Treat yourself: recipes for homemade chocolates and ice cream

You're likely aware sugar is best in small doses. But it's still OK to have the occasional treat. There is nothing quite like ice cream on a hot day, or chocolates to celebrate. Here's how you can make them at home.

Treat yourself: recipes for homemade chocolates and ice cream

Making sorbet and ice cream

Water is the basis for sorbet, while ice cream gets its creamy texture from milk and cream — even heavy cream. You can flavour both with sugar, fruit and any number of other tasty ingredients.

  • For sorbet, heat up about 250 millilitres (one cup) water and 200 grams (seven ounces) sugar and boil for two minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in about 550 grams (18 ounces) puréed fruit or 500 millilitres (two cups) fruit juice and a little lemon juice. Let cool. Flavour with sugar or lemon and freeze.
  • Ice cream is equally easy to make: beat three egg yolks with 85 grams (three ounces) sugar until foamy and thoroughly stir in about 225 millilitres (7 1/2 ounces) cream and 175 millilitres (3/4 cup) milk.
  • Additions to these basic liquids include puréed fruit, nuts, chocolate or yogurt.
  • If you don't have an ice cream maker, put the ice mixture in a shallow metal bowl in the freezer. When it freezes, stir it thoroughly and freeze again. Repeat this process several times.

Troubleshooting

  • If your ice cream turns out too grainy, you may have used too much water or too little sugar. Alternatively, the ice cream may have frozen too quickly or wasn't stirred enough.
  • Ice cream loses flavour when frozen, so the initial liquid should taste quite sweet and strong.

Making ganache

Ganache, a mixture of chopped chocolate and cream or butter, is the base for many types of truffles, and it's a cinch to make. Use more chocolate in comparison to cream for a firmer ganache.

  1. In a small pot, quickly heat 150 millilitres (2/3 cup) cream. Bring to a boil, then take the pot off the burner to cool completely.
  2. In the meantime, chop up about 300 grams (10 ounces) good chocolate and melt it in a double boiler.
  3. Stir the cream and the chocolate together to produce a smooth liquid. If necessary, stir in a little more cold cream.

Tips for truffles

  • While your ganache is still warm in the pot, you can add liqueur, rum, sparkling wine or champagne, honey, coffee, peanut brittle, nougat, dried fruit, syrup and many other delicious ingredients.
  • By blending ganache made from different types of chocolate, you can make marbled chocolates. For example, the contrast between a layer of white chocolate with vanilla and a layer of darker ganache with orange liqueur is both beautiful and tasty.
  • You can decorate truffles with just about anything as long as it tastes good and looks pretty: try icing, whole or chopped nuts, candied fruit or coloured decorations made from marzipan. You can roll the balls in cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar or coconut, or use finely chopped nuts and chocolate crumbs.

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