It's like alternate universes spewed forth ice cream cookbooks at the same exact moment. Just in time for summer, two beloved San Francisco ice cream institutions, Bi-Rite Creamery and Humphry Slocumbe, have both blessed us with books detailing their recipes, histories, philosophies - and, in the case of Humphry Slocumbe, even how owners Jake Godby and Sean Vahey greet the tranny prostitute loitering outside their door every morning.
Bi-Rite Creamery is known for organic ingredients and pure, intense flavors. Their Salted Caramel and Honey Lavender ice creams have cult followings. So why give away all their secrets in Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones? Shop founders Anne Walker and Kris Hoogerhyde put it this way:
"We get so much out of making and sharing a product that makes people smile. There's something beautiful about sharing knowledge and encouraging others to learn and develop skills...We hope that this book will inspire you to create delicious treats and share them with your friends and family."
On the other hand, Humphry Slocumbe is known for its bad-boy, rock 'n' roll style and what most (including the New York Times) consider to be "weird" flavor combinations. Here's how The Humphry Slocumbe Ice Cream Book kicks off:
"Hey, bitches, thanks for buying our ice cream book. We worked really hard on this thing (over many drinks) and hope you have as much fun making ice cream from these recipes as we have since opening our shop in San Francisco. We can't promise you your money back, and in fact have probably already spent it on pills and liquor, but if you don't like the ice cream, we will eat a bug."
See what I mean?
The Bi-Rite book, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, has 90 recipes, including the aforementioned favorites, plus lots of other ice cream, granita and pops flavors, divided into categories by ingredients (caramel, chocolate, nuts, berries, citrus, herbs and spices, coffee and tea). They also offer cookie, granola, cake, sauce and candy recipes, as well as tips on choosing and using ingredients (much like last year's delightful Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food). Heck, they even throw in a couple of edgy-sounding concoctions, like Peach Leaf ice cream.
The book is so wholesome - filled with luscious food photos and cute kids licking cones - that even a Republican (are there any of those in San Francisco?) could love it.
Open up the The Humphry Slocumbe Ice Cream Book and one of the first images you see is the shop's taxidermied two-headed calf mascot. But after some entertaining preliminaries (including a rundown of their typical day, including the aforementioned tranny hooker), the boys offer up the recipes that made them famous - Secret Breakfast, Salt & Pepper, Jesus Juice - as well as grudging basics: Here's Your Damn Chocolate Ice Cream and Here's Your Damn Strawberry Ice Cream. The 50 recipes also include sundae combinations, toppings, a few cookie recipes and The Best Whipped Cream You'll Ever Have.
Despite the radically different styles, both shops crank out amazing ice cream - so you may need both books. Just don't put them next to each other on your shelf. The universe might explode.
Both cookbooks have videos, but I can only attach one here, so have a look at the Humpry Slocombe video on the left. Here's a link to where you'll find the Bi-Rite Creamery video. The Bi-Rite folks also shared this recipe:
White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream (makes about 1 quart)
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (11/4 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 (below)
Make the base
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 longer.
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 stir 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.
Raspberry Swirl Sauce (makes about 1/2 cup)
2 half-pint baskets raspberries (2 cups), preferably organic
1/3 cup sugar
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.