I'm not one for gadgetry. I couldn't really care less what kind of phone that I use (although admittedly I expressed a brief interest in the Prada LG phone until I realised that it was not 3G-imagine that with the price tag!). But that was more due to the brand lust than any sort of interest in the gadget itself (yes call me a Fashion Victim). My husband and many of his gender are gadget mad, marveling at the latest and newest of anything (Playstation, Nintendo, video games, Wii) whilst I go the other way, searching for antiques and vintage items.
One exception to this are certain kitchen products. I don't mean the clutter that you may amass of useless gadgets but rather items that allow you to reproduce store-bought or restaurant quality items at home. The ice cream maker is a case in point. I was given a Cuisinart ice cream maker to road test by the people at Kitchenware Direct. I was a bit hesitant when I was told that it was one of those bowls that you froze, I didn't have a lot of success with another one that we got for our wedding a couple of years ago. Indeed I was so scarred that I also have a gift with purchase Kitchenaid ice cream bowl that remains untouched, not even removed from the box and it currently sits in the cupboard way up high where I can't reach it.
But of course when the weather quickly turns to Summer, I was convinced. I flicked through their recipe booklet and my eyes zeroed in on the Dark Chocolate Sorbet. It's an item I've had in many a high end restaurant which of course is precisely why I liked this gadget in the first place. The recipe is incredibly easy to do, the only thing you would need to watch is that your freezer is at least -18c and that you freeze the bowl for at least 12 hours at this temperature which is pretty much the only vital part of it.
I bought some Valrhona cocoa powder in Tokyo during my last holiday and it was itching to be used. I also used some deliciously dark Cocolo Organic Fairtrade chocolate (once I wrenched it out of my husband's hands) and a bit of whisking and a bit of refrigeration and I was ready.
I could have partnered these with tuiles but given my last stressful experience with them, I paired it with sour cherries, those gorgeous cherries that remind me of strudel.
Dark Chocolate Sorbet with Sour Cherries
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
40g good quality cocoa
85 grams best quality chocolate (finely chopped or blitzed in a food processor)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Step 1 - In a small or medium saucepan, whisk water and sugar on medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Step 2 - Whisk in cocoa until smooth and simmer for 3 minutes.
Smooth chocolate mix
Step 3 - Remove from heat and whisk in finely chopped chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon.
Step 4 - Cool and refrigerate for 8 hours.
Pouring refrigerated mix into Cuisinart ice cream maker
Step 5 - Place in ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes. It won't get to the desired sorbet consistency, it will stop as a soft serve consistency so once churned place in a container in the freezer to firm up for several more hours or overnight.
Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker supplied by Kitchenware Direct.