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Ice Creams And Sorbets - Freezing As A Cooking Technique

Perhaps because it's a relatively modern procedure and because it's typically used for food preservation, but the technique of freezing is almost never considered to be a cookery technique. Cooking is almost always considered to the be the technique of the addition of heat to a dish.

But where would we be without ice creams, sorbets, granaches and other frozen foods? Doesn't the technique of the preparation of these foods also deserve the term of cookery? After all you combine ingredients to form these dishes it's just that they're not heated, rather they're cooled.

To show what I mean, below I include a recipe for an ice cream and a classic sorbet.

Real Chocolate Ice Cream


120g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)

360ml milk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

200g sugar

240ml cream

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

120ml milk


Place the chocolate in a bain marie (double boiler) and heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Keeping it on the heat, gradually stir-in the milk, whisking all the while and continue cooking until smooth.

Lightly beat the eggs then beat in the sugar until pale and creamy. Stir the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs, beating constantly then add the cream, salt, vanilla and the additional milk. Set aside to cool then pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Orange Sorbet


500ml fresh orange juice

juice of 1 lemon

250ml water

250ml sugar

finely-grated zest of 1/2 orange


Add the sugar and water to a saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then bring to a boil and immediately take off the heat then set aside to cool. When the syrup solution is cold mix-in the orange and lemon juice and orange zest then pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Alternatively, if you don't have an ice cream making machine, pour the mixture into a non-metallic freezer-proof dish then cover with a lid and place in the freezer. Freeze until the sorbet is almost firm (but still a little liquid). Cut the sorbet into chunks and place in a blender. Process until smooth then transfer the sorbet back into the dish and freeze again until almost firm.

Once again chop the sorbet into pieces and process until smooth. This gets rid of all the ice crystals and makes the sorbet very smooth, which is what you want. Return to the freezer-proof dish and freeze completely. To serve, allow the sorbet to soften for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature then spoon into dessert glasses and serve, garnished with a sprig of fresh mint.

I would challenge anyone to deny that the method of producing these dishes can't be classed as 'cookery'.

Dyfed Lloyd Evans runs the Celtnet Recipes site where you can find many more recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets and Sherbets.

Fun Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

July 31, 2006

The emotional trigger that a smell can stir up is one of the most powerful triggers that there is. If you live anywhere in the United States, chances are that the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking conjures up some kind of emotional memory for you. Smells are part of how we remember, part of how we define our memories, our stories, our lives.

For me, the smells of baking were part of my childhood, part of the fabric of how I define my childhood and part of the fabric of how I define my life to this day. The smell of a favorite baked treat can still bring a smile of remembrance to my face. What kitchen smells define your childhood memories? What smells do you want your children to define as their childhood memories? Here a couple of great variations on that old favorite, chocolate chip cookies. I hope you use these baking recipes to make wonderful memories with your children.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter. Mix together until creamy. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture. Add in the chocolate chips and peanuts. Drop the dough by teaspoons onto baking sheets. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are set but the centers are soft. After removing the cookies from the oven, leave them on the baking sheets for 4 minutes before removing them.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, butter and regular sugar. Add in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture. Add the oats, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 9 to 10 minutes for soft cookies and 12 to 13 for crispy ones.

Jill Borash loves to share her passion for baking and story telling at her website, If you're looking for a tasty baking recipe or just a good story, stop by and browse awhile. Happy Baking!


Tips on Cooking in the Dorm Room

July 31, 2006

Tips on Cooking in the Dorm Room by S. Michael Windsor

For many students, especially freshmen in college,living in the dorm can be quite a change from what a student is normally used to. And as for meals, in many cases, you are at the mercy of the dorm cafeteria hours and whatever restaurant is open when you want it. The problem with the dorms is that there is obviously no kitchen in your dorm room in most cases and many students don't have a car at first. So what is a person to do?