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Sorbet: Tips, Techniques, Recipes

252 posts in this topic

Well, I'm not quite sure where I was going. except that Karen and Andrew think American chefs are the new 'avant garde', courtesy of F.Adria believing that.

I think all of the "free" people have just made it easier for us to less self conciously develop an idea around a flavour or combination of flavours, be it Adria, Keller, or Goldfarb or Mason.

The sorbet turned out great.

One of my guys said it tasted like a root beer barrel candy.

Now, if I can just work out this carbonated Anglaise idea...


2317/5000

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isi soda syphon?

cheers

Yessir...


2317/5000

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Got my ISI soda siphon today, dessert came together, it's on the menu tonight.

Kicks some serious ass!!!

Made an anglaise with milk and half and half to keep it light.

Co2 charged it, it's a charm.

Garnished with a sugared dried vanilla bean.

Tried to use pulverized root beer barrels for a garnish but it's so humid, it clumped right together.

That will work in about a month from now.

One of the servers said it was the best thing I've ever made, which is kind of worrisome, but....

edited to add:

So, I sold my 1st one of the night, and this couple were kind of pushing it back and forth( I was watching for their reaction) and we kind of made eye contact, so i went over to ask them how they liked it.

They loved it, really dug it, and we spoke for awhile.

They were New York transplants too ( 22 years ) and as we analyzed it, I discovered something interesting.

Feeling all 'avant and stuff, when I was thinking of the concept, and after talking to this couple, realized I had went in a circle.

I think I made an egg cream.

Pretty neat.


Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

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Ok, any of you scientists out there, or just informed individuals, maybe you can help me out on this.

I want to get this sorbet right, but the components are really just water (using mineral) and simple syrup, balanced out. And root beer extract, of course.

It;s turning out pretty good, but two things are bothering me.

I AM getting little pockets here and there of syrup, which tell me that perhaps there's too much sugar in the mix.

I thinking of making my next batch with some atomized glucose replacing some of the sugar, and some stabilizer too.

I usually don't use either in my sorbets but this might call for a change in plan.

I've been trying find some like minded recipes for a non fruit puree based sorbet and am coming up pretty blank.

The closest I've come is a tea sorbet, but that has 200 grams of lemon juice in it.

I'll probably play around with some percentages of dry matter based on that but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Thanks!


2317/5000

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Found a nice bag of lemons at the market this week, deciding a Lemon Sorbet would fit nicely into my New Year's Day Dinner. I found a few different references that confused my a bit though.

I made a simple syrup, boiling the water and sugar, cooled, the added my freshly squeezed lemon juice, whizzed in the cuisinart, and froze.

A similar but slightly differnt variant, said to freeze, for a few hours and then re-whizz in the blender or processor, set back to the freezer for setting up.

I only whizzed once. :wink:

It was terrific, and my wife was such a sweety when I served it as a surprise. I hollowed out the lemon halves, removing the last of the pith, set each half into a small goblet, and lemon balled three little scoops into each lemon half, and served with a glass of champagne.

Why would you whizz twice?

woodburner

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My first thought is that it would help break up any ice crystals, but it's probably just insurance.

I made a margarita sorbet once that benefitted from a second whizzing (I didn't have a sorbetiere at the time).


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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It incorporates a small amout of air into the sorbet as if you were to spin it in a ice cream machine. It will hold more air if is "semifreddo". But you made Lemon Givre' which is not necsesary to "whizz" twice because you probably shaved it off (classically) to fill the lemon peel. I would "whizz" it twice if i were to fill molds with it or make if more "scoop accesible" for a plated dessert.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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I make my sorbets in an "old fashioned", though electric, ice-and-rock salt ice cream machine. I mix the juice and the syrup together and chill, then pour it into the machine, run it for 20 min then scrape out and freeze the sorbet in an airtight container. It's smooth and creamy and scoopable. I've made every imaginable flavor including chocolate to great success (at least the plates all came back licked clean and no compaints other than, "what, no more?". :biggrin:


It's not the destination, but the journey!

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I make my sorbets in an "old fashioned", though electric, ice-and-rock salt ice cream machine.  I mix the juice and the syrup together and chill, then pour it into the machine, run it for 20 min then scrape out and freeze the sorbet in an airtight container.  It's smooth and creamy and scoopable.  I've made every imaginable flavor including chocolate to great success (at least the plates all came back licked clean and no compaints other than, "what, no more?".  :biggrin:

I do the same thing (4 qt Rival) at work. And I faithfully use a tattered copy of an old Cook's Illustrated chart which adjusts the sugar, lemon juice and liquor amounts according to the sweetness of your main fruit, and it's never let me down. Always a perfect texture. I never whizz or re-whizz anything.

Next time you make lemon sorbet, try substituting buttermilk for the liquid in your recipe and add some finely chopped tarragon. People go nuts over that stuff.

Another favorite: kiwi/pear/mandarin orange, with oj as the liquid. Leave the seeds in, they're beautiful!

Also, i've been using apple cider as the liquid in almost every sorbet for the last couple weeks, as we had a lot left over from a holiday party. Gives everything a nice kick. I've got a couple gallons of the stuff still - but a few gallons went to the line cooks who added some yeast and put the whole thing in a big lexan behind the ovens last week. Not sure how that's going to come out. Will they get the hard cider they're expecting?


Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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I make my sorbets in an "old fashioned", though electric, ice-and-rock salt ice cream machine.  I mix the juice and the syrup together and chill, then pour it into the machine, run it for 20 min then scrape out and freeze the sorbet in an airtight container.  It's smooth and creamy and scoopable.  I've made every imaginable flavor including chocolate to great success (at least the plates all came back licked clean and no compaints other than, "what, no more?".  :biggrin:

I do the same thing (4 qt Rival) at work. And I faithfully use a tattered copy of an old Cook's Illustrated chart which adjusts the sugar, lemon juice and liquor amounts according to the sweetness of your main fruit, and it's never let me down. Always a perfect texture. I never whizz or re-whizz anything.

Next time you make lemon sorbet, try substituting buttermilk for the liquid in your recipe and add some finely chopped tarragon. People go nuts over that stuff.

Another favorite: kiwi/pear/mandarin orange, with oj as the liquid. Leave the seeds in, they're beautiful!

Also, i've been using apple cider as the liquid in almost every sorbet for the last couple weeks, as we had a lot left over from a holiday party. Gives everything a nice kick. I've got a couple gallons of the stuff still - but a few gallons went to the line cooks who added some yeast and put the whole thing in a big lexan behind the ovens last week. Not sure how that's going to come out. Will they get the hard cider they're expecting?

These are some terrific ideas from everyone, and I appreciate the responses. I've pledged myself to 100, new to me, food concepts this year.

woodburner

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Unofortunately using an ice cream make isn't exactly the "old fashioned way". The classical form is to use a pallet cleanser in which they would freeze it in a solid slap and take a sharpish spoon or other utensil and shave the sorbet. So actually the method woodburner used was closer to the more contemporary useage.

Also if you use buttermilk, and if or not you have eggwhites in the recipe it will not be a sorbet. If there are egg whites then it will have very close properties of that of a gelato. Still tasty but definately not sorbet.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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woke up in a cold sweat last night,

forgot to ask the most important thing.

when making simple syrup is pure cane sugar the right one to use?

you know.. 5 lb supermarket type.

woodburner

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I am interested in making savory (non-dessert) ice creams and sorbets. A number of chefs have done this here and there, but there does not seem to be any systematic approach (that I am aware of anyway) as there is for sweet ice creams and sorbets.

In making a dessert ice cream or sorbet, we have rules of thumb and recipes for how much simple syrup, how much butterfat, how many egg yolks can be used for various ingredients. If you want to be careful you can even measure the sugar level in the fruit with a refractometer to fine tune to this to the ripeness of the fruit. There is some variation in the final results, which suites different chefs. But there is a body of knowledege that says hey, too much sugar and it won't freeze at all. Too little and it is hard as a rock. In the middle is where successful recipes lie.

In particular, when we make an ice cream or sorbet we rely on a number of ingredients to control the texture and body. THis includes various forms of sugar (sucrose, dextrose, invert sugar, corn syrup...) - which lower freezing point and contribute to texture. It also includes fats (butterfat and egg yolk) - at least in ice cream, but not in sorbet. It also includes things like powdered milk, and stabilizer (which is usually a form of gelatine or starch).

The most important problem for a savory ice cream is that you can't use the sugar, or anyway not very much. Some "savory" ice creams and sorbets are nearly as sweet as their dessert counterparts, and achieve the savory label by balancing the sugar with acidity. However, that is NOT what I want to do. I want to make some ice creams and sorbets that are not sweet at all, but still have the creamy texture of their dessert counterparts.

I use a paco-jet and this problem comes in the following form - you can fill the PJ beaker with anything - savory or not. But unless the feezing point is decreased a bit, and there is the right additives, you get a powdered snow, not an ice cream or sorbet. Ferran Adria at El Bulli has taken to serving these frozen powders, which is another fine dish, but it is not ice cream or sorbet.

So, if we can't add sugar, what can we add to get texture of the sort that we expect from a dessert ice cream or sorbet?

I have been using, or have considered:

Cream

Butterfat

Egg yolks & cream (i.e. like creme anglais without sugar)

Egg whites

Stabilizer (commercial ice cream or sorbet stabilizer)

Gelling substances (agar, Micri, pectin, gelatin)

There are other things that could in priniciple work. Salt could, for example, depress freezing point, but by the time there is enough salt to do that, you don't want to eat it. We tolerate a lot of surgar a lot better than we tolerate salt.

A long chain sugar molecule of some sort might have the texture properties of sugar, without being tasted as sugar. Corn syrup is very close to this, but it still is fairly sweet.

Anyway, of the things I have tried, some of them work, and some don't. I don't have enough successes at this point to claim that I have any general methods that work.

I am curious as to whether other people have tried these things, and if there is either any trick I am missing, or anything new I can try...


Nathan

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i love the pacoject, its a great machine.

Whenever i made a savory sorbet i would still use a little bit of sugar. usually and inverted sugar (a lot less sweet). I just made a beat sorbet for the soux chef and used about 10% glucose, came out very well.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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pure cane sugar has a lot of impurities, a lot. And has a distinctive flavor.

i would just use your regular granulated/castor sugar.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Does it have to be made with the Pacojet? Perhaps making a savory mousse and freezing it might be better. A frozen mousse isn't quite like ice cream, but it might be better than using a lot of stabilizers.


Edited by Moopheus (log)

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Actually, the paco jet requires less stabilizer and less sugar than conventional ice cream / sorbet freezers. In fact, one generally makes ice cream and sorbet with no stabilizer at all in the paco jet.

The issue here is finding the right substitutes for sugar. Sugar is a major factor in the texture of ice cream and sorbet, and if you want to make a savory version you need to use something else.

The issues are actually a lot worse for a conventional machine than for paco jet, but that really does not matter compared to the big question of what to use?


Nathan

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Lots of terms being thrown around here--woodburner--are you taking your mixture and "freezing" in an ice cream machine like you would an ice cream or are you freezing solid in a "freezer," i.e. the freezer of a refrigerator/freezer--like chiantiglace described? In generally-accepted pastry chef and restaurant parlance--one is usually a sorbet and the other is usually a "granite," and as has been described, that solidly frozen block can be scraped, shaved down in various ways and the little shavings held, then served. You can even "whiz" up these ice chunks to get a cool kind of intermediate hybrid--not quite granite, not quite slush, not quite sorbet. Each frozen texture will affect how readily you taste the flavor. And granite is every bit on the cutting edge contemporary food scene--in restaurant use we put gelatin in it so the scraped crystals hold up that much longer to arrive at the table still solid. Granites also have renewed relevance for restaurants and pastry chefs who don't have an ice cream freezer or work in locales with very restrictive food sanitation laws--they can still incorporate some creative frozen elements into their desserts and not have to outsource.

Most sorbet proportions will not work as a granite--they'll be too soft. Granites--and mixtures designed to be frozen like granites--meaning not spun in an ice cream freezer--need to be less sweet than a "sorbet." There's whizzing in a Cuisinart blender to break up your icy crystals then there might be whizzing in a Cuisinart ice cream machine to kind of texturize and soften/warm up a mixture which doesn't have the right sugar percentage to merely be frozen once--and then set up but stay soft when held in the freezer.

With lemon I doubt you'd be able to discern the difference between which white sugar you used in the syrup, and depending on which brand you are using and which part of the country you are in pure cane is regular granulated sugar . With granite you often don't need to use syrup so don't sweat it--the sugar amount is so small to given amount of liquid it'll just dissolve without needing the heating step to get it to dissolve.

Woodburner--you could do 100 new frozen/semi-frozen tastes, applications and concepts in the coming year alone.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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In fact, one generally makes ice cream and sorbet with no stabilizer at all in the paco jet.

No ice cream should ever be made with stabilizers in my opinion, but that's a different topic.

Ice cream formulas for "sugar free" ice creams usually call for gelatin and glycerin to provide the body usually supplied by the sugar, though glycerin would still add some sweetness.

A little bit of alcohol would also provide some anti-freeze function.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I think you're going to need to invest in some invert sugar, usually goes by the name of trimoline or numoline, google it, you'll find it.

less eggs, more dry matter (nonfat dry milk, atomised glucose) even glucose syrup is going to help you get there.

Having read some of your posts before, I guess in the 'Sous Vide' thread, I would be tempted to think you might be an owner of the '98/02' book.

Many savory ice cream recipe ideas in there (CDROM) to get an idea of what to work with.

Also, I trust you've tried the pacojet website?

Many recipes there too.

And, as Moopheus already knows this about me, a liitle stabilizer never hurt anybody.

Good Luck!


2317/5000

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Why not stabilizers? They are every bit as "natural" as many other ingredients--you think all these different sugars fall off trees? No, they are processed chemically and manipulated, altered, yet still 100% "edible." So, too, are all these ice cream and sorbet stabilizers like pectin, the seaweeds, alginates, etc. If done well you can't "taste" their presence but you can reap the mouthfeel benefits.

Just for others reading along, you get the powder/snow effect with a PacoJet nathan was talking about when the mixture is frozen to the right temp for a Paco--which is -5--AND when it has a relative high water/high dry matter/low sugar/low fat content. So it is cold and hard. Adjust any of those and you won't get snow--don't freeze it so low, bump up the sugar/fat percentage, etc. Adria is intentionally creating this powder--parmesan was the first I recall seeing a recipe for--which likely arose during some trial and error session--and he turned it to his advantage--but he has plenty of recipes which are smooth. If you ever get "powder" unintentionally just let your beaker warm up a bit before spinning and it should cream up fine. I do an olive oil-based ice cream in the Paco with very little sugar, so likely anything you do with fat, vegetable and herb would not require much sugar. The fat gets emulsified as the Paco whizzes away, helping give you body--same thing happens with anything nut based in the Paco due to the oil. Do anything with, say, pistachio or walnut and you'll have to pull alot of sugar out just to get it to a decent texture, i.e. not too soft.

Balancing with acidity is inherent in just about all savory cooking, so there isn't inherently anything wrong with it. You may just find you need it with some combinations, just like more or less sugar or salt is needed with others. If you boost the fat% in a Paco mixture I think you'll find you need some lemon or lime juice even with a very intense savory flavor. I know I need it with the olive oil, but it makes the olive oil taste more like olive oil, if you know what I mean. Greek yogurt, with most of the water strained off, works well in the Paco and might be another way to help you get creaminess, and not reduce the immediacy of flavor the way cream, butterfat and yolks do. Cheeses might help, too.

This is what Adria has been after--how can I get a flavor so pure so direct, say asparagus, that tastes more "asparagusy" than asparagus itself--but in a foam or essence or sorbet? And that series of books is still being written.

Ted and chiantiglace have given you the best general advice though--still use sugar but use the less sweet/less concentrated sugars, the things that have, say, a 75% sweetness coefficient rather than 100% or 135% like invert. Alcohol will of course affect the freezing point and if you're spinning a la minute will also help soften your mixture, but then you're introducing something which will affect your taste much more than a stabilizer ever would of. I haven't used much alcohol in the Paco so I can't speak too much to that.

There's another reality to this nathan--some things are better done in the batch freezer, some in the Paco. I do most sorbets with stabilizers in the batch freezer, most ice creams in the Paco, except for caramel which comes out better in the batch freezer. I don't think "most" sorbets lend themselves well to the Paco process without a lot of modifcation to adjust texture, like by adding a touch of pectin. Most stuff in the Paco in general has to be less sweet than what you'd normally do in the batch freezer, which would seem to help your cause, and which you likely already know.

Depending on how you set your service/storage freezers you may benefit from stabilizers in your Paco recipes, especially if you spin a lot of beakers in advance and then hold them for hours. Not too many people I know spin their Paco a la minute for each serving, as it was originally designed.

Last I checked the recipes on the Pacojet site were not good, there weren't any from an elite chef or pastry chef, someone who got into the science of the whole thing. No Adria, Balaguer, Conticini, all of whom embraced the PacoJet early on. Which is too bad, with the dollar the way it is now, I don't think as many Americans are going to be buying PacoJets for a while.

To date, the people who have spent the time to develop systematic approaches to good ice cream and sorbet programs with the Paco have that approach deployed in their restaurants, setting their program apart. They know how much work it took, they know there's no class at the French Pastry School teaching about the Paco. Right now, it's just a fact of life. Rick Tramonto has a Paco or two at Tru with the mind and skill to use it. Three pastry chefs who know what the Paco can do and what it can't are Sebastien Rouxel (of Per Se), Michael Laiskonis and Chris Broberg. If you're in NY you might ask to do a "Paco" stage with them, I wouldn't be surprised if they've each had to develop savory paco things for their chefs as well. There are a few books, a few other pastry chefs in the US who've really embraced the Paco and are doing some creative things with it, but it's not reached critical mass yet.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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All great advice - thanks. I have and use invert sugar, and the various points about the paco jet are well taken.

I have been hoping that there is a product out there that somebody has used that would be better than invert sugar.

One example would be a sugar that has NO sweet taste. Such things exist. Long chain glucose polymers have this property - once a molecule gets past a certain size, it is difficult for it to bind with taste receptors. This is why invert sugar and corn syrup are not very sweet. However, they have a certain fraction of smaller molecules which makes them somewhat sweet.

Fats are clearly a help. The suggestion to look at sugar free ice cream recipes is a good idea - they are still trying to be sweet, but they have to cope with reduced sugar.

Glycerin is a good suggestion, along the lines of what I am looking for - I will try it.

This suggests to me that lethicin would also be good. I have used it to make foams, but it may have a use here.

Gelling agents are another possibility. If you make mango sorbet in the paco jet, the pectin in the mango whips into a mousse like texture - it practically will not melt! Chocolate mousse in the paco is similar - you use gelatin, but this is pretty tricky because small changes will make it no longer a mousse, so I only rarely do this.

I have the 98/02 book, and Balaguer's book and probably every other high tech / high end cookbook. At the moment there is essentially no coverage of paco jet, as you point out. Mostly that is OK because a little trial and error works.

I do make sorbets in pacojet - they can come out perfectly if everything is balanced correctly. A little stabilizer (sevarome) does help if you hold it, particularly for some ingredients - mango certainly does not need it.


Nathan

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Polydextrose might be an option here. From what I understand it has NO sweet taste at all. Danisco makes it:

http://www.daniscosweeteners.com/web/dsw/p...se/litesse.html

I've not used it but a chemist who specializes in sugars told me it might be something that would help in sorbet making, since I'm working in a blend of sugars, not just sucrose. And I can't use an invert because I don't want to up the glycemic value. If you do use this, please post your results!

Glycerin, lecithin and a gum stabilizer worked very well for me when I've made sugar free ice cream. I'm able to keep a nice mouthfeel and scoopability for days. I used xanthan gum but I'm willing to bet that any other stabilizer will do the same. When I use the lecithin powder I make sure to pulverize it first. I have yet to use the liquid. I used about 2T glycerin per quart and 1/4 t of gum.


Josette

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