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Cirque de sorbet

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The frozen yoghurt shop near my place has already closed. I hardly ever saw customers there. There is quite a lot of foot traffic in the area because of the great little grocery in the block, but RM11 isn't something many people would consider spending on a cup of frozen yoghurt.
In fact, with additional fruit, toppings and sprinkles, the price can go up to RM20. And that's just one serving. Even a 500ml tub of Greek yoghurt from the grocery store only costs RM19.90.
Frozen yoghurt is a little less heavy than ice cream, but for the hot weather, I think the best ice is a sorbet or granita. AiskrimMalaysia, which is just frozen flavoured ice in long tubes, is excellent actually and a snack many Malaysians will remember from their childhood, but it isn't smooth like sorbet.
Toasted coconut granita (left) and lime sorbet
Sorbets and granitas are not difficult to make, and one doesn't even need an ice cream maker. I featured a couple  lime sorbet and toasted coconut granita  for the recipe column in the newspaper recently. I loved the lime and finished that first. The coconut was a little heavier since it contained coconut milk. And then later, I made a fruit punch, which was simply fresh fruit pulp and various syrups mixed together. It's basically the process of making the ices that requires care and effort – the liquid itself is whatever beverage one enjoys.
Made with fresh peaches, pomegranate molasses and piña colada mix
Fruit Punch Sorbet
Makes about 400ml

2 peaches, halved and stone removed
250ml water
50ml lime juice
60ml pomegranate molasses
60ml piña colada mix
2 tbsp honey or to taste

Blend all the ingredients together. Pour the mixture into a container with a lid, cover and place in the freezer. After an hour, the edges of the mixture will start to firm up while the centre will be slushy. Use a fork to break up the ice crystals, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Return to the freezer. Repeat at least twice more every 45 minutes or so, then freeze until firm.
The edges will start firming up. Scrape the mixture with a fork to break up the ice crystals.
This next step is optional but will create an even finer sorbet. Break frozen sorbet into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat the chunks until they separate and appear like wet sand. This should take no more than 30 seconds. Do not allow the mixture to melt. This step can also be done in a food processor or blender. Return the mixture to the container, smooth the top with the back of a spoon and freeze until firm.
Transfer the sorbet to the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.

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