,,One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends. ,,
-Laurie Colwin

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sorbet and Granita

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made from a syrup flavoured with fruits, juice or fruit puree, wine, tea, coffee, liqueurs or strong alcohol. Any type of fruit can be turned into a puree for sorbet, and can be sweetened with honey, syrups or sugar. I like to play with the texture and flavors in sorbets by making combinations such as lavender or green tea or chili vodka with chocolate pieces. As a chef I like to make my sorbets to complement the meal, so many times I use rosemary, tomato, beets or basil to make savoury sorbets. I serve sorbet between courses as a way to cleanse the palate before the main course or as a refreshing dessert in the summer. The good sorbets must have a soft, melt-in-the-mouth texture that comes from tiny ice crystals. The tiny crystals are achieved by getting just the right balance of sugar syrup to fruit juice or fruit puree and then constantly turning the mixture as it freezes. For these sorbets that I present you today you don't need an ice cream maker, for that I will use alcohol in these recipes (alcohol lowers the freezing temperature, resulting a soft texture). You need about 3-4 tablespoons of alcohol to 500ml of liquid sorbet for a soft-set style. Sugar and alcohol lower the freezing point, keeping the mixture from freezing into a rock-hard block of ice. For regular sorbets with no alcohol I recommend to use an ice cream machine. If you don't have one, mix the sorbet regularly with a fork as it freezes, or process it in a food processor once frozen. Many recipes suggest beating in egg whites to improve the texture of sorbet, but then you need to be sure of the eggs quality or to use pasteurised eggs (raw eggs may contain salmonella). My sorbets are made with no animal products, so are lower in fat and is suitable for vegetarians. Because sorbet are dense and intensely flavored, serve them in small scoops, so that it does not overwhelm the dinner. If the sorbet is too hard, a small amount of alcohol may be added to the mixture to soften it. Here I share with you some pictures of the sorbets I made this summer and the recipe for Margarita Granita, by far the best seller sorbet cocktail in the restaurant. Please fell free to experiment with your favorites flavor.

Margarita Granita
Ingredients for 20 nice portions
500ml water
250gr sugar
3-4 lime juice and zest
600ml fresh orange juice
2,5kg fresh or frozen strawberry
600ml gold tequila
450 ml brandy
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan, stirring mixture constantly until dissolved. Pour into a large bowl; add lime juice and zest, orange juice, strawberries, tequila and brandy. Blend until smooth puree with an hand blender or in a liquidizer.
Pour the mixture into a plastic container, and freeze until slushy, about 3 hours, then break up the mixture by running a fork through it several times.
Repeat every 2 hours or so, until the Granita is icy throughout, about 8 hours. It will not freeze hard, as alcohol has a very low freezing temperature.
To serve, scoop the Granita into martini glasses and garnish with a fruit slice, or mint leaves if desired. Serve quickly - its melts fast!
Or try this:
Mango Sorbet with pasion fruit.

Trio Sorbets; Mango and pasion fruit, raspberry and lemon.
Mellon sorbet with summer fruits.
Mojito Sorbet with white rum, lime and mint.
Gin Tonic and cucumber sorbet.
Water melon and Tequila Sorbet. Enjoy!
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