Of all the citrus-and-chocolate mix-and-matches, the kumquat-and-chocolate pairing in the form of a sorbet, beats them all. Kumquats are tiny citruses full of flavour and they are usually found in winter. They have a bitter flesh, a flavourful citrusy skin and an overall complex, flowery flavour.
This Chocolate and Kumquat Sorbet requires some steeping to abstract the maximum flavour possible from the kumquats. And a good quality chocolate and cocoa powder, as the chocolate taste will be clearly pronounced in the final sorbet. You do not need to go over the top by buying the most expensive chocolate available, just use the chocolate that best suits to your taste buds. In the ingredients, a chocolate with 61% cocoa solids percentage is used, but in the ingredients you are provided with a wider range of cocoa solid percentages you can use.
Chocolate and Kumquat Sorbet
Special Equipment needed:
Ice Cream Machine
Blender or Immersion Hand Blender
- Freeze your removable freezer bowl for at least 24 hours before the time you plan to churn the sorbet.
- Make the sorbet base 12 hours before the time you plan to churn it.
- Let the sorbet sit in the freezer for 4-5 hours after churning, before you serve it.
This batch is for an ice cream maker of 1.5 liter/quart capacity.
- 300 gr kumquats, fresh ( about 7 ounces )
- 500 ml, + as needed, water ( about 2 cups + as needed )
- 140 gr raw cane demerara sugar ( or regular white sugar, see footnotes ) ( about 5 ounces )
- 20 gr cocoa powder ( about 0.7 ounces )
- 200 gr bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, about 50% – 70% cocoa solids ( about 7 ounces )
Step 1 – Prepare the Kumquat Base
Wash and gently rub the kumquats under tepid, running water. Pat them dry and cut them in quarters, lengthwise. No need to remove the seeds.
Put them in the food processor and pulse them for a few seconds till roughly pureed. If needed, work in batches.
In a medium, non-reactive saucepan put the kumquats and the 500 ml water and warm over medium to high heat.
Bring it to a full boil and let it boil for one minute. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let steep for 1-2 hours. The more you let them steep, the more intense the kumquat flavour will be. However, do not leave it in room temperature for more than 4 hours.
Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, and pour the water and kumquat over it. Using a silicone spatula, help the pureed kumquats to pass through the mesh sieve, aiming to extract as much fruit pulp as possible. Do not forget to scrape the bottom of the sieve with the spatula, to collect the pulp which underlies there.
Discard the kumquats which remained in the sieve.
Step 2 – Prepare the Sorbet Base
Put the chopped chocolate in the blender. For Immersion Hand Blender
If using an immersion hand blender instead, put the chocolate in a large, deep bowl. It could be the same you used to extract the kumquats, no need to rinse it.
Give a quick rinse to the saucepan to remove any solids and pat dry. Put it on a kitchen scale and set to zero.
Pour in the liquid you extracted from the boiled and sieved kumquats and check the weight. Mine was 550 gr . You will need to add sufficient amount of water to reach a final 750 gr. In my example, I added 200 gr of water, because 750 gr – 550 gr = 200 gr.
Add the sugar, cocoa powder and pinch of salt.
Bring the mixture in the saucepan over medium to high heat, whisking occasionally. When it comes to a boil, keep whisking continuously for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate. Warning: If using a blender, take care not to exceed the allowed capacity for hot liquids.
Turn the blender on and blend for one full minute to homogenise the Sorbet Base.
Step 3 – Cool the Sorbet Base
Pour it in a bowl and let it cool down slightly. Stirring always helps it cool down faster.
Place in an ice bath and let cool completely.
How to prepare an ice bath
You will need a large bowl, larger than the bowl with the prepared sorbet mix. Put in some ice cubes and cold water. Carefully nest the bowl with the sorbet mix in it. Pour more cold water from the sides, till it reaches the sorbet mix in the inner bowl in height. Take extra care not to spill any water into the ice cream base.
Alternatively, first nest the bowl with the sorbet mix into the empty larger bowl. Fill the sides with ice cubes and cold water, taking care not to let any water spill into the bowl with the sorbet mix. This is my preferred method, as sitting directly on the bottom of the bowl, rather than sitting on ice cubes, is more stable.
When the sorbet base has cooled, put a mesh strainer over a container and pour the sorbet base through the mesh strainer into the container.
Cover with a lid and leave in the refrigerator overnight to cool.
In a hurry? Here is how to speed things up:
If you want to bypass the overnight refrigeration process and churn the sorbet immediately, you can put the sorbet in a sealable bag, place it in a large container, fully cover it with ice and let it chill for a few hours ( it may take up to 3 hours to properly cool ).
The downside of this method is that you will need lots of ice. You will also need a thermometer to check if the temperature has reached the desired 4º C ( about 39º F ), which is the temperature your Sorbet Mix would have, should you have put it in the fridge overnight.
Step 4 – Churn the Sorbet
Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. With the machine running, pour the chilled sorbet base through the canister and into the freezer bowl. Let it churn until it thickens and has a stable body. In my ice cream maker, this takes 45 minutes. Note that sorbets, due to the lack of milk proteins, do not expand in volume. Your sorbet will be more like a thick slurry with a full body, instead of a fluffy ice cream.
Remove the machine from the freezer bowl and place the bowl -along with the sorbet-, covered with a lid, into the freezer. Leave for 4-5 hours for the sorbet to set properly, before serving or removing to another container. If you are not eating immediately and you want to store the sorbet, put the container in the freezer too, to avoid melting when you transfer the sorbet from the freezer bowl to the container.
Do not leave it in the freezer bowl for too long, or it will harden and you will not be able to remove it.
Storing the Sorbet
This sorbet, like all artisanal sorbets freezes hard in the long term.
To soften it before serving, remove from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
It is at its best for one week in the freezer. After this, its texture starts to deteriorate. Discard after one month.
Demerara sugar is a variety of raw cane sugar and gives depth of flavour. You may use any kind of raw cane sugar you like, as long as it its light brown in colour.
Regular white sugar works well too, although it doesn’t help in building flavour.