We just got an ice cream machine. Well, correction, we already HAD an ice cream machine -- my mother’s 1970s-era Salton Ice Cream Maker. Chocolate brown with undulating curves, it was the epitome of a mod appliance. I always kind of wanted to put on a macramé vest and hoop earrings when I used it, in fact. Oh, it was great – you poured your mixture into the metal tin, fitted the hard plastic beater and nifty brown motor on top, and popped the whole thing into the freezer until the beater couldn’t move through the heavenly ice cream that appeared. I loved this thing, but after 40 years of intermittent use, it finally and sadly died, defeated by homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream.
So, after scouring the Internet, and reading countless reviews from home ice cream making aficionadoes that ranged from cranky and cynical, to bubbly and over-enthusiastic, we bought a new ice cream maker. I hated it as soon as I got it out of the box. Mostly, I think, because it was all white, all plastic and much shoddier than the old Salton. There’s no way its light plastic is going to survive 40 years. And the motor makes such an anemic little whine compared to the Salton’s comforting whirr. But I’m not going to go on a rant about the poor quality of appliances today.
Instead, I’m going to share my current favorite recipe. While we have made some delicious ice cream with cream and milk and sugar and fine chocolate, I needed something a little lighter, something with a little less milkfat, something a little more recherché. So, I came up with the following sorbet, something I adapted from a recipe I’d clipped out of a magazine long ago.
Chocolate Cherry Sorbet
3/4 cup cherry jam (use a good quality jam, one with whole cherries and no corn syrup!)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mini chocolate chips (optional)
1. Place all ingredients (except for vanilla) in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from stove and allow to cool. Add vanilla and place in refrigerator to cool overnight (this really does help the flavors to develop.)
3. Pour into ice cream maker and let the magic happen.
(If you absolutely must have sorbet sooner than overnight, you can cool the mixture down in a water bath and pour into the ice cream maker right away. Truth be told, I usually can't wait.)