'Book of Sweet Things' from Dingle-based brothers Sean and Kieran Murphy (of Murphys' Ice Cream) is a complete guide to planning desserts for every occasion, from posh a dinner-party to a kiddies' party. It's all about the ice-cream, the chocolate and the sweet treats that make cooking all the more appealing.
What is charming about this book is that it realises the value of a sweet treat, particularly in lifting someone's mood or evoking precious memories of childhood or holidays. In the stories that the writers tell we get a sense that their love of ice cream is as much about the actual process of making it as it is about the joy of eating the final product (which always inspires the amateur chef!).
The Murphys also share lovely background stories about their influences in life, their inspiration for leaving the US to set up shop in Dingle and the joy that they derive from watching their shops thrive on a daily basis. You can tell instantly by the tone of their stories that this business venture is a labour of love and, through this book, they are attempting to share that passion for desserts.
'Book of Sweet Things' is easy to navigate, very clearly laid out, includes nice illustrations and offers helpful hints and interesting trivia about the world of food. The recipes are wide-ranging from Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings to Honey Lavender Cream and Mulled Wine Sorbet. There are also plenty of recipes for sweet sauces, comfort drinks and cookies, should you wish to complement your homemade ice cream with an extra treat.
This is a book that you will refer to again and again for good-mood-food ideas. And you'll most likely be very tempted to pay a visit to one of the Murphys' shops in Dingle or Killarney as well once you've sifted through their tempting recipes.