It’s 95 degrees in Atlanta today. Why oh why! This little factoid is the purpose for today’s post.
Sometime last year one of my lurkers commented and said he was so impressed to see the mini choco fudge cakes I made. He loved that I was playing around with more desserts outside of flan. I started thinking of it and realized that food bloggers love to read about desserts. I wonder if it’s more about the drool factor when you stare at a picture that screams “EAT ME NOW, DAMNIT!”
Yeah, that totally must be it. Every time I post a dessert, I get more love and newcomers come from behind their peek-a-boo hole. I love it! In an effort to establish myself as a well-rounded blogger and someone that can make postres far beyond my popular #FlanFridays (by the way, this week’s is going to kick some serious ass!), I’ve decided to pull out my mixers, borrow my friend’s ice cream maker and get to making pastries….After all, I’ve noted here that I can easily forgo a savory dinner for a seriously tempting bowl or plate of decadent dessert.
But, I’m not a huge stickler for perfection when it comes to sweets. It just needs to tickle every fancy in my mouth which will make me the nicest woman, ever. Desserts do that to me. Enjoying a good dessert is like the proverbial “sitting on cloud 9” for me. Nothing bothers me when I’m savoring a good dessert. I even get sexier when I’m eating a good dessert. Really. My eyelashes bat a bit faster, my stilettos start forming 8’s as my ankles find a jitter bug and the diet goes to thin air.
Though I will say my palate has somewhat more discriminating in the last 7 years. Where it used to be Kit Kat and Twix, it’s now Ritter Sport, a really good German chocolate bar I became friends with while touring Spain in 2006 and my latest obsession– truffles from The French Broad Bakery, a superbly fine company based out of Asheville, NC.
Eh, so yeah maybe I’ve gotten a tiny bit snootish about dessert. And since I’ve now in this “let’s try anything I have patience for” mode, my skills are put to the test and I refuse to let myself down. I have little time to try to go back over and over again to fix something. Little room for error (and disappointment) means making some desserts from other’s recipes. At least for now. I suspect it’ll take me a solid year of pastry cheffing it up before I can confidently step on my own and start creating unique treats. I’m really impressed by what some of you come up with, I swear!
So now that spring is in full effect, I’m thinking about all the hot weather treats I need to shape my body up for. I spare little when it comes to enjoying sweets in balmy weather. I’m always ready for helado (which I think is great year round and even better in the winter), or any variety of a icy cold brain freezer. Sorbet is that one option that’s proven to be dangerous. It has some kind of non-guilt quality that I can live with and enjoy every day. It’s easier to make than ice cream — less labor intensive. It’s lighter than ice cream so you won’t feel like you need to hit the pavement running to burn off those creamy calories.
And, it doesn’t get freezer burned as fast.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made sorbet. In fact, if you remember, I made a really good lemon one last year. I’ve not made it since, but I remember how smooth and citrus-y it was. It wasn’t heavy and left me wanting more. Sharing sorbet for the first time in this space turned out to be such a hit, it inspired this one. While flipping through DULCE, a Latin desserts cookbook, I came to a mango ginger that visually blew my mind. What? Mango? Ginger? Two of my favorite ingredients. Oh, I was all in it and went for it.
But then I looked at all the fresh strawberries mami sent home with me and my tongue became too excited (and mango, papaya & kiwi). It was a moment of quickly using my creative juices, my Latin influences by ingredients I love and my mom’s shared ability to take one thing and morph into something completely different without much thought.
I sat there staring at the 5 pounds of fresas and found more reason to make this sorbet. I dug deep into my childhood experiences as the only Latin kids in the neighborhood, pulled from my roots as a Latina (mom’s impeccable cooking lessons) and drew inspiration from things I knew and loved growing up. We used to pick mint from our next door neighbors’s herb garden and our strawberries came from farmers’ market, both of which remain to be our source.
Ultimately, it was a case where I used my smarts and let myself loose, unbound by recipes and others’ ideas.
I tinkered with the flavor palate and created something that’s now plastered on my fridge for quick reference. The combo of strawberry and ginger is similar to laying out at the beach and out of nowhere a sexy, much younger man with ripped up biceps walks by and smiles…and then looks back as he continues his stroll. Yeah.
And with that, I’ve had all the pleasure making this refreshing sorbet. I was too pressed to have it within the hour, so I conjured up some expedited freezing process. Because instant gratification is the name of my mood today.
While I loved this one even more than the lemon, nothing quite has met my taste buds like the gelato e sorbetto I’ve had in Italy. I’ve desperately been trying to remember the name of the piazza where I had best version ever. But can’t. That just means it’s time to plan another trip to Italia….. *pullsoutcontactbook.
So for now, I’ll continue to peruse others’ recipes and play with them ’til I’m emotionally taken there again. It’s 95 steamy degrees in Atlanta today. Not quite the kinda of weather where iced coffee will suffice. We need some super cold and tongue engaging.
This is it.
*this post is part of my ambassadorship of the Latina Smart campaign and is sponsored by them. Follow our conversation on the FB page!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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STRAWBERRY, MINT & GINGER SORBET
- 2.5 cups strawberry purée (1 lb. fresh strawberries or 2-3 lbs. frozen strawberries)
- 1.5 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 2.5 tbsp. minced fresh ginger, .5 reserved for garnish
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- pinch of salt
Bring ginger, mint and sugar to boil in 3 cups water to make simple syrup. Remove from heat and let chill for an hour or so. In large bowl, add strawberries, simple syrup, lemon juice and salt. Stir well and pour into an ice cream maker. Follow product manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, stir mixture well and pour into tightly sealed container and freeze for 3-5 hours, or until correct consistency to serve. Remove from freezer and fluff sorbet using a fork. Form into balls and serve in summer glasses or serveware of your choice. Use bits or strains of ginger to garnish.