a cookbook page so fast
as when cream cheese is in the ingredient list.
I usually think of it as a cheater ingredient
something to “add something”
instead of thinking hard for a moment and figuring out what the dish really needs
(butter? cream? a roux base? salt? sour cream?).
I didn’t say it was a RATIONAL relationship with cream cheese.
The cream cheese only caused a small pause on my end.
Bauer’s not an amateur
and my worry that the ice creams would all taste like flavored cheesecake was fleeting.
Bauer uses cream cheese for its casein proteins
and explains why in a section of the book entitled The Craft of Ice Cream.
It’s an informative section
and also outlines why she uses sugar and corn syrup
(not high fructose corn syrup)
and how cornstarch takes care of the ice cream so it doesn’t become icy.
I’ve not had problems with my custard ice creams becoming icy
even after lounging in the freezer
but I know that some people end up with icy cream instead of ice cream.
I went through Splendid Ice Creams several times before settling on a first recipe.
You’d think that I would start with vanilla ice cream
but I went with chocolate.
I started with The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World
(I don’t always start off with chocolate, but when I do, it’s darkest chocolate in the world)
because dark chocolate ice cream is my favorite flavor
ever since I first had it at Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin.
Can someone open up a place called THOR’S ICE CREAM, please?
There is danger in expecting a recipe from one place
to taste like the product from another place
so I reminded myself about that
and focused my expectations on a good dark chocolate ice cream
not Amy’s dark chocolate ice cream.