Sorbets and a birthday cake

In my last post on macarons, I mentioned how I’d been making a lot of ice cream lately. Well, that obsession also extended to making sorbet. I bought Philippa Sibley’s PS Desserts recently and in it is a fantastic reference chart for making sorbets, outlining the ratio of sugar/glucose/water to 16 different fruits. She also explains three different methods of making sorbet, depending on the type of fruit; whether the fruit need to be cooked for a while, cooked quickly, or not cooked at all.

So, over summer I made raspberry sorbet, lemon sorbet, pineapple sorbet, strawberry sorbet and mixed berry sorbet, just to name a few! Fruit sorbets are incredibly easy to make, refreshing on a hot day, and delicious! That chart has become a very handy tool and all of the flavours have turned out great. I won’t post of a copy of the whole chart, so if you’re really into sorbet making, I’d highly recommend buying the book.

The most important thing to remember about fruit sorbets is that they really are only as good as the fruit you use – the better the fruit, the better the taste. When making a berry sorbet, I have found using frozen berries to be perfectly acceptable.

The really great thing about trying so many different flavours is that my dad has become quite smitten with sorbet. He is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, which means his eating habits are completely out of sync, but he always makes an effort to try and eat the sorbet I make. It was recently his 59th birthday and I was left in charge of making his birthday cake. Given that last year we surprised him with a visit to Seattle (him and my stepmom were living there at the time), I figured that would be a bit hard to beat, so I settled upon a sorbet cake. Not just any sorbet cake, but a layered sorbet cake based on his favourite football team – the Western Bulldogs. We decided on layers of raspberry, lychee and blueberry sorbet – red, white and blue. Unfortunately we couldn’t find enough fresh lychees, so that layer was quickly swapped for pineapple, which technically isn’t white, but I’m sure you get the drift. As the day got closer we realised dad was going to be stuck in hospital, but some friendly nurses letting us borrow their freezer for a couple of hours solved that dilemma and the plan continued!

As I only have one ice cream bowl, I made this cake over three nights and poured each layer into a springform pan and kept it in the freezer. Each recipe makes a bit over a litre of sorbet.

Blueberry Sorbet*

  • 1kg blueberry puree (this came from about 1.1kg of blueberries that I blended and strained through a sieve)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 50g powdered glucose

Place 1/2 of the blueberries, sugar and glucose into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain either through a thin sieve or muslin and repeat with the remaining blueberries, sugar and glucose. Combine the two mixtures and cool in the fridge for a couple of hours before churning according to your ice cream maker’s instructions and freeze.

* This recipe isn’t from PS Desserts as there wasn’t one in there for blueberries so I kind of just ‘guessed’ which method to use and the quantities. The end result turned out OK!

Pineapple Sorbet

  • 1kg pineapple puree (This came from about 1.5 pineapples that I blended up. I left the pulp in, but it is completely up to you whether you’d prefer it in or not. If you prefer a smoother sorbet, I’d say strain it out, but you’ll probably need two pineapples)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 80g powdered glucose
  • 280ml water
Combine half of the puree with all the caster sugar, glucose and water in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool. Add the remaining puree, mix well and let it cool for a couple of hours. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions and freeze.

Raspberry Sorbet

  • 1kg raspberry puree (This came from about 1.3kg raspberries that I blended and strained through a sieve as I wanted a smooth sorbet, but it is completely up to you whether you’d prefer the seeds in or not)
  • 260g caster sugar
  • 50g powdered glucose
  • 120ml water

Combine half of the puree with the caster sugar, glucose and water in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool. Add the remaining puree, mix well and let it cool for a couple of hours. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions and freeze.

And here is the inside and a very happy birthday boy! Please excuse the iPhone photos. Hospitals aren’t great locations for photos!

Love you dad.

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2 thoughts on “Sorbets and a birthday cake

  1. Pingback: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream | Mmmm, sugar. It's all about the sweet things in life.

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