summer sorbet series: round one — apri scott hymes vs. rachel berry-le balm

SSS aka Summer Sorbet Series are the Sorbet equivalent to the London Olympics! SSS will take place during each of the five following Detox Wednesdays (including today). Each Wednesday I will introduce two flavor contestants which will be judged on taste, texture, freshness, presentation and the health factor! The winner will be featured on the front page!

Ingredient palette

Q: Why host a competition?
A: To celebrate the Olympic spirit and our true inclination towards competing and winning. Decided to make the Wednesday post a touch more fun and challenging. Also I do want to encourage you to repeat these recipes at home, by hand (they are so easy to make, trust me), so you can decide who your winner is and share the result with me!

Q: Why sorbet?
A: Not difficult to answer that! Sorbet is a healthy, summery, fresh dessert alternative that is incredibly easy to make and yet demands unlimited creative endeavor. It stands proud in-between plain, old, chopped fruit and decadent salted caramel tart. It’s a win-win situation for you- taming your sweet tooth and preventing michellin tire over-growth, after all St. Tropez babes tan by the pool, they don’t swim in it :). Get the point?

And now the criteria….

Taste
We are looking for a perfect harmony between flavors, ingredients need to marry one another wonderfully. Seasoning needs to be just right: sweet but not too sweet, herbs and spices need to be balanced and taking a co-star role in the composition.

Texture
Smooth, fresh, homogenous and slippery texture is ideal for a sorbet. In some cases small pieces of fruit/veg or herbs can add depth to the texture but need to be used in moderation.

Freshness
Although an obvious characteristic I do want to provide you with some hints for that extra freshness. Use mint, lime, lemongrass, any citrus fruit, lemon balm, melon, watermelon and/or any exotic fruit (mango, pineapple, passion fruit, guava) to enhance the freshness in your sorbet.

Presentation
Features such as vibrant colors and even appetizing texture are key. The usage of herbs tend to discolor sorbets (happened to me, not going to lie!) so do not blend herbs with your fruit/veg base unless they are the same color (i.e. kiwi and mint). Rather pick a small amount of herbs and sprinkle them into the blended or juiced consistency.

The health factor
Although calories per flavor are not likely to differ too much (all sorbets have equal quantities of sugar syrup in them) the nutritional benefits flavor bases provide differ from one another. For your information though, a cup of sorbet contains approximately 175 calories.

And without further ado, this Wednesday sorbet contestants are:

Apri Scott Hymes aka Apricot and Thyme sorbet

½ container

Ingredients
400 ml syrup: 250 g caster sugar and 250 ml water
500g ripe apricots
Small bunch of thyme leaves, picked and chopped finely

Apricot and thyme sorbet sprinkled with sugar mimosa and adorned with candied ginger

Vs.

Rachel Berry-Le Balm aka Raspberry, Cherry and Lemon Balm sorbet

½ container

Ingredients
400 ml syrup: 250 g caster sugar and 250 ml water
250 g deseeded cherries
250 g raspberries
Small bunch of lemon balm leaves, picked and chopped finely

Raspberry, cherry and lemon balm sorbet sprinkled with sugar rose petals

Method:

  1. Add sugar and water bring to the boil. Let it simmer for another 2-3 min. Cool and refrigerate until cold.
  2. Blend apricots, chop thyme, mix together and put in a separate bowl. Refrigerate
  3. Juice raspberries and cherries, chop lemon balm and put in a separate bowl. Refrigerate
  4. Separate syrup in two equal parts and mix with fruit bases (apricot and thyme and raspberry, cherry and lemon balm) separately.
  5. Pour into metal container (the larger the better because consistency will freeze more easily if spread across a larger area)

    Ready, Set, Freeze!

  6. Churn* every 20-30 min for the next 3 hours using a table spoon. Churning refers to repeated mixing of the fruit base with the syrup. Its purpose is to even out crystallization of the sugar for a smoother sorbet texture.
  7. Present with candied flowers, fruit or herbs of the matching sorbet color (refer to the images for guidance)

And the winner of today’s summer sorbet series is…

Rachel Berry-Le Balm!
Scoring higher in the taste, texture and freshness categories! Apri Scott Hymes needs to play more apricots and less thyme, (the thyme was too overpowering) using a juicing rather then a blending technique. Also lemon balm was well played out by Rachel Berry-Le balm!
There was a tie for the presentation and health factor categories- both Apri Scott Hymes and Rachel Berry-Le Balm looked stunning and provided loads of nutritional value!

Which one is your favorite? Comment here or @indigomemoirs


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