Thursday, August 22, 2013

Orange Sorbet with a Coffee Crunch

We had a little family adventure in Berlin, Germany that led us to a pleasantly unsuspecting back alley vegetarian restaurant. Our first step through the dead bolted doors gave me the impression that we were going to end up 'dead bolted' as well, if you know what I mean. Literally, we walked into what looked like a run down, pitch black nightclub; up one flight of stairs, things got better but still left me second guessing as the darkness still filled every inch of the space, rave music played, and bartenders were swirling about preparing for the night. I was guessing that this place hasn't hosted too many toddlers. I kept asking Mike, “is this the restaurant?” and was quietly confused. Alas, we walked our final steps of stairs into a breathtaking space adorned with glowing candles, white walls, and an open kitchen. A surprisingly fancy restaurant now host to 3 widely under dressed individuals. The menu was full of combinations I've never even dreamt of but that's where my inspiration for the orange sorbet came about. Our final dessert was an orange sorbet with a coffee crumble topped with cherry tomatoes?! I did try the cherry tomatoes and decided they were better left for a main dish but the sweetness of the orange with the rustic chocolate and coffee was astounding! So, here's to the end of summer with a truly thought provoking dish that will leave your palate full of delight and intrigue and if you are ever venturing around Berlin, definitely stop in to Cookies Cream – a culinary adventure not to be missed 

Orange Sorbet with a Coffee Crunch

1 ½ cups fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ banana
¼ cup coconut sugar (more or less depending on sweetness preference)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup lite coconut milk
pinch of salt

Coffee Crunch

1 Tbsp coffee (any variety works – I used maple flavored, medium roast)
2 Tbsp raw cacao nibs
¼ cup ground almonds (not almond flour)
*** I took ½ cup almonds and smashed them with a rolling pin
1 packet stevia

For the sorbet, you'll want to first juice your oranges and lemons and add into a blender along with the banana, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, orange zest, coconut milk, and salt. Blend on high for 5 minutes or so then place into a bowl and freeze. For the perfect sorbet (without an ice cream maker), you do not want the sorbet to be completely frozen before serving or it will just be shaved ice. Yep, a delicate balance here. It takes about 2 hours to become a thick enough slush to serve beautifully on top of your coffee crunch. If you do let it freeze over night, I would let it defrost a bit before attempting to serve so you can get that some what ideal sorbet texture.

On to the coffee crunch – throw all your ingredients (coffee, cacao, almonds, stevia) into a food processor and process until decently smooth. You don't want this to have a flour type texture but you do want to break up the cacao and almonds small enough for a crumble like texture. Don’t be afraid to add more or less of one of the ingredients. Serve your orange sorbet on top of about 1-2 Tbsp of your coffee crunch. A taste-bud delight!!!