It was years ago, but I still distinctly remember my first bite of San Francisco's Bi-Rite ice cream. It was salted caramel, of course, and before salted caramel everything took off like a rocket in the U.S., Bi-Rite's was already transcendent. "This is what American ice cream should taste like," I thought. It was rich but not heavy, and it tasted as much of pure cream as anything else. Plain and simple, Bi-Rite's ice cream is some of the best you can get. Well, if you live in San Francisco.
I don't, so I was pretty damn excited to see that in addition to a savory cookbook, Bi-Rite was coming out with a sweet version. Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones is a beautiful guide to the world of American ice cream. There are over 90 ice cream recipes divided by flavor category: vanilla, caramel, chocolate, coffee and tea, nuts, berries, citrus, herbs and spices, and tropical fruit. Flavors range from the basic (your go-to vanilla and chocolate recipes are right here) to the more exotic (cardamom orange, anyone?).
The book is heavy on instructional technique— if you've never considered making ice cream before, just follow the detailed steps. Authors Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough go to great lengths to demystify the world of ice cream: steps are clear and detailed, and nothing is overlooked. As a bonus, they include recipes for cones, sauces, cakes, cookies, and pies so you can get the most out of your ice cream. For a general introduction to the recipes and culture of American ice cream, this book is a winner.
This week we'll be churning up some of Bi-Rite's most loved flavors, starting with the salted caramel that stole my heart years ago.
Win a Copy!
Thanks to the generous people at Ten Speed Press, we're giving away five (5) copies of Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones this week. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite ice cream flavor in the comments below. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.