Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets & Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop (Anglais) Relié – 1 avril 2014
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The book is beautifully illustrated and the photos are mouth watering. There are excellent instructions and it's very well organized.
If you are like me and have all the good ice cream books out there (Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop, Ben and Jerry's, Jeni's Splendid Treats and Bi-Rite) why should you add this to your collection?
Well Ample Hills approaches ice cream a little differently:
You basically have two kinds of ice cream:
Philadelphia Style (1 cup milk + 2 cup heavy cream + 3/4 cup sugar) or
French Custard Style (1 cup milk + 2 cup heavy cream + 3/4 cup sugar + 4 to 6 egg yolks - depending how you like it). At least that's how I approach it.
I consider Dryer's / Breyer's / Edy's to be Regular Ice Cream (this is based on how the Int'l Dairy Foods Assoc. defines it). It has a good amount of overrun in it (the amount of air in it during churning) but it's still ok.
Then you have Premium Ice Cream. Less overrun (less air) and higher quality ingredients...and usually french style. I consider some of Ben and Jerry's flavors and Haagen Daz to be in this category.
Finally you have Superpremium. I used to think that some of the richer Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Daz would be in this category, but I honestly think that Ample Hills holds the title. There is very little overrun in this ice cream, super high quality ingredients, it's very dense (in a good way) and has less water than other ice creams.
How do they do it?
Well they have a secret (natural) ingredient they use to absorb excess water. By using this ingredient and using equal amounts of whole milk and heavy cream and tapering in a few egg yolks, they have created a french custard base that is so super premium and rich my husband and I ate our first bite of it tonight and were like, WOW!
It reminds me a little of coldstone's creamery but better. Much, much better.
The flavors I've tried so far are their Vanilla Bean - which is infused with 30 coffee beans. I steeped the coffee beans (I used Jose's vanilla nut coffee) and strained them out. The ice cream was delicious. Exactly as they described. I wouldn't call it a classic vanilla, but it was more like the vanilla was kissed by coffee. It was a very grown up tasting vanilla and was delicious.
I tried their Cookies & Cream ice cream - and I usually crush up Newman's O's into my philly based ice cream, but using Walt's base made it a real decadent treat. My husband was like "there are too many cookies in it" but there is a funny little quote on that page saying that one of the employees says that Brian (the owner) wants people to choke on their cookies. After my husband made that comment I told him what the book said and we laughed - b/c indeed, there were a ton of cookies and my 6 year old son couldn't get enough!
I have a waffle cone maker and their recipe was fantastic. I loved that they used dark brown sugar instead of granulated, and to be quick I used vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla bean seeds.
My kids are on my back to make the cotton candy ice cream (i've ordered the extract from their suggested source) so it should be here any day now and I am confident it will be delicious.
All in all, a very creative book with an enormous amount of amazing recipes, stories, drawings, photos and information.
Just a few things....
I haven't been to their ice creamery...yet. (i'm in LA) - so I don't know how these recipes compare to what you are getting there but hopefully we'll visit them the next time we're in NY. The ice cream I made tasted super premium and super delicious.
I'm not a professional chef, but I've been making ice cream almost weekly for about 4 years now, so I am pretty experienced w/ it.
If you are a novice this is a great resource with a wealth of information. If you are more experienced, there are many new recipes for you to add to your collection with some special techniques. I love their ideas and their fresh approach.
I don't have any negatives about the book. I love that they have a honest approach about their ice cream and ingredients. They want to use the highest quality milk, cream and eggs. They want to use natural or organic products. They do not scrimp or compromise on quality. They truly care about their product and customers and you can feel their warmth and passion for what they make and do in their book.
I would highly recommend the book (don't you want to know the secret ingredient as well??) and it's an absolute steal at this price for the wealth of information and recipes!
i absolutely love this book. I love their flavors and have been making many of their recipes. Their malted ice cream is delicious...though I felt like something was missing so i layered it with chocolate (i churned two separate batches b/c i have two ice cream makers) and added the crushed malt balls...it was perfect that way.
The cotton candy was so good. Just keep in mind when using natural food coloring - the color might impart a little hint of flavor (in my case, red dye from beets) so most of my friends thought it had an almost red-wine like aftertaste (very slight). I tried it w/ artificial color w/ no aftertaste..but just doing my best to keep it "all natural."
I also tried their cooke au lait - which was their coffee oreo ice cream. SO SO good. I love oreo and i love mint oreo, but i never thought to put coffee + oreo together. It's definitely a keeper.
My last thing I think you should considert is that they use a LOT of add-ins in their recipes. For the malted ice cream I think they said to use something like 1.5 lbs of malt balls. That is A LOT! I weighed it out and was like there is no way I can use this much. So i used less and it was perfect. I definitely like my ice cream chunky but I think they try to put a lot b/c it's a super premium ice cream and they want their customers (in their stores) to walk away feeling like they got their money's worth. Anyhow....have fun!
If you like the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook you will find that Ample Hills Creamery is the ice cream equivalent. There's a cereal milk ice cream (Breakfast Trash), a "composted" ice cream (The Munchies) with potato chips & pretzels, a corn ice cream, and abundant use of dry milk powder.
Now, as I said, I already own Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream At Home. To me, the recipes in Jeni's cookbook are more elegant and exotic, while Ample Hills is more nostalgic and comforting. Jeni's book is arranged seasonally and features many fruit flavors and tweaks them by adding unexpected twists, like Pineapple Piment d'Espelette Sorbet or Olive Oil Ice Cream with Sea-Salted Pepitas.
Both books make excellent quality ice cream. So it depends on what and who you are making this for. If you wanted to make ice cream for a Bridal Shower Brunch or to have adult friends over for a summer dinner, then maybe you'd reach for Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream At Home. But if you need an ice cream for after a kid's t-ball game, or to eat on the couch on a day home sick from work, then it's all about Ample Hills Creamery.
What I don't like about this book is that for lack of a better word is that it is cumbersome. For example, in order to make the gooey butter cake ice cream, I first had to reference the base recipe at the beginning of the book and then had to find the recipe for the cream cheese ice cream, and then actually went to the original gooey butter cake recipe. It was just kind of annoying. I understand why they have the book as they do- why repeat the same recipe over and over throughout the book. However, it may have been better to put all the ice creams that use a certain flavor of ice cream as a base in one section, instead of having to flip randomly around in the book. Also, the pages are "busy". If you are someone who gets distracted easily- This book may not be for you. There is stuff everywhere- along with your recipe on a page, you may have little drawings off to the side, side notes, biographies about staff, etc... It can be a lot to take in.
Overall, I like this book, but its certainly not my favorite of the ice cream books I have (and I have about 10). I would recommend maybe checking this out from the library first to see if it's something you would like before making a blind purchase.
That being said, I find the recipes and flavors in this book kitchy, gimmicky and overwrought. They rely far too heavily on multiple add-ins, but the ice cream recipes themselves are quite ordinary and bland. There is nothing interesting or original about them. Way too much of this cookbook is dedicated to twee commentary and drawings. There are so many other excellent ice cream and gelato books on the market with truly inventive and flavorful recipes and excellent educational infromation to bother with this one.
Ample Hills is a quality-bound hardback with thick, sturdy pages meaning it will stand up to some abuse in your kitchen and won't fall to pieces if you dribble a little ice cream base on the pages in the cooking process. You get the backstory on the Ample Hills creamery, essential information on what ingredients and equipment to use in the ice cream making process, and way too much cutesy extra material in the way of the Ample Hills ice cream characters (a cow, pig, and chicken).
I love the wide range of recipes provided. They start with the basics in the first chapter (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, etc). and range into more specialty flavors as the book progresses (eggnog, salted crack caramel, the Elvis impersonator). The final chapter even gives you extras (how to make ice cream cones, hot fudge, salted butter caramel sauce, etc.) and then follows up with a resources section that will tell you where to find all natural bubble gum and all natural flavoring for your ice cream.
I have made two recipes: sweet as honey and no more monkeys jumping on the bed. Both utilize the base flavor "Walt's dream" which is a basic sweet cream ice cream. Sweet as Honey adds honeycomb candy which is quite easy to make on your stovetop. I found the flavor of the honeycomb candy to be over the top cloying. Use a small quantity in your ice cream and add more if desired. It did eventually dissolve down in the ice cream and provide a flavor ridiculously close to pure sweet honey during the eating. No more monkey's jumping on the bed involved making monkey bread out of canned biscuits and adding them to a cream cheese and vanilla flavored Walt's Dream. My family agreed this was the better of the two ice creams but still found it wanting something more.
These are solid recipes that work, but I think it is important to say that I do not find that the use of organic cane sugar adds much to the flavor of the ice creams. I am in favor of using organic products as much as possible, of course, but a side by side taste test of homemade ice cream made with organic versus standard sugar revealed little difference. I much prefer Jeni Britton Bauer's books on ice cream which yield exotic, multi-layered, tantalizing flavors. As someone else has stated, this is the book best used for cooking for children and children at heart. A true gourmet should turn elsewhere.