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Raspberry Sorbet with citrus and Grand Marnier

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Raspberry Sorbet.This raspberry sorbet recipe combines fresh raspberries, orange juice, lemon juice and Grand Marnier to create an amazing sorbet you will want to keep all to yourself. Nevertheless, I did make a double batch for a potluck at work several years ago and received many compliments and an empty container.

Each ingredient in this recipe has a job to do. The lemon juice promotes the taste of freshness while the orange juice softens the tartness of the raspberries. To finish it off, the Grand Marnier adds complexity to the finish while keeping the sorbet on the soft side in the freezer. This is definitely the best raspberry sorbet I have ever had.

This recipe is based heavily on the raspberry sorbet recipe from Lou Seibert Pappas’ book, Sorbets and Ice Creams: and Other Frozen Confections. I highly recommend this book; all the recipes have ingredient lists you could count on one hand, with the word “fresh” preceding nearly every ingredient. I have slightly upped the Grand Marnier and substituted Meyer lemons since I like the Grand Marnier to show through just a tiny bit. And as for the Meyer lemons—that’s just the way I roll.

I prefer a silky smooth sorbet so I strain the pulp from the lemon and orange juices, but you could skip this step if you like a little pulp. Removing the seeds from the raspberries is a must—I measured the leftover seeds in the chinois this time and found that 4 cups of raspberries contain just over 1/4 cup of seeds. The next time I make strawberry ice cream I’ll be sure to measure the leftover seeds in the chinois as there were a lot of seeds. I understand that most people use a chinois for soups and sauces, but in the ten years I have owned a chinois it has yet to swallow a savory food. If you don’t have a chinois—which is understandable as they can be a little pricey—you can use a mesh sieve.

I served these with a lemon Loacker wafer, which highlighted the subtle lemon flavor in the sorbet. I tossed in a few raspberries for the photo, but they just got in the way of my spoon as it went in for more sorbet.


Ingredients for making Raspberry Sorbet.


Rinse raspberries in cool water and gently towel dry.


Purée raspberries in blender until smooth, about one minute.


Pour raspberry purée into chinois to remove seeds.


Juice about three oranges to yield 1 cup of orange juice.


Juice about two lemons to yield 1/3 cup of lemon juice.


Add sugar to juices and raspberry purée and mix until well blended.


After chilling in ice bath and adding Grand Marnier, pour mixture into ice cream maker.


Freeze according to your maker’s instructions and then transfer to dedicated container to ripen in freezer.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Raspberry Sorbet recipe page.

Some ginger—but no snap—in these Molasses Softies

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Molasses Softies.The softness of these cookies is a delightful surprise to those that assume they are ginger snaps. These soft cookies have been a hit since I first made them during my senior year in college in 1994. At the time I was looking to expand on the variety of cookies I made and this recipe first caught my eye because it contained dark corn syrup, molasses and milk—three ingredients I had never before used for cookies. In addition to molasses, the flavor of this cookie is derived from ground clove, ginger and cinnamon. The smell of these cookies baking is reminiscent of fall and winter holidays, but I enjoy their great taste year round.

Like any dark cookie dough, determining doneness by browning can be tricky. Other dark cookies will just start to burn and you know you have gone too far, but the key to good molasses softies is: keep them soft. Overcooked, these cookies will be hard, dry and crunchy long before they will actually burn. These cookies bake longer than most cookies and time can vary considerably depending on how large you roll the dough. I’ve rolled them as large as 1 3/4 inches and they cooked for 16 minutes. I’ve been a little more conservative lately and am rolling them 1 1/2 inches in diameter to yield a finished cookie 3 inches wide, which takes about 14 minutes.

For your first time baking these, I’d recommend baking a single cookie first. Once the timer goes off, quickly open the oven door and slice off an edge of the cookie. There should be just a thin layer of dark brown in the middle. If there is a lot, close the door and wait a minute and repeat on another edge, noting the total elapsed time. Once you have the time figured for your oven and dough ball size, stick with that time for subsequent baking runs and roll each ball of dough the same size as. Once removed from the oven, leave them on the cookie sheet for one to two minutes. This will let the cookie firm up a little and finish cooking that thin layer of dark brown, resulting in a pefectly round and chewy cookie.


Ingredients for making Molasses Softies.


Beat butter, sugar and egg until fluffy.


Pour milk, molasses and corn syrup into butter, sugar and egg mixture.


Mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, clove and cinnamon together and slowly add to the dough until incorporated.


Form dough into generous sized ball and roll in sugar to coat.


After baking around 14 minutes in 350° F. oven, let cool on sheets for 1 - 2 minutes.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Molasses Softies recipe page.

Meyer Lemon Sorbet with Limoncello

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

Meyer Lemon Sorbet.

I first made this sorbet last week, following the recipe for italian lemon sorbetto in Elsa Petersen-Schepelern’s book, “Gelato, Sorbets and Ice Creams.” To this recipe I added 1/4 cup of limoncello and substituted Meyer lemons to yield a sorbet that simply screamed, “MEYER LEMON!!” Although delicious, the first bite left you with puckered lips. After a few more spoonfuls I got over the initial shock, but would anyone but a citrus fiend be able to handle it?

The taste test
I feared tasters would respond like my daughter, who doesn’t like to admit when she doesn’t like something others do. Sure enough:

“Mmmm, I like it,” she says after tasting it, rubbing her tummy.

I then ask, “Do you want another bite?”

“No,” she replies, shaking her head. With only 1/2 cup of water to dilute the 2 cups of lemon juice, it was no wonder why. I can’t help but wonder how sour the recipe would have been with eureka or other common store-bought lemon varieties. I wanted to make this recipe again with some changes, but I needed more lemons.

Meyer Lemons.Musical chairs with Meyer lemons
Every Tuesday my son and I go to his violin and my viola lesson. We typically arrive a few minutes early and sit outside next to a fabulous Meyer lemon tree while another student (the oldest of whom is half my age) finishes their lesson. This week, in addition to the usual black viola case, I brought a small cooler with a sample of this sorbet for my teacher. Like last week, once our lessons were over, we filled a plastic bag with more than a dozen lemons we picked from the tree. This is the same tree that produces the lemons in the limoncello I used for the sorbet. My teacher makes several gallons of limoncello every year and I have finally found a recipe that could exhaust my supply of limoncello.

The new and improved sorbetThe new and improved sorbet
Loaded up with more lemons, I decided I would make another batch of sorbet with some variations aimed at winning over less fanatic lemon lovers. A quick scan of other lemon sorbets in my library and online shows that 2 cups of juice to 1/2 cup of water is on the extreme side. I doubled the water to 1 cup and increased the sugar by 1/4 cup. Since I didn’t want to lose the subtle limoncello flavor, I increase the liqueur from 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Thanks to the alcohol, this sorbet does a great job resisting our frost-free freezer’s attempts to turn it into a block of ice. Even after a week, last week’s batch is still easy to scoop. This new batch of sorbet was slightly less yellow than last week’s batch, but the soft, smooth consistency is the same. The first spoonful doesn’t catch you off guard and you simply want more.

The bottom line
This lemon sorbet recipe is a winner. My daughter even asked for a bowl for dessert. This lemon sorbet tastes great alone but also pairs well with blueberries or strawberries—ever had fresh strawberry lemonade? Delicious! For this week’s presentation, I have been experimenting with the natural, diffuse lighting that comes into my kitchen in the mornings, especially since my light tent seems to suck at capturing subtle yellow hues (also: my hands aren’t really as red as they appear in some pictures!). I liked this picture so much I super-sized it.


Ingredients for making Meyer Lemon Sorbet.


Heat lemon zest, sugar and water over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute and then cool.


A citrus juicer is very handy when you need 2 cups of lemon juice.


Add limoncello to sorbet base and stir. Chill mixture in ice bath before freezing.


Pour sorbet base into ice cream maker and freeze. It will take longer to freeze than typical ice cream.


Sorbet will be a little softer than typical ice creams at this point.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Meyer Lemon Sorbet recipe page.

3 Posts in One: Classic, Wafer and Chocolate Waffle Cones

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Several years ago we bought a Chef’s Choice waffle cone maker that I have only used a few times since we purchased. The waffle iron comes with a plastic rolling cone and recipes for 3 different kinds of waffle cones, which are also available on their website. The website also has detailed instructions and tips that are actually pretty helpful. I made all three recipes two weeks ago just before we headed off to Disneyland with the kids.

You can imagine my interest when we stopped in for ice cream at the Bur-r-r bank Ice Cream parlor in Disney’s California Adventure and I noticed the staff was making fresh waffle cones. They had two waffle cone making workstations with a total of five waffle cone makers, most of which looked like they had plenty of use that Spring break Friday. Unlike the other lines we were in that day, the ice cream queue moved fairly quickly, but I did get a chance to see how they used a special aluminum mold to make waffle cups.

The waffle cone station farthest from me appeared to be where they made the cones, and I watched as one “Cast Member” gently rolled hot waffle cones into a cylinder before placing it inside a large plastic drinking cup. They then placed another cup of the same size inside this one, to sandwich the waffle cone between the two nested cups. She then seemed to place the cup inside something set into the counter—I was tempted to ask but didn’t want to look like a moron holding up the line. Not quite sure what she was making, but the waffle cones they made were thick, sturdy and crunchy. I had a dark chocolate dipped cone, of course.

Waffle cones are typically pretty rich and tend to go best with milk based frozen treats. I don’t think sorbets would go well with a waffle cone, but I’d love to hear of some unusual combinations that anyone has had—and liked. The waffle cone recipes that came with my waffle cone maker of three types: classic waffle cone, wafer style and chocolate waffle cone. What all of these recipes have in common is that they taste better over-cooked than under-cooked. If, after looking at the waffle, you aren’t certain whether or not it is done, leave it in for another 20 – 30 seconds. If the waffles aren’t cooked well they are soft and have a stale texture and crunch. Slightly over-done waffles don’t really taste burned and have a great crunch.

Classic Waffle Cone

Classic Waffle Cones.The smell of this waffle cone recipe cooking brings back memories of childhood when someone would be generous enough to let you have a waffle cone with your ice cream at the ice cream store. The melted butter in this recipe makes for a great tasting waffle cone. These thick and sturdy waffle cones are a great match with a rich vanilla or chocolate ice cream.


Ingredients for making Classic Waffle Cones.


Beat one whole egg and one egg yolk until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well.


Carefully fold in flour until just mixed.


Stir in belted butter until blended.


Spoon two tablespoons of batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook 60 – 90 seconds.


Use fork to remove hot waffle from iron. Roll immediately.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Classic Waffle Cone recipe page.

Wafer Cone

Wafer Cones.This wafer cone recipe was the lightest tasting recipe thanks mainly to cake flour and safflower oil instead of butter. Reminiscent of the triangular wafers you sometimes get with gelato ice creams, this waffle cone recipe can probably be paired with most any ice cream flavor. The batter for this recipe was a lot thinner than the chocolate or classic recipe. I poured the batter onto the waffle iron and closed the lid only to discover that runny batter really spreads fast. I was left with plenty of batter oozing out the sides of the iron. The resulting waffles were thinner, and crispier than the other waffle cone recipes I tried


Ingredients for making Wafer Cones.


Beat 2 eggs, salt, and sugar until fluffy.


Fold in cake flour until just blended.


Add vanilla and gently mix.


This batter was a little runnier than others. Pour 2 tablespoons on preheated iron.


Roll waffle until over seam, then hold and press gently to form a better seal.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Wafer Cone recipe page.

Chocolate Waffle Cone

Chocolate Waffle Cones.The chocolate waffle cone recipe yielded very dark waffles that were difficult to determine the doneness of. The finished cones had a thick, sturdy texture more like the classic waffle cones. I’d pair these with cookies and cream ice cream for a treat not soon to be forgotten.


Ingredients for making Chocolate Waffle Cones.


Melt chocolate in hot, melted butter.


Pour chocolate and butter mixture into whipped eggs, salt and sugar.


After mixing cocoa and flower together, add to batter and gently fold until blended.


Spoon two tablespoons of batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook 60 – 90 seconds.


Roll waffle until over seam, then hold and press gently to form a better seal.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Chocolate Waffle Cone recipe page.