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Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream    by Mary Goodbody, Chuck Williams & Noel Barnhurst order for
Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream
by Mary Goodbody
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2003
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Sitting here in the sweltering summer heat (air conditioning not working), even the cover of Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream is refreshing. And I wholeheartedly agree with Chuck Williams' introductory comment that 'the freshly made ice creams you make at home from these simple ingredients' (cream, whole milk, eggs and sugar mixed with flavorings) 'will far surpass anything you can find in a store.'

Mary Goodbody's recipes begin with classics - Vanilla Bean, Double-Chocolate, and so on, including orange and lemon Sorbets. Each recipe comes with background information, for example on chocolate and coffee varieties, how to make chocolate curls, handling of berries, honey varieties, caramelizing sugar, Sundae variations, etc.. The cookbook ends with a section on Ice Cream Basics - equipment, origins and styles, how to make the custard, freezing, and toppings (with recipes for the latter).

Mouthwatering photos appeal in the section on Fresh Fruit Flavors. Like the idea of Bing Cherry Ice Cream (made with cream cheese)? You can almost taste the Blackberry Sorbet from its picture, and how about Cranberry Sorbet for a light holiday dessert? Ice cream doesn't only taste good in summertime. Though I love avocados, I'm not really sure about Avocado Ice Cream, but perhaps I should give it a try.

Hadn't heard of Granitas before but a Coffee Granita certainly looks like a sophisticated ending for a meal, as does Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato, yumm! Green tea is in these days, and I love the subtle taste, so might just give it a whirl as Green Tea Ice Cream. Expresso Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Chunks looks like a decadent delight, and Toasted Coconut would make an appetizing mix of textures. Planning a fancy dinner party? On to Elegant Ice Creams, like Amaretto, Ginger or Raspberry. A small serving of Tangerine Sorbet would cleanse the palate nicely between courses. I love champagne, so must sample the Pink Grapefruit Granita with Champagne!

Next come Indulgent Ice Creams (aren't they all?) with, of course, many chocolate variations. I wonder about Pumpkin Ice Cream (maybe for Halloween) but Zabaglione Gelato sure looks delicious. Finally we have Ice Cream Dishes such as Sundaes. The kids would devour home-made Ice Cream Sandwiches and I fancy the Maple-Walnut Parfait and Individual Baked Alaskas (I've been looking for a recipe for these).

All in all, there's scope in Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream to impress your guests with home-made dessert perfection on occasions that range from a casual family barbecue to an elegant dinner party or festive meal. The only problem is which recipe do I try first?

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