Saturday, July 07, 2007
HHDD # 13: Hibiscus & Strawberry Sorbet
In May I made Strawberries in Hibiscus & Vanilla Syrup, following a recipe from Chez Pim. I loved the dessert - just like Pim said, the hibiscus syrup gave a certain depth, an extra flavour dimension, to strawberries without interfering with the neat strawberry flavour. I also wondered back then, if I could use the strawberry & hibiscus pairing in other desserts, like ice creams or sorbet, for example. But, alas, as I didn't have an ice cream machine, I didn't do any further experiments with flowers (that's what hibiscus is) and berries.
I still don't have an ice cream machine, but will - if everything goes as planned - have one in a fortnight. Yet when I saw that Laura had chosen sorbet for the 13th round of Hay Hay Donna Day (as in Donna Hay, the Australian Kitchen Goddess who publishes impossibly beautiful food magazines), I wanted to take part. It would be a good opportunity to 'try' my sorbet version, and maybe - hsss! hope dies last - winning the top-notch prize in the form of The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz - a book that every foodblogger but me seems to have and enjoy*!!
The hibiscus & strawberry sorbet worked well, and it was definitely worthwhile. While my sorbet isn't as smooth-textured as I would have wanted, it tasted very strawberry-ish, looked much deeper red (and strawberry-ish, again) than it would have looked without the addition of hibiscus flowers. So here I am, pleased to present my hibiscus & strawberry sorbet as my first ever contribution to the Hay Hay Donna Day event! Keep your fingers crossed for me then :)
Hibiscus & Strawberry Sorbet
Based on Donna Hay's basic sorbet recipe and Chez Pim's recipe for Strawberries in Hibiscus & Vanilla Syrup
150 grams caster sugar
300 ml water
2 Tbsp of dried hibiscus flowers or 2 hibiscus tea bags
half a vanilla bean, cut open
750 grams fresh strawberries, pureed and strained
mint leaves to garnish
Bring water to the boil in a small saucepan, remove from the heat, add the tea bags or dried hibiscus flowers and let it infuse for about 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, or strain the liquid and discard the soaked hibiscus flowers.
Add sugar to hibiscus infusion, place the saucepan over a low heat and stir without boiling until sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat and bring to the boil for one minute. Stick the vanilla bean into the syrup and set aside to cool.
While the syrup is cooling, puree and strain the strawberries.
Combine the fruit puree and hibiscus-infused sugar syrup (removing the vanilla bean first), place in an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you don't have an ice-cream maker, place the fruit and syrup mixture in a metal cake tin, cover and freeze for an hour or until just beginning to set at the edge. Mash thoroughly with a large fork, breaking up the forming ice crystals. Return to the freezer. Repeat three times at hourly intervals or until the sorbet is thick and smooth.
* And a book that I so badly need, considering that I'll finally - after lots of trials - will be a proud owner of an ice cream machine in a week or so :)
BLAST FROM THE PAST
One year ago I wrote how I was having a pint in a pub in Edinburgh with the then President of Estonia (as you regularly do, eh:) Here's the story and a photo to prove it.