Monday, April 28, 2014

Three that didn't work out

Of all the recipes I've made from The Perfect Scoop, only 3 weren't utterly delicious: chocolate-coconut sorbet, piña colada sherbet, and coffee ice cream. Still, I'd try everything but the sherbet again.
Great for drinking, not so great for ice cream

Chocolate-coconut sorbet

This sorbet had problems with both taste and texture, both of which were probably my fault.

The taste problem might have been caused by me using bittersweet chocolate (Valrhona from Trader Joe's) and not adding enough sugar. I once had a similar problem with the lean chocolate sauce recipe, although that wasn't fatal since I wasn't eating the sauce on its own.

The lack of sugar was a by-product of me cutting down the recipe by 7/8. Yes, 7/8. The recipe called for 16 fl oz of coconut milk, but the can had 14 fl oz. I converted everything accordingly, doing the math in my head, but I think I goofed the math for the sugar.

So add more sugar, right? Well, I didn't want to bother with heating up the stuff again, so I tried adding some almond extract, and it pretty much worked. The taste wasn't amazing, but it was pretty darned good.

I could've (and should've) fixed the texture problem as soon as I noticed it, but I figured I'd just go ahead and churn anyway. What a mistake. When a house full of 17-year-old boys doesn't polish off your sorbet because it's too grainy, you have recipe failure.

Fixing the texture was easy: just reheat the sorbet over a double boiler until the chocolate smooths out. Then cool and churn again. The texture was fantastic, as you'd expect from using coconut cream (what I happened to have on hand) instead of coconut milk.

Next time, I'll do the math on paper (or find 2 oz more of coconut milk) and try a different chocolate.

Piña colada sherbet

Pineapple and coconut milk: I eat these all the time, without any trouble, and yet this dessert set off an allergic reaction that had me grabbing the Benadryl.

I made this sherbet because it was a hot day and we wanted something cold, stat. It tasted fine, but it languished in our freezer. Maybe we're just not sherbet people.

Coffee ice cream

Too bitter. I'll try again, though, because coffee is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. I think we used Peet's Major Dickason. Next time I'll try a lighter roast. Maybe the blonde roast from (gasp!) Starbucks.


  1. You can try cold-brew for less bitterness. Double-charge a French Press, let it sit in the fridge overnight. Stir, extract, use the coffee concentrate for instant ice lattes or for your coffee ice cream.

  2. I wonder if it'd work with milk instead of water. Water and ice cream don't mix. (Although coffee granita is certainly a fine thing. The first time I ever had it was on a hot day in Naples, when my piano teacher, Signora Bignardelli, served me her own freshly made granita.)