Rich Chocolate Sorbet

It’s not often that we swelter like this – well that used to be the case, who knows for the future 😦

All anyone is thinking or talking about is the heat! I do love how us Brits are totally obsessed with the weather and talk above it over any other ongoing national crisis.

Even I, with my constant baking and cooking, have had to turn off the oven to cope with the extreme heat. But that won’t stop me experimenting and tinkering with flavours 😉

After a little hiccup from the new divine Nomo chocolate (made by Kinnerton so safely free-from) the other week where they copied and pasted some of my old recipes onto their website without crediting me, I have been gifted a year’s supply of chocolate. [p.s I have not been paid in any way for this recipe, the free chocolate was due to their mistake and I’m making full use of it!] In fact we now have so much chocolate in the house that I’m having to cook with it even more than usual, and usual is really really often! I was so disappointed when I first noticed they had used my recipes without asking or crediting, but delighted that they have turned out to be the brand I hoped they were; there are now full credits on the website and they’ve suggested future collaboration which i’m really excited about 🙂

So with masses of chocolate to happily get through and a heatwave in progress, my thoughts turned to chocolate sorbet. As I’ve mentioned before we’re big sorbet fans in this household and the thought of turning some delicious chocolate into a light, fresh and refreshing pudding seemed just right.

It turns out that chocolate sorbet is totally delicious. It’s lighter than ice cream, full of chocolate flavour and quicker to set than fruity sorbets. I made the mix at lunchtime and it was acceptably frozen by the evening (see the final photo after the recipe), even better by the next day or later in the week. I don’t have an ice cream maker to churn the sorbet so my version is a little grainy, but I actually find that quite pleasant as the grainy bits are like tiny chocolate chips, giving both added flavour and texture.

Chocolate Sorbet

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 6

200g caster sugar

40g cocoa powder

400ml water

70g dairy-free chocolate, finely chopped

  1. mix together the sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan. Pour in the water gradually to avoid any lumps of cocoa
  2. Dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil for a couple of minutes to make a chocolate sugar syrup.
  3. place the finely chopped chocolate into a bowl, and slowly pour over the sugar syrup. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Cool.
  4. Pour into a Tupperware box and place in the freezer. Every couple of hours stir through with a fork to get rid of any large ice crystals. Once a sorbet texture is obtained, simply keep in the freezer ready to scoop.
  5. or, cool the chocolate mix, then pour into your ice cream machine and churn as indicated by the manufacturers instructions.

Summer Berry Sorbet and Arlettes

Summer is here (at last!) and the shops are full of delicious ripe berries, so much so I’m constantly popping them into my shopping basket. Whilst you can’t beat a bowl of fresh berries, a homemade sorbet is a close second (especially now it’s hot), and a great option when you’ve managed to squash the whole punnet on the way home, like I did this week.

Whilst the dairy-free ice cream ranges are constantly improving, I’m more of a sorbet fan. A good sorbet is utterly delicious and so packed full of flavour that’s it’s perfect on a hot sunny day. Even before we were catering for food allergies, D and I would always choose sorbet for pudding.I’ve served this sorbet with these wonderful little wafers called Arlettes. They’re puff pastry spirals, rolled out very thin, coated in icing sugar and baked until golden. They’re the perfect caramel flavoured crisp accompaniment for any kind of pudding.

Summer Berry Sorbet

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves at least 6

150g caster sugar

200ml water

juice of 1/2 a lemon

400g berries

  1. Roughly chop the berries and then whizz up in a food blender. Sieve if you like a smooth sorbet, don’t if you like some pips.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the water and lemon juice by bringing the syrup to a rolling boil. Immediately turn off and stir in the berry puree.
  3. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn as instructed, or pour into a Tupperware box and place int he freezer. If using the Tupperware method, remove from the freezer ever hour or so and give the sorbet mix a good stir/whisk, to break up any large ice crystals. The whole process should take 4 or 5 hours.
  4. Serve with this wonderful caramelised, crispy Arlettes for a show stopper dessert.

Arlettes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 20

1/2 pack puff pastry

lots of icing sugar

  1. Roll the puff into a neat rectangle and then roll up to form a tight cylinder. Wrap and freeze for at least half an hour so it is very cold. Once chilled cut into 1/2cm slices
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.
  3. On top a mound of icing sugar, roll out each circle until very very thin and totally covering in the icing sugar. Stamp out fluted circles, or traditional leaf shapes
  4. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes until totally golden. Keep a close eye on them, a burnt Arlette is not nice! Once golden, turn over and bake for a further couple of minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack. These are best eaten on the day they’re made.

New Forest Ice Cream – Sensational Sorbets

A big shout out about New Forest Ice Cream, or more specifically their delicious sorbets. Totally free from dairy, eggs, nuts and sesame these sorbets are a god-send on days out in the South, particularly Hampshire and the New Forest.

We’ve been aware of New forest Ice Cream for a while as they are the most common brand in local ice cream vans, but sadly not many of their ice lollies are suitable. Only the Super 5 multi-coloured lolly is totally safe for us (the push up lollies may contain nuts which is never a good risk to take on a day out at a beauty spot). Then a few years ago we came across mini tubs of raspberry sorbet at a National Trust property. We were in heaven! It was the first time my girls have had the delight of their own mini tub of iced treat; at last they could be just like their friends.

Since then we’ve sought out the New Forest Ice Cream Parlour in Lymington, Hampshire which gives the whole ‘choose your flavour and eat in experience’ as everyone else can enjoy in a parlour, but with sorbet. Sadly their range has got smaller with the passionfruit, mango, blood orange and lemon being discontinued since last year. Sad times 😦

Happily the remaining raspberry and blackcurrant flavours are AMAZING! The parlour goes to great lengths to ensure the scoops are clean and there is no cross contamination. I thoroughly recommend it. In fact we love the sorbet so much we bought a tub to take home 🙂

The manufacturing site has an impressive nut ban with no nuts allowed on the premises (the pistachio flavour is made off site) making both the sorbets totally safe, but also the ice cream if dairy is fine for you.

Strawberry sorbet

IMG_6136 I’ve splashed out and bought myself an ice cream machine – I’ve wanted one for so long, but our previous freezer was too small to fit the bowl in! Expect frozen treats aplenty this summer on the blog. Ice creams are few and far between for us, only a few varieties are dairy-free (the never failing, delicious Swedish Glacé is our family favourite) and out of them a lot rely on nuts,or more prevalent by the day: coconut. I’m not sure I was a coconut to background to all my ice creams – if it’s coconut ice-cream then fine. Sorbets are more successful but often carry a nut warning, and dare I even mention ice cream vans? On any sunny day everyone, everywhere seems to be eating ice creams; the girls’ friends always seem to have them on days out, and there comes our problem. I’d say well over 50% of the time there is nothing suitable we can buy, even the ice lollies have milk in, or contain a ‘may contain’ warning which we can’t really risk on a day out far from home. So we’re left with, at best, a cold drink while everyone else consumes ice creams and other delights. It’s a sad state of affairs for the dairy-free child. So my mission is to recreate delicious ice creams and sorbets which we can at least eat at home, then no-one is missing out all the time. The ice cream is going to take some serious development (no bad thing ;-)) as the results I’ve achieved so far haven’t been quite right, either texture-wise or not setting as desired, but so far I’ve have had one huge success – this stunning strawberry sorbet. I’d say that I actually prefer sorbet to ice cream, its less cloying and probably the dessert I always opt for in a restaurant – and this one is certainly of restaurant quality. Wonderfully smooth in texture and packed full of fresh strawberry flavour. We ate ours with egg-free meringues and chopped strawberries – delicious! If you don’t have an ice cream machine, make the mix and then initially freeze it for a couple of hours until the ice crystals are starting to freeze, pour into a blender and fully blitz the mixture and then re freeze – the texture may not be as smooth, but it will still taste terrific. Strawberry Sorbet (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan) IMG_6138

Makes about 1 lt

  • 4 cups/500g strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
  • 2/3 rds cup water
  • 2/3rds cup sugar (white)
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice

– Dissolve the sugar into the water, bring to the boil and then immediately leave to cool – Blend the strawberries to a fine purée, push through a sieve if you like a super smooth sorbet, or leave in the seeds if you prefer – Pour the sugar syrup and lemon juice into the strawberry purée – Start the ice cream machine and pour in the purée mix(follow the manufacturers instructions)but continue churning in the machine until a smooth sorbet has been made(or follow instruction above for no ice cream machine) – Spoon into a freezable container and keep frozen until ready to use. IMG_6135

Mango and Lime Sorbet

IMG_7625 You might have noticed my constant search for suitable allergen-free puddings. As a family we love Swedish Glace ice cream, but I find sorbet to be far more refreshing. Most store bought sorbets available to us may contain nuts or milk, so it was obviously time to make a version at home. I’d always thought you needed an ice cream maker to turn out a smooth grain-free sorbet, but with the mangoes being so tempting at the moment I thought I’d give it a try with just a hand held blender and a freezer to help. Boy, was it simple! Why haven’t I been making homemade sorbets for years? The basic method is a sugar syrup combined with fruit puree, partially frozen then blended and then re-frozen. It may take a few hours to end up with the perfect result, but the finished sorbet is AMAZING and with so little effort. Maybe I don’t need that long dreamed for ice cream machine after all. This variation combines mangoes with lime, surely a killer combination, and perfect for these first signs of spring.

Mango and Lime Sorbet (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan) IMG_7627 serves 4

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, stoned and pureed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 200ml water

– In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar into the water to make a sugar syrup. – Whisk in the mango puree and lime juice. – Pour into a container, place a lid on top and partially freeze (about 1 hour) – Whizz up the half-frozen mixture with a hand held blender or a food processor. – Place back in the freezer until fully set (at least a couple of hours) – Remove from the freezer a few minutes before serving. IMG_7629