19 September 2008

Don't Think Ice, It's Alright


I understand the prevailing trend these days is to profess adoration for dark chocolate, the higher in cocoa mass and the more intensely bitter the better, preferably savoured by candlelight with a perfectly aged red wine. Me, I could take it or leave it. I love it for cooking - rarely use anything else - but in terms of eating, I am the fiendiest fiend for white chocolate. I know, it's not even "real" chocolate, and it's nothing but sugar, and doesn't even have any cocoa mass by which to measure its superiority against other chocolates...but I LOVE it. If I know there's some in the house I can barely concentrate, and find myself blindly standing by the cupboard, stolidly chewing away at whatever's left of my white chocolate resources. Whereas dark chocolate - well, it's pretty telling that I have four blocks of the stuff sitting in my wardrobe (because (a) I stock up if it's on sale and (b) we don't have a lot of cupboard space in the kitchen), and haven't touched the stuff.

But I'm only human. I see chocolate, unwrapped and vulnerable in front of me and I gotta take a bite. This particular stuff - Donovan's 80% cocoa dark chocolate, has its own cromulent gratification, in spite of not being my first choice. Smooth, sharp, with an uncannily refreshing, rather than rich finish, it was the perfect thing to embiggen my otherwise low-rent sorbet...


I got the idea for this from a Jill Dupleix recipe for "ice cream" made of only two ingredients - bananas and raspberries. Berries being expensive, I thought I could make another version using canned pears. I poshed it up by adding some shards of the aforementioned dark chocolate and changing the name...

Banana, Pear, and Bitter Dark Chocolate Sorbet (see, doesn't sound like something out of a can at all when you put it like that)

3 very ripe, large bananas
1 large or 2 regular sized cans of pears, well drained
45g dark chocolate, chopped roughly

Ideally you should do this in a food processor. But I was feeling lazy...or ecologically minded if you will...and used a fork. Mash the bananas and pears together till they are uniformly smooth. Fold in the chocolate. Freeze, stirring occasionally. This makes about 750mls...I think. If you want more, all you have to do is add more bananas or another can of pears. It could probably do with a blast in the food processor after a certain amount of freezing, but once again, I was being serenely carbon neutral with my fork. I'm sure it would be far superior made in the food processor, but it really depends on whether you want to serve it to people or just eat it by yourself.

It's so healthy you could practically have it for breakfast. Even with the chocolate because you know, antioxidants! If you want to serve it to polite company though you need to leave it on the bench for a while to soften. Because it has no added fat it freezes rock solid and you will get fissures in your teeth trying to eat it. I think I got elbow fissures trying to scrape up a spoonful for this photo. But when I left it out of the fridge (for ages actually, I'd forgotten about it but our kitchen is so arctic that it hadn't melted in the slightest) to soften, I was pleasantly greeted by a delicious flavour combination. The delicate flavour of the pears, the texture of the bananas, the occasional surprise of dark chocolate made for an excellent mouthful. Better yet it cost me diddly squat to make. Supermarkets will sell overripe bananas for a song, canned pears are always cheap, and okay, chocolate is expensive but if you can get it on special it's not too bad. Which is why, when Tim and I trekked to Pak'n'Save to do our groceries and I saw 250g blocks of chocolate for $2 compared to the usual $6, I stocked up.

When I was up home last weekend, my mother - ever the teacher - gently brought my attention to some misplaced apostrophes in my blog. As I want to be a sub-editor one day...and consider myself pretty au fait with grammatical concepts...I apologise sincerely. By the time I've written and edited these posts and grappled with the screen freezing up and photos uploading I tend to miss a few things. I'll think twice next time I sneer at someone else's poor punctuation. And indeed, feel free to tell me if there is an apostrophe out of place somewhere causing you offense.

Next time: I attempt to make Peanut Butter and Chocolate Popcorn from the Hot Garlic blog. With not a little trepidation I must admit, as I wasn't born with American tastebuds but the way everyone raved over it...and I do love my popcorn maker...well, my curiosity was piqued.

Your daily kitty cuteness update:

He's still doing it.


  1. Ah well, I've been known to make the odd apostrophe glitch myself, although I do find myself somewhat obsessive about them. But, Julian beat me to finding the glaringly strident and mis-punctuated pronouncement, "Kid's Love Mince!" on a packet of mince from the new New World supermarket.

    I now buy my mince from the butcher.

    Nana is equally outraged by the aforementioned NW as they have stopped stocking her famous "homemade" icecream packet mix, as they say it does not sell well enough. We are all spluttering with outrage and indignation.

    I am cooking roast lamb tonight - from same butcher....

  2. And speaking of glaring mistakes - on the front page of the local rag "It's never to late"
    AND it was very large red print.

    Have just returned home from dinner out. Lovely food and great company, what more could one ask for. Tim had a plate of mixed icecreams and sorbets for dessert, the sorbet being very 'limey' and mouth suckingly delicious.

  3. A friend bought me a block of white chocolate with saffron and pistachios from Venice last year. I am just saying...

    And I love your cat.

  4. cromulent = awesome word.

    i just can't get behind white chocolate. now milk chocolate, i'll take that over dark for eating out of hand almost any way.

  5. While I do not have the affection for white chocolate you have, I understand where you are coming from. For some reason, cocoa content in chocolate is like it's grade in chocolate class. 80%, which is a B, must be that kid that says "Miss Smith, you forgot to get our homework from us" I wanted to punch that kid :)

    What made you go sorbet in the dead of winter? I was thinking more like poached pear chocolate bread budding or something :) However, your creativity knows no bounds, Laura my dear.

  6. Mum: Can't believe they've stopped selling the yoghurt packs! Would the OLD New World have done that? You'll have to let me know how the lamb goes :)

    Viv: LOL, but I also hear there was a sizeable photo of Mum in the local paper ;) the dinner out sounds great!

    Foodycat: Ooh sounds amazing. And yeah, ain't he sweet?

    Michelle: I can't take credit for it...I watch too much Simpsons :) Unfortunately I could eat milk chocolate by the barrelful too.

    Adam: You're so right, it is like a class grading system! Oh and here in New Zealand we be coming into Spring my friend! Bring on the sun!

  7. Hehe, I know my mum would happily point out my grammatical errors (with her best intentions) too. I don't mind too much :)

    This Banana, Pear, and Bitter Dark Chocolate Sorbet looks wonderful. I love pears, so I must try it... however, I am wondering how it would turn out with white chocolate??? (For I too share your love of white chocolate!)

  8. PS. I suppose white chocolate wouldn't help this to be healthy enough for breakfast... I have heard that dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, but I'm it doesn't apply to white chocolate.... Still, I'm game to try it!

  9. Yay! I hope it goes well and that you love it! I'm just praying it turns out for you and that it translates to 'Kiwi tastebuds'! -Don't use all natural peanut butter, somebody already did and it didn't turn out.

    -Yeah, I couldn't believe how everyone went nuts for it, I literally didn't even want to post it, I was almost embarrassed! To date it was my most successful post, go figure. It kinda hurts my feelings {not really} with all of my other 'brilliant' ideas being cast by the wayside for PB and Choc popcorn -of all things!

    And I'm the same way with you on chocolate, great for baking / cooking! Though I'm sorry, I like my dark and not the white. You know what I really love though, and we can't get them at home, are those Milky bars -kinda like white chocolate right? They are REALLY good! Tell me you like those too!

    And I agree, cromulent is an awesome word. I love your vocab girl.

  10. And anyway, good white chocolate has cocoa butter in it, which probably gives it more claim to being called chocolate than a lot of the brown cardboard you can buy.

  11. I love white choc too!
    you have to try the white choc sauce on my blog,it is great poured over a hot brownie and good vanilla icecream.

  12. I'm a bit of a white chocolate fiend myself. One of my favourites? White chocolate ganached mixed with whipped cream to make white chocolate mousse!

  13. i dont get white chocolate. i don't understand it. but i'll never turn don eating it! cool ice..mmm.. and your cat is so adorable!!!

  14. Haha, in that case anyone who wants to keep their chocolate safe should pass it to me as I am not a chocolate fan!~

    Cheers to you too!~

  15. White Chocolate.

    OMFG. So delicious.

    Do you like white Kit Kats? I find myself inhaling family sized blocks of that during Law and Order marathons on TV late at night.

    High cocoa-content chocolates are too intense to eat lots of, so I think that's why they're good for the health-conscious.

    Despite chocolate snobbery, I maintain that milk chocolate is the best eating chocolate. (Lindt and Cadbury are my faves).

    xox Sarah

  16. I agree with you - if there is chocolate in the house, it's pretty much ALL I can think about. OCD = Obsessive Chocolate Disorder.

    Thanks for the Face-Plant Kitty picture. :)