There’s really only one thing to say about Humphry Slocombe’s Butter Beer ice cream: OMFG. It’s not hyperbole. It’s not even sucking up, this ice cream is really that good. It’s ridiculous. And hold the phone, I didn’t get this scoop at the shop, I made it. At home. From the new book – the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book.
Now, if you’re already a Humphry Slocombe fan, I know what you’re saying, “What, you didn’t start with Secret Breakfast?” I love me some Secret Breakfast and Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, but I said, “We gotta go for one of the deep cuts. And it shall be Butter Beer.” This isn’t the Butter Beer you’re thinking of, it’s a combo of their Stout and Brown Butter ice creams, and it’s not one for the kiddies.
If you know the shop, or have seen any of the promo work Jake Godby and Sean Vahey have been doing recently, like this Google Talk, you know they don’t go off half-cocked. The book covers the most popular flavors, the aforementioned Secret Breakfast and Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, Jesus Juice, Hibiscus Beet sorbet, and the more challenging — Boccalone Prosciutto, Foie and Government Cheese (made with Mimolette), as well as mix-ins and sauces. The directions are detailed, there are extra tips to help ensure success and with the recipes based on 2 cups of heavy cream and a cup of whole milk, the resulting ice cream is rich.
So the butter beer. What’s so freakin’ fantastic about it? The oatmeal stout, mixed with brown sugar, reduces down into a near-syrup with strong chocolatey coffee notes. Add in molasses and you’re building an ice cream with a complex, in-your-face flavor profile — chocolatey, sweet and just slightly bitter at the same time. Kick it with salt and it’s almost too much. Almost.
From here on, I might go with half and half and whole milk, if only so I don’t gain the “Woman-in-her-mid-30s-with-a-desk-job-15” this summer. The chocolate section alone, with malted milk chocolate and chocolate smoked salt, is going to be the death of me.
Google Books has a look inside, including a few of the recipes here. Unfortunately, the Butter Beer isn’t among the previewed pages. The way I look at it, if like me, you don’t live in SF, the book is saving you plane fare. So buy the book, or request it from the library. Or go in on it with a friend and share it. Because if you serve ice cream from this book at your next dinner party, it’ll be a small price to pay for superstardom.