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Sorbet-ish

May 12, 2005

A couple of days ago I attempted to make sorbet. I prepared the mixtures for a lemon sorbet and a chocolate sorbet, and chilled them in the fridge for a couple of hours. The containers for my ice cream maker were ready in the freezer, so about mid-afternoon, I started it up and waited impatiently to taste my sorbets. I have used my ice cream maker before, and the ice cream had turned out well. But as I kept checking the texture of the sorbets, I was disappointed to find that they never started hardening. I finally gave up and poured them into baking dishes to set in the freezer, pulling them out every so often to scrape them with a fork, hoping to salvage the mixtures and serve them as granita instead of sorbet. They actually turned out great…the texture is somewhere between the icy pebbles of a granita and the smoothness of a sorbet.

In the end, I’ve learned two things from this project:
(1) It is too hot in our little apartment to make ice cream on the counter in the middle of May without the air conditioner on.
(2) You can make sorbet without an ice cream maker!

So I’m sharing these recipes with you all, since they’re easy to prepare, yummy, and require no special tools or machinery. The lemon sorbet is perfectly tart-sweet, while the chocolate sorbet is deep and chocolatey. I may leave out the vanilla next time, or use less of it, because I think the flavor of it interferes a bit with the perfection of the cocoa. Enjoy!

Lemon Sorbet

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, heat the water and sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes and leave to cool. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the sugar syrup. Chill the mixture.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, pour into a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 4 hours, scraping the mixture every 45 minutes to form ice crystals. Store in a freezer-proof container.

Makes about 2 cups.

Chocolate Sorbet

3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix cocoa powder and sugar thoroughly. Add small amounts of hot water until a thick paste forms. Add remainder of water and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Chill mixture.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, pour into a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 4 hours, scraping the mixture every 45 minutes to form ice crystals. Store in a freezer-proof container.

Note: For mocha sorbet, use hot coffee instead of hot water.

Makes about 3 cups.

Source for both recipes: Cooking Light Bulletin Board

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