Mango sorbet served on a coconut caramel disk with Orange Powder, Lime powder and Ginger and Cardamom Sherbet
Mango sorbet served on a coconut caramel disk with Orange Powder, Lime powder and Ginger and Cardamom Sherbet.
This is a dessert I came up with from what started as, pretty much, a bit of silliness. One of the lads I work with had jokingly demanded that I make him some mango sorbet because at the time I was making lots of ice cream in my free time (perfecting the flaming ice-creams I’ve written about before). So every once and a while at the start of our shift he’d playfully ask when his sorbet would be turning up, never expecting me to actually bother making it. But last week I decided I was going to finally actually make some to surprise him. The snag is, once I start thinking about a recipe or new idea I get abit obsessive, I can’t just knock up someone else’s recipe. I want to start from scratch myself and make it my own. Even once I’d come up with a sorbet I was really chuffed with I kept playing with ideas to turn it into a whole, unique dish, and at some point the idea of the powders and the sherbet clicked into place.
I think the basic idea came from two things, the idea of ‘seasoning’ your own desert with the powders and the fact that the bloke from work always brings in sweets with him to keep him going during the shift (flying saucers, chewy fruit sweets etc), so I thought having the powders and sherbet to finish of the dish would be a nice way of making it personal to him. Anyway from that basic idea and some experimenting I came up with the two citrus powders (complimenting the mango but also reflecting the small amounts of lime juice and orange liquor used in the sorbet), and the sherbet which flavoured with ginger and cardamom links together the mango and coconut (in the caramel) as flavours found together in Indian cooking, and gives a nice fresh clean taste which works great with the sticky sweetness of mango.
The sherbet was something I had a lot of fun doing and has fascinated me for a while. The fizzing sensation you get on the tongue from sherbet is produced by the carbon dioxide released when the alkaline (bicarbonate of soda) and acid (citric or tartaric, or a mix of the two) react together. We have a pain response to carbon dioxide, but released in small quantities directly on the tongue, as saliva allows the powdered acid and alkaline to combine and react, it creates a pleasant fizzing sensation. Similarly in fizzy drinks it’s the carbon dioxide bubbles, from carbonating the drink, popping on our tongue that gives the fizzing sensation. I’d been quite interested in that stuff for a while and actually have another idea that’s I’ve been working on for a while that plays with the reversal of fizzy and flat in a dish and uses dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide at - 78C and below), anyway I’ll come back to that dish another time when its finished. Right, enough rambling about that, the point is that this sherbet works really well with the sorbet, its sharpness and fizz contrasting with but complimenting the sorbets smooth texture and sweetness. The Ginger and cardamom also add a clean fresh taste along with a touch of heat from the ginger which gives complexity and layers of flavour, tastes, and sensations that come in quick succession when the sherbet is eaten with the sorbet.
Even though it started as just a playful recipe I wasn’t going to spend too much time on I’m glad that in the end I did get absorbed in it and worked on it, as the result is a beautiful, refreshing, smooth, sweet sorbet, that would be perfect served on its own but with the coconut caramel you get added texture and crunch, and the citrus powders add a little sharpness and contrast. Finally the Ginger and cardamom Sherbet, the final touch for the dessert, gives a really nice finish to the dish, with a clean fizzing sensation and flavours that compliment and contrast with the sorbets smooth texture and sweetness. When combined the sorbet, powders, sherbet and caramel are amazing together, and a single bite gives you complex layers of flavour, tastes, and sensations that come in quick succession and make it a really interesting and delicious dessert.
Mango sorbet served on a coconut caramel disk with Orange Powder, Lime powder and Ginger and Cardamom Sherbet. (Vegan)
For the Mango sorbet –
250g sugar syrup – made by heating 175g water and 175g sugar together in a pan stirring until the sugar dissolves and a light syrup is formed – chill before using.
Juice of two limes
2 large or 3 small mangos
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons cointreau
¼ teaspoon Tabasco
Pinch salt (as a natural flavour enhancer for the mango)
Cut the flesh of the mangos into cubes and place in a tall measuring jug and blend to a smooth puree using a stick blender. Next add to the mango puree the cooled sugar syrup, lime juice, cardamom, cointreau, Tabasco and the pinch of salt, Blend again to bring all the ingredients together. Place the mix in an ice-cream machine and churn until mostly frozen then transfer to a container and place in the freezer to finish freezing. Place the sorbet in the fridge for five minuits before serving to soften a little.
Ginger and cardamom sherbet
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
5 tablespoon sherbet – Made by mixing a teaspoon citric acid ground to a powder with 40g icing sugar and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to make sure the ingredients are distributed evenly through the sherbet.
Simply mix the ground ginger, ground cardamom and sherbet together, making sure they a completely mixed though.
Orange powder –
Peel off very thin strips of zest from the oranges using a small sharp knife, making sure not to get any of the bitter white pith on the strips of zest.
Blanch the zest and in boiling water for about 15 seconds then refresh in iced water. Repeat a couple of times to remove the bitterness from the zest. Pat the strips dry on a clean towel. Place the zest on a baking sheet and place in an oven at 100C for about an hour until dried. Once cooled grind the dried zest to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Add a pinch of icing sugar to the powder to sweeten a little if desired.
Lime powder – repeat the same process as with the orange powder but with 8 limes
Coconut caramel disks –
10g Desiccated coconut
Gently heat the sugar in a heavy based pan until it melts together and continue gently heating until it reaches a light golden colour. Stir in the coconut and then immediately pour the caramel out into chef rings, just enough in each to form a thin disk. Allow to cool and harden before carefully removing from the rings.
Variation – Another way of serving this that I experimented with and works really well is to grind up the set coconut caramel to a powder and serve the sorbet with that along with the three other powders.