Before the cold weather hits us big time, allow me to share a sorbet I made back in July… I know, I can be so slow sometimes! I was inspired both to make it and to get the little container for it, once I read this blog post by Kelly. However, I did not have access to the amazing plums she has in her own backyard in California. I bought plums that were definitely not quite ripe, and waited. Waited and waited. In the end, I opted to make a slightly different recipe (modifying it from David Lebovitz), because it relied on cooking down the fruit. I thought that to use the fruit raw as Kelly did, I would have to start from the best possible plums out there. This was absolutely delicious, and what amazing color!

(modified from David Lebovitz)

600g plums
80g sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tsp vodka
1 banana, mashed

Pit the plums, slice them, and put them in a medium-sized saucepan with 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally, until the plums are soft and completely cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Process the plums and the banana in a food processor or blender. Remove 1/2 cup of the puree to a small saucepan, add sugar and corn syrup, heating gently until the sugar is dissolved. Add this mixture to the rest of the fruit puree, add vodka and chill the mixture overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream maker next day.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: As I mentioned many times in the past, Phil is the resident sorbet maker, but this time I decided to do it myself and surprise him. The only thing I did not care about this recipe is how little sorbet it made, even starting with a pretty large amount of fruit. But that’s the nature of the beast. It was totally worth it. We often include a banana in our sorbets because we like the texture it provides, and depending on the fruit, you can barely taste it. Plums have a very intense flavor, we did not think the banana detracted from it. I know the season for plums is over, but save this one for next year, especially if you have access to perfect plums. In that case, consider trying Kelly’s recipe.

Souper Cubes are available at, and they are a pleasure to use,
soft, easy to un-mold but very sturdy.

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When I spotted this recipe during last month’s Reveal Day of Secret Recipe Club, I knew it was the perfect excuse to bring our Cuisinart ice cream maker out of its hibernation in the basement.  Raspberries offer their beautiful color and sharp flavor, brown sugar mellows it all down, the chocolate provides exciting contrast in texture, but what really sold me was the use of coconut milk. Wonderful!  So, allow me to share with you the first ice cream of the season!

(slightly adapted from Nora’s site Natural Noshing)

3 cups coconut milk (full-fat)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries, chopped
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used 1/4 cup cacao nibs)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
In a saucepan, heat coconut milk until it bubbles slightly.  Remove from heat.  Stir coconut milk into beaten eggs. Return to saucepan.  Cook and stir for approximately 2 minutes or until heated. Remove from heat. Let it cool.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar with lemon juice.  Mix well.  Stir into chilled ice cream mixture. Cool the mixture for at least a couple of hours (or overnight).
Follow ice cream maker’s instructions and towards the end, stir in raspberries and chocolate chips/nibs.  Transfer to a container and place in the freezer.   Scoop some, and…
to print the recipe, click here
Comments:  Nora modified the original recipe to use coconut milk, and what a great twist that was! The coconut flavor is not too intense, even people with coconut issues might not mind it in this preparation, as there’s a lot going on with the raspberries and the chocolate anyway.   I worried that the nibs could be too harsh in texture, that’s why I reduced the amount quite a bit.  You might want to play with this recipe and see how you like it best.  White chocolate chips could be perfect, although it might be a good idea to use mini-chips, keeping the whole thing more delicate and elegant.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy Spring and with it the promise of Summer…
Sun, shorts, t-shirts, sandals, bright colors, lighter food, it’s all wonderful!
And frozen treats don’t hurt anything either!
(modified from a classic cartoon…)


Maybe it’s the alignment of the planets, or the record-breaking heat  this  summer in Oklahoma.  But, the fact is I’m posting another sweet production from our kitchen.  This time it’s a second attempt at “something chocolate” with our ice cream maker.  I haven’t given up on chocolate sorbet, but this recipe from one of my favorite blogs moved all the others to a secondary position in line.   Use the best chocolate you can find and you’ll make a gelato that stands up shoulder to shoulder with those sold in Italy… 😉

(from The Italian Dish, original recipe from A16)

1 quart whole milk
1 tablespoon + 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small bowl, whisk in the cornstarch to make a slurry and set aside.

Add the remaining milk into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour in the slurry, corn syrup, sugar and salt, stirring gently. Return the mixture to a boil and whisk in the chocolate until completely smooth. Transfer into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, mix in the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight to make sure it is completely chilled.

Whisk the base and then pour it into your ice cream maker and churn. The gelato should be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, so don’t churn it as long as you would to make a regular type ice cream. Store in the freezer, with plastic wrap pressed onto the top, and let it be at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving, to make scooping out easier.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you are a chocolate lover, you’ll love this recipe! It feels rich in your mouth, even though it contains no heavy cream in the base. The proper way to indulge it is with eyes closed, paying attention to the many changes in taste and texture as the gelato melts in your mouth, and brings happiness to your soul.

Have you ordered your ice cream maker yet? 😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Au Revoir, My Bewitching Kitchen

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I grew up watching my family members eating mangos and making a huge mess in the process.  Some varieties of Brazilian mango are so fibrous that the “correct” way to eat them is to cut a small hole in the top and suck out the juices while compressing the fruit, which leaves your mouth, face, hands, and possibly even your clothes covered with juice and sticky mango bits.  Some people view this process as part of the fun, but both me and my Dad had nothing to do with it, and only enjoyed a mango if it was laying on a pristine plate, dissected by a knife and fork, with a napkin alongside.

This simple dessert would certainly receive the seal of  approval from my Dad.

(inspired by my friend Vanda)

4 ripe mangos
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs granulated sugar (or more)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup rum (or Cointreau or a mix of both)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Cut the mango in medium-sized pieces.  Go take a quick shower (optional).  Come back and melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.   Add the diced mango, sprinkle sugar all over it, add the salt, and cook gently until the mango starts to get soft.   Taste a piece and decide if you need more sugar.

Carefully add the rum, heat it for a few seconds, and ignite with a match.  Wait until the flames die down, sprinkle a little lemon juice, taste again.   Serve over vanilla ice cream.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You can change this basic recipe in many ways.  For example, you may first caramelize the sugar, and then add the fruit on top.  But, I prefer this preparation I’m posting because it’s simpler and the taste of the fruit is more pronounced.  You may also skip the alcohol with no major harm, but I like the extra flavor it imparts.   If you have leftovers (highly unlikely), they are delicious in the morning with yogurt and a little granola sprinkled on top.   You can prepare bananas in almost exactly the same way, or even along with the mango, but when making bananas flambe, I like to caramelize the sugar first.     My friend Vanda,  who makes risottos and souffles with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back, loves to prepare mangos this way.  After dicing the fruit, she usually grabs the pit and takes great pleasure in sucking all the mango-goodness clinging to it, standing next to the sink.   Unfortunately, I never seem to have my camera ready when that happens.  😉

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