• Chocolate S’more-bet Sundaes

    Chocolate S'more-bet Sundae.

    Chocolate S’more-bet Sundae.

    We love summer here at the farm. Not only for time with friends and produce from the garden, but also the opportunity to hit the road and travel. And while there are all sorts of reasons we like to roam, new food does seem to play a central role in our choice of destinations. Clam shacks in Long Island, shrimp boils in the Low Country and farmers markets in Kauai are all things that will tempt us away from our gardens. And there is a bonus to all this travel…the best dishes come back with us. And this dish, inspired by (the incredibly awesome) Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz, didn’t have to travel far to make it back to the farm (just a hop over the hills).

    smoresmore1And this is one of the best desserts we’ve found since we started blogging. A simple combination of chocolate sorbet, toasted marshmallow creme (more on this in a bit) and graham crackers, this is one tasty take on the classic s’more. Penny Ice Cream serves this on a waffle cone and browns the top with a brulee torch. We serve it as a sundae and add the graham crackers instead of a cone, but you will be happy either way. The combination of flavors and textures is a delight.

    smore2smore4smore5As for browning the marshmallow creme, it is easier than you think. If you have a brulee torch (and being total geeks, we do) just torch a scoop of fluff before service. If you don’t have a torch, just place a scoop of creme on a piece of graham cracker and put it under the broiler for 30-60 seconds. Then place the cracker and creme on top of the sorbet. It will look a bit different, but taste just as good.

    smore6smore7smore8What about the sorbet? If you haven’t had chocolate sorbet, you really should. The best recipes are just chocolate bombs, but have a lighter texture than ice cream and won’t fill you up (quite) as much. Easy to make, as well. There are many recipes out there but most seem to be a riff on a David Lebovitz recipe. And his recipes are certainly good enough for us. The key here is the combination of chocolate and cocoa powder, it’s like a chocolate punch in the mouth…but in a good way. This sorbet is great by itself, but add a bit of marshmallow and some graham crackers, and you may have the perfect summer treat.

    smore9Chocolate S’more-bet Sundaes:

    (Inspired by Penny Ice Creamery and David Lebovitz)

    Notes Before You Start:

    • No notes, go make dessert before summer is over.

    What You Get: A perfect summer dessert and a much better (IMHO) version of the classic s’more.

    What You Need: An ice cream maker and a blender. No other special equipment required.

    How Long? Maybe 30 minutes of active time, with a few hours of inactive time to chill the base and make the ice cream. Weekend dish, but the sorbet keeps well.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 1/4 cups (555 ml) water
    • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
    • 3/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Marshmallow creme
    • Graham crackers

    Assemble:

    1. In a large saucepan, whisk together 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) of the water with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk for 45 seconds.
    2. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s melted, then stir in the vanilla extract and the remaining 3/4 cup (180 ml) water. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds. Chill the mixture thoroughly with an ice bath or in the fridge (down to at least 40 degrees F), then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it to thin it out.
    3. After making the sorbet, harden it in the freezer for at least an hour.
    4. To make the sundaes, place a scoop of sorbet in a  bowl and top with marshmallow creme. Torch the creme with a brulee torch and garnish with graham crackers.
    5. -OR- Place a scoop of creme on a piece of graham cracker and broil for 30-60 seconds in the oven, until lightly brown. Place the cracker and creme on the sorbet. Serve.
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  • Peach Sorbet: Saving The Season

    Peach Sorbet.

    Lots of orange, red and brown tones in the blog these days…Fall really is coming.

    In any event, we are all about saving the flavors or summer. After we pickle, can, jam and preserve there is always the option to make ice cream and / or sorbet. Why is this our last option? We aren’t really sure. Maybe it’s because if the fruit is at its best, we eat it out of hand. Maybe we like making pies. Or maybe we simply start to get lazy….hmmm.

    Blanch peaches in boiling water for easy peeling.

    And sometimes we do feel a bit “unmotivated” to make ice cream and sorbet. It even seems like a chore with a lot of gear and cleanup involved. But we know better, making ice cream and sorbet is easier than expected, particularly if you chose the right recipes. For ice cream, Philadelphia-style ice creams (no egg custard) are very simple to make and feature bright flavors. And sorbet is as easy as it gets; fruit, sugar, maybe a touch of booze, blend, freeze, etc. As far as needing special gear and a lot of cleanup…well you’re stuck with that. But at least you get dessert.

    In California we still have peaches and nectarines, but the quality and texture start to fade somewhat (except for late-season peaches). Frankly, some of the peaches get a bit mealy, but they are still sweet and tasty. So knowing that the season is almost over, we “motivated” and made peach sorbet. And it’s very tasty, and didn’t really take all that long. The only extra work when dealing with peaches is skinning them, but it’s easy if you blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 30 seconds, the skin will come off easily. The other “extra” task is blending the peaches, but any blender will do here.

    The recipe we use is adapted from David Lebovitz, food writer and ice cream / sorbet expert (he knows what he is doing). We only add an optional dash of lemon juice to the recipe, depending on the sweetness of the peaches, which vary widely by variety. The recipe includes ripe peaches, sugar, Cointreau (orange liqueur) and half a lemon. The Cointreau adds flavor, but the alcohol also limits crystallization in the sorbet for better texture. But you can omit the Cointreau if you like. We keep it in….as you might expect. 😉 In the end you get a very flavorful and rich sorbet with smooth, slightly dense, texture. The peaches are a real flavor-bomb in sorbet, a little of this stuff goes a long way. If your season is ending, this sorbet will make it last a little longer.

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