Kids + Media | Food

Cookbook Review: Bi-Rite Creamery's 'Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones'

sweetcreamThe weather's finally getting warmer, and if you've been itching to make some cool sweets with your little ones this summer, you're in for quite the treat with Bi-Rite Creamery's new cookbook, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones.

Including 90 recipes that are straight from the cold cases of their well-known San Francisco ice cream shop, owners Kris Hoogerhyde and Anne Walker divulge plenty of tips, tricks, and all of the dairy know-how needed to create the perfect summer sweets — from gourmet homemade ice cream to popsicles and granitas, ice cream cakes, and everything in between... This treat-filled collection is the next best thing to actually visiting the shop (and for those of us who don't live in San Francisco, thank goodness!).

First opening their doors in the Mission District across the street from their sister store Bi-Rite Market in December of 2006, the proprietors realized that they would have to sell 150 ice cream cones a day to stay afloat, calculating out to five cones every 30 minutes. Sounds like a lot of ice cream, right? They thought so too, and worried that this would surely be a major problem. However, volume sales turned out to be the least of their worries — and their concerns quickly shifted to how in the world they were going to keep up with the demand. In the introduction, they explain:

Those 150 cones we set as the bare minimum? Within a few months of our grand opening we were selling that many within the first couple of hours each day; most Saturdays we sell ten times that, if not more. Last year [2011] we served more than half a million scoops of ice cream! It's kind of amazing, especially when you consider that every last scoop is made in a 100-sqare-foot state-certified room containing our one and only ice cream machine.

But besides the fact that these two have created delicious flavors that have sweets lovers flocking to their shop from around the country (and willing to wait in a line around the block for one of their cones), the infinite affection for Bi-Rite Creamery goes much deeper than the ice cream. Much like their sister store, the shop is wholeheartedly devoted to using only the best ingredients (homemade, seasonal, and always organic and farm-fresh when possible) under the high standards set by Hoogerhyde and Walker. They're purists through and through and they don't expect anything less than the very best — and that is exactly why their customers are more than happy to wait for up to an hour for one of their simple yet amazing ice cream cones.

These high standards account or their success: Bi-Rite Creamery's garnered more Yelp reviews than any other business in America — totaling up to almost 5,000 reviews. Everyone knows that Yelp can be a fickle, fickle friend — but not when it comes to Bi-Rite Creamery. It's apparent after even just a quick skim that this shop has some serious diehard fans, with reviewers using all-caps as if they were going out of style: "BEST. ICE. CREAM. I. HAVE. EVER. HAD."

This place is no joke.

Similar to the vibe of this fab new recipe collection, Hoogerhyde and Walker have no problem in sharing their ice cream tricks of the trade, and after years of tinkering with recipes and creating endless batches of test ice cream flavors, they've certainly done all of the legwork to help lead the way for the humble home ice cream makers.

They write:

We get so much out of making and sharing a product that makes people smile: And, with the cultlike following that we've developed, it might seem strange that we'd give away our recipes in the form of a cookbook.

One of the best pastry chefs Anne ever worked for gave away every recipe. There's something beautiful about sharing knowledge and encouraging others to learn and develop new skills.

...It's so exciting to discover a book full of recipes that you want to make, and to find that all of the recipes really work. To open up the book and get a straightforward understanding of how ingredients work together.

And along with their inspirational desire to share the sweet wealth, we're going to match that with an equally delicious recipe from their book. (Like we'd let you walk away empty-handed without one of their amazing recipes!) Stay tuned as well, for upcoming details for a giveaway of this tasty-cool collection... We promise, you won't be disappointed!

80smagicWhite Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream
Everyone who works at the Creamery calls this ice cream "Magic of the 80s." The name came about thanks to a not-so-favorable review on Yelp, in which the reviewer derided the combination of white chocolate and raspberries for being "very 80s." True, the combination was popular back then, but for good reason: the tartness of the raspberries perfectly offsets the creaminess of the white chocolate. The guest eventually took down the review, began dating one of our bakers (they are now engaged!), and now enjoys all the flavors of ice cream (even this one) with great regularity.

Ingredients for the ice cream base:
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Raspberry Swirl Sauce (recipe to follow)

Raspberry swirl sauce ingredients:
2 half-pint baskets raspberries (2 cups), preferably organic
1/3 cup sugar

Raspberry swirl sauce preparation:
1. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small nonreactive saucepan and put the pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has a jammy consistency, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium as the mixture thickens to prevent scorching.

2. Remove from the heat and let cool for a minute. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth, being careful to avoid hot splatters. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much purée as possible.

If using as a topping, serve warm or at room temperature; chill well before swirling into ice cream.

Ice cream base preparation:
1. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of the sugar (2 tablespoons). Set aside. Put the chopped chocolate in another medium heatproof bowl and set that aside as well.

2. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, salt, and the remaining sugar (2 tablespoons) and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

3. Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.

4. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longers.

5. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl with the white chocolate and whisk to combine. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stire the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze the ice cream:
6. Whisk the vanilla into the chilled base.

7. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you'll use to store the ice cream into the freezer.

8. As you transfer the ice cream to the storage container, drizzle in some raspberry purée after every few spoonfuls. When all the ice cream is in the container, use a chopstick or butter knife to gently swirl the mixture. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, freeze for at least 4 hours.

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