When Skyhorse Publishing agreed to provide a copy of Vegan a la Mode by Hannah Kaminsky for this giveaway, the first thing that flashed into my mind was my step daughter's family. She is probably one of the best cooks I know and her whole family loves ice cream! She seemed the natural choice to review this book and I was thrilled when she agreed without hesitation. It's such a pleasure to be able to share our love of cooking.
Here is her review of the book. Thanks Ty!!
Our family experiments a lot with ice cream and although we are not vegan, we are always trying to find new ways of perfecting our craft. Vegan recipes offer not only a delicious plant-based alternative to the rich dairy based desserts, it’s generally cheaper. Over the years I have tasted many store-bought vegan ice creams, and a few (usually coconut milk based) do appeal to me, but often they fail to satisfy my craving for actual ice cream. We tested two recipes from Vegan A ‘La Mode, Bitter Orange Sorbet and Horchata Ice Cream, and my craving was satisfied.
The book is beautiful and easy to follow with great pictures and reference material. I recommend reading the “Troubleshooting” section before getting started, it has invaluable tips on avoiding ice cream catastrophe (ex: the stabilizer recipe to keep sorbet smooth). We are a “jump-right-in” kind of family, so this suggestion is in hindsight. Both recipes turned out deliciously craveable the first time, even without modification; however some slight adjustments would probably amount to perfection. I want to work my through every recipe in the book and would be happy to give/receive this book as a gift, vegan or not.
Mason, my 6 year old, picked Bitter Orange Sorbet, and this mini-foodie knows great flavors. It was an easy recipe to follow and we had a great time with it. First we made our orange sugar syrup. In hindsight I would have cooked the sugar syrup longer and taken it to a thicker "thread" stage. In my experience this helps keep sorbet smooth and creamy in the freezer, rather than turning to ice. The author offers a vegan stabilizer recipe to achieve this. Another way to accomplish this, I have heard, is to substitute some brown rice syrup for some of the sugar, but I have yet to try it. While the syrup simmered we juiced our fruit.
We made one adjustment to achieve the "bitter" undertone. We were not able to find the sour variety of oranges, as the recipe note suggests. We substituted a 1/4 cup of extra grapefruit juice for 1/4 cup of the orange juice because our oranges were really sweet.
So after our orange sugar syrup cooled and we mixed with the juices, it was on to the ice cream maker. We have an electric Cuisinart Pure Indulgence, which is a staple in our kitchen. We churned until smooth and thick then transferred, covered, and put in freezer, BUT....not before sampling the fruits of our labor. It was slightly sweet, tangy without making our jaw clench, a hint of each juice came through without any being overpowering, and it melted in our mouths. It was delectable and I could not wait to eat again the next day. This is where the effort to make it creamy would have been nice.....it froze rock-solid. We moved it to the fridge for a few minutes to soften, then mixed well. It was still a bit "slushy" like, rather than the creamy texture it had night before, but who doesn’t love a great slushy?!
Our overall experience with this recipe was excellent and left me very excited about the 2nd trial.... Horchata ice cream!!!.....Stay Tuned.....
OK folks! It's time for another giveaway. This was can be shipped anywhere so everyone can join in the commenting fun. Leave a comment about the craziest or most interesting ice cream flavor you've ever had. If you haven't gone outside that box yet, just post about your favorite ice cream treat. Please make sure you post before midnight MST tomorrow night. The winner (and the Horchata ice cream review) will be posted on Monday. Sweet dreams.