It may be winter here in Calgary (-11C to be exact right now) but nothing stops us from eating ice cream in the cold. Especially when you get a new ice cream maker for Christmas that you just have to break in.
Well that was quite the process in and of itself. How hard could it be? The thing has all of 4 pieces; the base, the bowl, the paddle and the lid. The first time around apparently I ignored the importance of the bowl. You see it has water around the outside so it is essentially a giant ice cube. Except it’s not a cube so I guess it is an “ice bowl.” For those of you who have ice cream makers, you know that you have to freeze the bowl thoroughly before using to ensure that when you go to make your ice cream (or gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet or whatever you are going to make), it actually freezes. According to the instructions for my Cuisinart, this should take anywhere between 6-22 hours. Freezing the bowl, not making the ice cream that is.
Three and a half hours in? Why not? We are good to go! Nope, nope we were not ready. Not at all. After an hour of churning my chocolate sorbet still looked like the picture below. It may have made for a nice dessert soup but certainly not sorbet. Me being the optimist I am decided to throw the bowl (with the chocolate sorbet mix still in it) back in the freezer to expedite the process. This coming from the girl who also thought she could dissolve egg shells into cake batter by turning the mixer to high and beating the life out of it. I figured if I watched it close enough I could chill everything off without the liquid freezing solid. Once it had solidified just a bit, I took it out and started churning again to break up the big chunks. But it just melted back down to it’s original consistency. Needless to say, things were not going as smoothly as I had hoped for.
Luckily I came to my senses and realized that the bowl should perhaps chill for more than 3.5 hours to prevent it from defrosting 5 minutes into the churning process. So I transferred the chocolate sorbet mix into another container to hold it for the time being, cleaned out the bowl and tossed it in the deep freeze overnight. Time for round #2 the next morning and holy crap, it worked! Moral of the story – freeze your bowls. I am going to go out on a limb and say that most of you already know this but for those of you who are impatient like me, these things do not magically freeze in a few hours. Sure they seem frozen. You can shake them without hearing the water slush around. Still this does not mean they are cold enough to sustain their frozen-ness. Save yourself the frustration of repeating the process and just do it right the first time.
Onto the chocolate sorbet itself, was it worth my efforts? I would say that for my first homemade ice cream product ever, it turned out pretty good. It actually reminded me of a fudgsicle. I just followed one of the recipes that came with the machine so there are a few things I could tweak but overall I was happy with it. It was super, and I mean super, chocolately. Considering there are 2 cups of cocoa in it, I guess that should not be surprising. If you like chocolate but are not a fanatic, I would reduce this quantity to between 1 and 1.5 cups instead. Also, it hardens up quite substantially when you go to freeze it so I would recommend letting it thaw a bit before serving. Other than that, you are golden.
I am excited to play around with the ice cream maker now that I have discovered the tricks of the trade a.k.a. freezing the bowl first. My dad’s birthday is coming up shortly so that is definitely an excuse to use it. Ice cream cake anyone?
4 cups water
1 2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups cocoa powder
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, dissolve both sugars in the water, stirring as needed.
2. Once the sugar has dissolved, whisk in the cocoa powder. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat, whisking constantly.
3. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours.
4. After it has chilled completely, churn the chocolate mixture in an ice cream maker for about 30 minutes or until it is the consistency of soft serve.
5. Transfer the sorbet to a container and freeze until solid, 1 to 2 hours. Serve.