Spice Dreams

Spice Dreams, Flavored Ice Creams and Other Frozen Treats, by Sara Engram and Katie Luber, Andrews McMeel 2010, $16.99 hardcover, 96 pages

It would be a shame to overlook this cookbook—either because it’s not written by a celebrity or because it is a single topic. The recipes here are creative, bringing new flavors to an old favorite.

I’m a big fan of salt and spice in desserts, from salted caramels to ground pepper in the gingersnaps, and the creamy sweetness of ice cream seems a perfect palette for a bang of spice. But even though I have the chiller every-ready in the freezer, making ice cream seems like such trouble. Or maybe it’s actually seeing all that heavy cream that goes into a single scoop.

The recipe that changed my mind is Lemon Allspice Frozen Yogurt—ingredients easily stirred together with some sugar, a few turns in the ice cream maker, and then into the freezer to harden. It was a light fresh dessert, perfect for a hot day when even ice cream seems cloying. The combination of lemon and allspice is bright and deep at the same time.

I was inspired by a hot summer to take the authors’ advice to swap in spices and adapt recipes to suit my palate and pantry and experimented with some nice cantaloupe frozen yogurt and a chocolate cherry combination. And I’m tempted by recipes like Chocolate Ice Cream with Cumin and Fennel, Pink Grapefruit Tarragon Sorbet, and Brown Sugar Ginger Ice Cream. Their subtle use of both traditional baking spices, and savory spices makes for intriguing combinations.

The authors use the ice cream as a canvas to combine flavors, but also play with flavor combinations in sundaes, shakes, and sandwiches. The book’s recipes for extras like Cardamom Coconut Toasted Topping, Ancho-Lime Syrup, and Chocolate Walnut Cookies will spark your tastebuds and imagination. Along with providing direction and technique, a cookbook should stretch you beyond the basics.

Warm spices and cool ice creams are a combination that will please and inspire you all year round.

About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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3 Responses to Spice Dreams

  1. Gene says:

    We used to make lunch for my mother (your grandmother) every sunday in her old age. Even though cooking was not easy for her any more, she would occasionally bake something for a Sunday afternoon dessert. Once when she made her traditional raisin cake, because of her poor eyesight, she put in cayenne pepper by mistake instead of something her recipe called for. Although it was quite a surprise when we bit into that cake, it was really rather good, and we finished it all. It would not surprise me if Accident is the mother of more inventions than Necessity.

  2. appetiteck says:

    Pepper in desserts is very au courant. She was ahead of her time.

  3. Sabrina DeJoannis says:

    Yum! Back home, I hated sweets. They were all milk/cream based and drowned in sugar syrup. One of the very few sweets I liked was similar to cottage/ricotta cheese balls sweetened with palm syrup and eaten accompanied by this flaky, buttery crackers. I think the sweet and savory combo did the trick for me. One of my weakness is dark chocolate with spices and some good red wine. I am going to have to look this book up. I can manage ice cream making 🙂

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