Saturday, November 03, 2012

Book review: The New Scoop

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Alina Niemi, creator of the new vegan ice cream book The New Scoop: Recipes for Dairy-Free, Vegan Ice Cream in Unusual Flavors (Plus Some Old Favorites). She: would I like a copy to review? Me: Uh, yeah.

Actually, the conversation was a bit more nuanced than that. She explained that, coming from Hawaii, her ice cream recipes include lots of weird tropical fruits - which of course I love! Her ice cream recipes also didn't require the cooking method that we usually employ - and anything to make ice cream easier is something I am willing to try. She sent a PDF, and as it is starting to hot up here, the timing was perfect.

We've only tried two of the recipes, because we don't eat ice cream very fast, but I have so many more recipes flagged to try. What I love about this recipe book (I keep wanting to call it a cook book, but that doesn't really work here since there is no cooking) is:

  • It is very comprehensive. The first 45 pages are just information about non-dairy ice creams, different types of frozen desserts, key ingredients, and how to actually freeze the mixture to turn it into ice cream (even without an ice cream maker). There are then 100 pages of ice cream recipes. Some use coconut milk, others use tofu, others  non-dairy milk. 
  • The flavour varieties are diverse, and there are variations suggested for many f them. I am particularly keen to try Taro Ice Cream (when my taro plants are ready!), Beet-Balsamic Ice Cream, and Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream.
  • There is a chapter on yogurt making, followed by a chapter on making frozen yogurt. 
  • There is a whole chapter on mochi! I have never actually eaten ice cream mochi, but the room temperature stuff seriously floats my boat. I haven't eaten any since we were in Hong Kong, which was over a year ago, and which is a serious problem. But it sounds not that horrible to make - the only obstacle is that The New Scoop recipe for mochi requires a microwave, which we don't have. However, this chapter has given me lots of ideas, and I will be googling non-microwave methods for making mochi. The chapter in this book has lots and lots of useful tips and information about making mochi, so even if I get a recipe from somewhere else I will be referring back.
  • Omg the index! It is good. I get frustrated by some cookbooks because the index isn't very comprehensive, but this will not be one of those books.
  • The recipes we've made so far have been yummy!
The first thing we tried was Pineapple Coconut Milk Ice Cream. Making it was much, much easier than cooking: just put pineapple, coconut milk, and sugar into a blender, then chill.

Then freeze. Then eat. It was so yummy, and so easy to make. My friend Belinda said it reminded her of the stuff she eats in Thailand. I thought the cooking was important to get the ice cream to be, you know, creamy... but this recipe totally proves me wrong.

The other recipe we tried was a tofu-based ice cream recipe. Tofu, soy milk, sugar and coffee were blended up together and then chilled and frozen. This ice cream was less creamy than our usual - not bad, but more like the Sanitarium brand stuff you buy in the store here. It also freezes harder. It is delicious, but Andy and I both prefer the coconut milk varieties. 
Apologies for the shonky iPod photo. Camera batteries are dead.

Basically, I prefer this ice cream book to the other one I have, Vegan Scoop. That one basically reproduces the same recipe with flavour variations throughout the book, which quite frankly I can work out for myself. We pretty much use that book for flavour inspiration. But The New Scoop suits us better because it uses actual fruit, flavours we love, and the recipes are a lot more varied. 

Summer is coming up so quickly here in Australia, so I would recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book! Northern hemisphere folks, there are some holiday-ish ice cream recipes, like Spiced Pumpkin, so it's worth a look for you, too, even though it's a bit wintery!


Anonymous said...

Hi Theresa,
That's funny--I was thinking about you this morning while I watered the garden, so how funny to see your review when I got inside!

Glad you are enjoying the ice creams!

Just a note: you can use coconut milk in any of the recipes if you want a creamier texture. Some of the other nondairy milks (like rice milk) are really watery, so that can make a big difference.

I made the Pineapple Coconut Milk Ice Cream once using coconut milk yogurt. That was even more delicious.

Geez, your post makes me want to make some now. But I don't have coconut milk yogurt.

I do have coconut milk, though, so I can go whip up some now...I think I will. We're sweating in the shade in Honolulu right now!

Thanks for the review, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Alina Niemi
Author of The New Scoop: Recipes for Dairy-Free, Vegan Ice Cream in Unusual Flavors (Plus Some Old Favorites)
and Lizard Lunch and Other Funny Animal Poems for Kids: With Animal Facts, Puzzles and Fun Activities
Also look for The Hawaii Doodle Book: A Fun Doodling and Coloring Book for You to Finish

Joey said...

Ice cream is definitely one of the things that you don't tend to get a lot of good vegan versions of over here, but I've always been a bit shy of making my own - I guess it's the lack of ice cream maker and the reluctance to buy one and add another gadget to my collection!

I like that the book says you can make ice cream without one - does it look hard work?

I'm a sucker for coffee ice cream - I'd love to give that one you made a try, maybe with the coconut milk for extra creaminess!

Theresa said...

Joey - not too much harder than with an ice cream maker, just longer (and I think the result is less creamy). It involves freezing and mixing, freezing and mixing, freezing and mixing, or else freezing almost solid, blending again, and freezing again, from memory. The details are obviously missing from my instructions, but that's the gist :)

Kari said...

This book sounds wonderful - thanks for the preview! By the sounds of the recipes you've tried, it would suit me wonderfully (given I don't have an ice cream maker and don't really want to cook when ice cream is the goal) :)

urban vegan said...

The book looks great--tropical sounds good to me.

And Theresa, I can't help laughing bc you have an ice-cream maker but not a food processor. This shows me where your priorities are ;)

Carole said...

Hi there. Food on Friday: Pineapple is open for entries. This looks like a neat one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Cheers

Millie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire said...

I officially need an ice cream maker!!!

Kari said...

I think you're probably drowning in end of semester work, but if you have the time or desire for it over summer, I just nominated you for a Liebster Award :)

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