7.19.2010

A strange sweetness


Right now it’s winter in Sydney. Yes, winter. I get confused by the strange feeling of waking up with cold fingers and toes and then the realization that it’s July. I know winter asks for warming foods like soups and slowly braised stews but sometimes, just sometimes, I still need to have something cold and sweet.
Since I’m a big fan of mixing sweet with salty or spicy ingredients, and dark chocolate with chilli is one of my favourite treats, I thought of making a dark chocolate and pink peppercorn sorbet. Pink peppercorns have a different taste and texture from the everyday black peppercorns you find in stores. Unlike black pepper, these little pink berries taste much sweeter, smell fantastic (like a flowery perfume) and the texture is soft and hollow so that when pressed they break apart easily. They are perfect for using in desserts and even in cocktails, and they add an extra hint of warmth – much needed for a cold winter evening (well, it’s not that cold in Sydney).

dark chocolate sorbet with pink peppercorns
this recipe makes a creamy sorbet, a little like an ice cream but not as rich

2 cups milk (non-fat or whole depending on richness desired)
½ cup cocoa powder
6 oz (about 170g) good quality dark chocolate
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup sugar –  demerara sugar or something less refined
seasalt – pinch
1 tbsp pink peppercorns (crushed)


In a medium sized saucepan on medium heat, add milk and whisk in cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Heat up until whisked in smooth. When milk is warm add in chocolate (chopped). Once all chocolate has melted, take off heat and strain. If it doesn’t look smooth enough, blend 15 seconds. At this point, mix in vanilla and crushed pink peppercorns.

Chill the mix and then churn in ice-cream/sorbet maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can check on the mix every ½-1 hour and mix around with a fork. It’s not the best way to achieve a frozen product, but it will work.

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