The frozen dessert that I want to introduce today is Sorbet. Compared to the banana ice cream recipe, sorbet only requires additional water and sugar, no fat included so it’s still somewhat suitable for people who are watching their weight or vegetarians/vegans. The bonus point of sorbet, especially homemade sorbet, is that the taste of fruit is very strong and the sorbet is very fragrant. I personally prefer fruit sorbet to fruit ice-cream that has additional milk and cream.
Before we dive into the recipe, I want to talk a bit about the function of sugar in ice-cream recipes in general. I noticed that there are people who think that the sugar is only for the sweetness of the ice-cream, and thus they decide to increase or decrease the amount to their liking, and end up with rock-hard/full of ice crystals ice-cream (even with an ice-cream machine) or a slushy that wouldn’t freeze no matter how long it stays in the freezer. The reason behind all of this is usually the sugar.
When we freeze a mixture, the ice crystals will detach from the rest of the ingredients. These crystals will link together and make the mixture solid. When sugar is added to the mixture, the sugar molecules will get in the way of these links, hence the time necessary for the mixture to freeze will increase and the ice crystal will be smaller. Because of that, a mixture with too little sugar will have a lot of ice crystals since there is not enough sugar molecules to prevent the ice crystals from forming. On the other hand, too much sugar molecules in a mixture will prevent the ice crystals from forming at all and the mixture won’t be able to freeze up at all. This can be applied to other sweeteners such as honey, agave honey, etc.
To sum it up, it is very important to achieve a balance of the sugar in an ice-cream mixture, especially with sorbet since it has a very high level of liquid, and sorbet doesn’t have any fat content so it totally relies on the sugar to prevent too much ice crystals.
When I was reading about different types of ice-cream and sorbet I was very troubled by this ratio, I mean do I have to always follow a specific recipe without changing the sweetener or the types of fruits that is used, without messing with the sugar ratio? Luckily after a while of searching and reading into every possible documents available, I finally found a very simple and efficient tip to test if the sugar level is enough, and I will introduce that tip in this watermelon sorbet recipe.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Sorbet dưa hấu & Mẹo để luôn có được một hỗn hợp sorbet chuẩn
- 500g watermelon (peeled)
- 120ml water
- 120g sugar
- Juice of 1 key lime (approximately 30ml)
1. Chop watermelon into cubes, put in a blender with sugar and water and blend until smooth.
2. Pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of seeds and extra pulps. Mix in the key lime juice.
3. And now is when we use our ‘secret’ tip to test the sugar level in the mixture. And to do this we will use…an egg really! Wash and dry a large egg (around 60g with shell), and gently drop it into the mixture:
- if the egg is totally submerged, there is not enough sugar.
- if the egg floats and you can see a very big patch of shell, there is too much sugar.
- if the egg floats and you can see a patch of shell around 2,5cm in diameter (I usually use the 10 centimes coin here to measure), the sugar level is just right.
Very simple right? After doing the test you just have to adjust and re-test until the sugar level is right.
4. If you have an ice-cream machine, you just have to pour the mixture in and process it according to manufacturer’s instructions. If not, pour the mixture in a container and put in the freezer, using a fork to mix it up after 2 hours, repeat for 3-4 times and you’re done.
With this egg test you can freely create your own sorbet flavours, using sugar or any sweetener as you wish, and you can be assured that the mixture will always be right and the sorbet will be nice and smooth.
I always feel so nervous shooting ice-cream, I’m scaed that if I move too slow then they will just turn to a mushy mess, fortunately the day I was shooting this sorbet the weather was a bit chilly, so I had a bit of extra time to move stuffs around for the shoot
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