It is no secret that I am a raving fan of Jeni Britton Bauer. When people ask me where to go for ice cream, I send them to her shop. When people ask me what ice cream cookbook to purchase, I recommend Jeni's first book. And now she has a second book! I'm telling you that I'm beside myself. Jeni's cookbooks don't make me feel like a rock star in my kitchen...that's just stupid. Jeni's cookbooks make me feel like a professional chef in my kitchen, and that's worth everything.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts is the book that you have to buy if you have a comfortable mastery of homemade ice cream preparation and are looking to advance your skills by turning that ice cream into restaurant worthy desserts. The book is divided into three main parts: ice cream parlor, bakeshop, and sundae bar.
Ice cream parlor gives you all new ice cream recipes that aren't found in the original Jeni's book. Think black forest cake ice cream, bellini sorbet, and salty caramel Crème sans Lait. Caution: this is not the book you want to buy if you are looking for run of the mill basics! You will not be getting plain vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. These are inspired recipes with big twists in the flavors, and while they're awesome, this isn't the book for you if you want basic flavors. The French Toast Frozen Custard is incredible.
Bakeshop provides lots of recipes so that you can serve cakes, cobblers, and cookies alongside your awesome homemade ice creams. You will find wiseman's chocolate cake, Bauer House biscuits, sautéed fruit, and all manner of delicious ice cream accompaniments. Wiseman's chocolate cake is one of the moistest chocolate cakes you can make.
Sundae bar will help you put it all together with gorgeous photos of assembled parfaits and sundaes. Somehow Jeni has elevated these humble drugstore desserts into works of art meant to eaten. I haven't made this one yet but the Salty Grahama (whipped cream, salty vanilla custard, sliced bananas, whiskey caramel sauce, and salty graham gravel) is next on my list. Jeni gives you the recipes for every component you need from sauces to gravels in this section.
It's a well made book with beautiful photography, but I have come to expect nothing less from this ice cream expert who only uses the best ingredients and tries to locally source them. I have worn out her previous book, and I can tell this book is going to get the same workout this summer. The only problem with Jeni's books is that I have trouble not taking credit for her work when I serve up the end product.