Friday, May 31, 2013

Mocha Sherbet

In my neighborhood, you can’t walk more than a couple of blocks without finding a few bustling cafés.  A good cup of coffee is the morning and afternoon obsession for most people and this dessert is designed to fire all the same neurons.  If you love coffee and you love chocolate, Mocha Sherbet is the best of both worlds.  

As we all know, David Lebovitz is among the most talented of all ice cream recipe developers.  His recipes are superb and this one is no exception.  The jolt of coffee is matched with a depth charge of fudgy cocoa richness.  And although it has a measure of milk to keep it from being too icy, it’s still fairly slushy, in a good way.  It has a sort of fudgesicle vibe, which makes it perfect for a spring or summer cooling down treat. 

The preparation couldn’t be any easier.  Mix all but the milk in a saucepan, boil for 30 seconds, add the milk and there you have it.  Chill the mixture thoroughly and then let your ice cream machine do all the work.  It’s light and simple but so satisfying and so easy to make, I’m sure you’ll find a way to put it into your regular dessert rotation to serve to all your coffee aficionados. 

It’s fabulous all by itself but here I serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of spiced and toasted almonds, a super luxe combination.  I like the introduction of cinnamon to the mix and the crunchy almonds are perfect for the slushy chocolate.  If you start mixing now, you can have this delicious sherbet by the time the afternoon crowd is rushing toward your local café.

Bench notes:
- For maximum flavor, I recommend making the coffee very strong.  Use your very favorite coffee beans.  I went with a dark Peet’s French Roast.
- David gets 50 grams out of 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder.  My scaled cocoa comes to 31 grams.  I do fluff it up before measuring.  But cocoa is notoriously hard to scale consistently, so go with what you prefer.
- Bring the mixture to a full boil to cook out the chalkiness of the cocoa powder. 
- When you’ve churned the sherbet, it’s going to be pretty slushy but will firm up after a couple of hours in your freezer. 
- Always try to pack ice cream or sorbet tightly in an airtight container and press a piece of plastic into the surface to avoid air pockets where ice crystals will form.
- David also suggests a recipe for Mocha Freeze: for each serving put 2 scoops (4 oz) of Mocha Sherbet in a blender with 1/2 cup (4 oz) very strong coffee or espresso, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 3 ice cubes. Blend until almost smooth. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream.  Yikes.


Mocha Sherbet
Makes about 1 quart

2 1/4 cups (18 oz; 560 ml) strongly brewed coffee
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz; 149 g) sugar
6 tablespoons (50 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup (6 oz; 180 ml) whole milk

Spiced Almonds
1 cup (3 oz) sliced almonds
2 tablespoons egg white
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
pinch salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) sugar

whipped cream, for garnish

For the sherbet, whisk together the coffee, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the milk.  Taste and adjust for salt.  Pour into a container and cool.  Cover and chill thoroughly.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pour into an airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface, cover and place in your freezer to firm up.

For the spiced almonds, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.

Whisk the egg white until it’s frothy and opaque. Add spices and salt and whisk to combine. Toss in the sliced almonds and coat evenly. Sprinkle with sugar and toss to thoroughly coat the nuts.  Spread them on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Give them another light dusting of sugar. Toast for about 20 – 25 minutes or until they are dry and golden.

Serve a couple scoops of sherbet with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of almonds. 


1 comment:

Luv'n Spoonfuls said...

Sounds too decadent for words...I'm so stealing the spiced almond recipe ;-) Can't wait to give it a spin in a baking recipe. Of course, the mocha love is fabulous as well.