Mandarin Sorbet

Easy Elegant Dessert

I struggle with desserts. I’m not really a dessert person. And because I’m not a dessert person, making them is not intuitive. Usually when I cook savoury things, I have an idea of what goes with what. You know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that and 9 times out of 10 it works pretty well. But when it comes to sweet anythings I have to put in a fair amount of brain effort, which hurts my head….

Take the cake I’m creating for Mia’s 10th birthday. I’m on my 4th attempt and my hair is going grey (too much brain effort causes grey hair, right?), but what did I expect? It’s a dessert! Point proven…..

Anyway, today I’m talking easy dessert. Not only easy, but elegant and even a little sexy. It’s silky smooth, flamboyantly orange and just perfect for the warm weather that I know is coming. Made from seasonal mandarins, it’s the perfect finish to dinner.

I do love a good sorbet and often make them for Elly and Mia. They are simplicity itself if you have an ice-cream maker, although don’t despair if you don’t have one as I’ve got a solution for that too in the recipe. Sorbets are made using a sugar syrup and flavouring. Most sugar syrups use equal parts water and sugar (1 cup water and 1 cup sugar). I find this a little too sweet and reduce the sugar content significantly – better result and not so many kilojoules.

The gorgeous little number I’m bringing you today is an adults only Mandarin Sorbet. It uses fresh mandarin juice and Grand Marnier for flavour and only has four ingredients (one of which is water). Now that’s my kind of dessert.

If you’re not that fussed about mandarins, there are so many other options: if you love lemons you could use lemon juice and Limoncello; orange instead of mandarin; raspberries and Framboise; pears and pear brandy; or even coffee and Kahlua (I’m bringing you a gorgeous granita using these ingredients a little closer to Christmas, so sit tight). With each option you may need to adjust the sugar in the syrup; lemons are tarter than mandarins for instance, but you get where I’m going.

So as soon as that sun comes out, make this sorbet. You’ll be so glad you did. Oh, and if you want to make it for smaller people just leave out the Grand Marnier.

Are you a dessert person? Do you whip up sweet morsels that work every time?

Mandarin Sorbet with Grand Marnier


Happy eating!




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