Lola’s Ice Creams & Sundaes: Iced delights for all seasons
by Morfudd Richards
Publisher: Ebury Press, Country: UK
ISBN: 9780091926328, Year: 2009
Link to publisher’s page or site
This review is the personal opinion of the reviewer.

Overview

Basic ice-cream books are fairly common, but informative or innovative ones are few. Lola’s Ice Creams & Sundaes has been hailed as a welcome addition to the innovative side of things and I’m happy to agree. This attractive book by Morfudd Richards, owner of the UK’s high-class ice-cream van Lola on Ice, presents a very good range of delicious and inspiring recipes and some flawed explanation of the knowledge needed to become a confident and creative ice-cream maker.

Full review

The book opens with three chapters of technical explanation (Composition, Flavours, Making Ices) and is then followed by about a hundred recipes for ice-creams, sorbets and granitas, divided into a number of sections mostly related to ingredient types. At the end there is a section on equipment, and a Q&A chapter.

For contemporary tastes or trends, one of the most interesting aspects of Morfudd Richard’s book might be the inclusion of savoury ice-creams (pea and wasabi sherbet, cucumber granita, crab ice cream with sorrel sherbet, and more). On the sweet side, the recipes cover both simple custard-based and some Philadelphia-style cream-based ice-creams (Richards calls these “Speedy Ices”), as well as many interesting creations like gooseberry sorbet, Szechuan peppercorn ice cream, Sardinian rice gelato nero, or plum and earl grey tea ice cream. The section on sundaes presents a number of tasty combinations (e.g. a combination of basil and buffalo milk ice cream with tomato granita, olive oil gelato, balsamic snaps and candied basil). Most recipes have a short introduction that sometimes includes helpful tips about flavours or preparation.

If it were just a recipe book, Lola’s Ice Creams & Sundaes would be an outstanding work. Unfortunately, the inclusion of technical chapters wasn’t as successful as it should have been. In part, Richards tends to be quite wordy in her descriptions and explanations (even in the recipe introductions), but more seriously, the technical explanations are long and often poorly patched together from other sources. Although few books on food can be truly original, most authors manage to paraphrase and rework information in their own voice, adding explanatory quality or their own particular perspective. Richards didn’t achieve this, with definitions and explanations fluctuating constantly between informal phrasing, expressions which don’t gel with the rest of her style, and curiously technical sentences. Just a little searching of the internet revealed a number of phrases borrowed without acknowledgement from other sources. It’s hard to understand why a domestic ice-cream book should feature terms like “purified aqueous solution of nutritive saccharides obtained from starch” or “adsorb to the surface of the fat”, and it’s exactly such conspicuous wordings that raised this reviewer’s suspicions. If the author is unoriginal enough to directly use material easily identifiable on the internet, how much more might have come from other books? The editor at Ebury Press should have seen this and stopped it. At least there is a short bibliography included.

Lola’s Ice Creams & Sundaes is visually attractive, though the typeface can be a little hard to read. Many recipes are complemented by bright, colourful, well composed photos. This is an interesting book of recipes and a worthy addition to the collections of ice-cream lovers. However, if you’re looking for a book that clearly explains the real technicalities of types of ice-cream, ingredient ratios and more, a much better work is Liddell and Weir’s Frozen Desserts: The definitive guide to making ice creams, ices, sorbets, gelati, and other frozen delights, due for release in a new edition in the first half of 2010 by publishers Grub Street. It has its own flaws and quirks, but is nonetheless excellent.

This is an original review for The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf.
Main rating: 3. Recommended – some flaws
Visual appeal: Attractive
Suitability as a gift: Likely to be strongly appreciated
Rate this review
OkayQuite helpfulVery helpful/interesting (none)
-
Loading ... Loading ...
VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rate this book
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)


More reviews and announcements that might be interesting:


 

Click for all book news

New release: White Bread

cover

How did white bread, once an icon of American progress, become “white trash”? In this lively history of bakers, dietary crusaders, and social reformers, Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows us that what we think about the humble, puffy loaf says a lot about who we are and what we want our society to look like.

[read more...]

New release: Making Soy Milk and Tofu at Home

cover

Why make tofu yourself? Because experiencing tofu’s flavors and textures at its peak–freshly made, creamy, and subtly sweet–is the best way to explore this treasured staple. With minimal equipment required and Nguyen’s clear, encouraging step-by-step instructions, making soy milk and tofu from scratch is a snap for cooks of all levels.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Limoncello and Lemon Water

cover

Much-loved author Tessa Kiros celebrates the heritage of Italy. This whimsically feminine book is a tribute to the women in our lives – mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers – and the important lessons we learn from them.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales

cover

Discover the flavors of Mexican street food in your own kitchen. Americans are having a love affair with the taco. What began as affection for the fast-food version—that hard yellow shell filled with ground beef and mysterious yellow cheese—has blossomed into an all-out obsession for the real thing

[read more...]

Visit our Buying Books page to find out how to support this site

Worth a look: The Aesthetics of Wine

cover

The Aesthetics of Wine shows that discussing wine within the framework of aesthetics both benefits our understanding of wine as a phenomenon, while also challenging some of the basic assumptions of the tradition of aesthetics.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee

cover

In 1784, Thomas Jefferson struck a deal with one of his slaves, 19-year-old James Hemings. The founding Father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose” – to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.

[read more...]

Worth a look: Turkey

cover

Turkey’s culinary customs are as rich and varied as its landscape, and award-winning food writer Leanne Kitchen does justice to them both with more than 170 glorious photographs of the country’s foods and people that make readers want to drop everything and board the next plane.

[read more...]

New release: I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas

cover

This is the perfect holiday baking guide, packed with 72 seductive and decadent chocolate recipes. Offering perfect inspiration for chocolate lovers and holiday do-it-yourselfers, the book includes tips and advice on ingredients and cooking techniques, as well as on packaging and shipping holiday food gifts.

[read more...]

New release: The Complete Nose to Tail

cover

Now Fergus Henderson’s books are joined together in a compendious volume. With a dozen new recipes on top of 250 existing ones, more than 100 quirky photos and exceptional production values, The Complete Nose to Tail is not only comprehensive but extremely desirable.

[read more...]

New release: The Country Cooking of Greece

cover

The Country Cooking of Greece captures all the glory and diversity of Greek cuisine in one magnum opus from Greece’s greatest culinary authority, Diane Kochilas. More than 250 recipes were drawn from every corner of Greece, from rustic tavernas, Kochilas’ renowned cooking school, and local artisans and village cooperatives.

[read more...]

Visit our Buying Books page to find out how to support this site
Click for all book news

website uptimeNEWSITE