Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Gelato, Sorbet & Wine Blending
mentioned recently, I had the opportunity to create a sorbet flavor at Pazzo Gelato Cafe in North Andover during their special Willy Wonka Week. Jim had created a number of special gelato and sorbet flavors for that special week, and had invited a small number of locals to contribute by creating their own flavors. I was one of those lucky few and last Monday, I went into the Cafe and worked with the owner, Jim Demotses, in creating "Tipsy Sensei," a sorbet blend of Ty Ku Coconut Sake, Yuzu and Coconut. The Ty Ku is a Junmai Nigori Sake that has been infused with Coconut.
When I learned that I could design a flavor, I knew that it had to involve Sake in some way. It seemed obvious that a Nigori Sake might work best, as they often can be sweeter and sometimes can possess tropical fruit flavors which would work well in this situation. And as I shopped for a Nigori, the Ty Ku Coconut stood out as a good choice for this endeavor. And I think coconut and yuzu make a good pairing, so I was excited to taste the results.
Once the calculations were completed, then we blended the various ingredients, measuring each amount upon a scale. This doesn't have to be an exact match as you might need for baking. There is room for error here, and you can make adjustments as necessary. We taste tested the liquid mix at a few points, and at the end, the mixture seemed to be exactly what we wanted, a balanced mix of coconut and yuzu, kind of a Pina Colada flavor, but with the unique citrus taste of the yuzu. It seemed creamy and lush, and I was eager for the final product.
We tasted the finished sorbet, and I realized more about the art of blending. The sorbet had a prominent yuzu flavor, with only a mild background of coconut. It tasted good, and I enjoyed it, but was not exactly what I had envisioned, and not exactly what it had tasted like as a liquid. I wanted a more balanced mix of coconut and yuzu, with neither flavor predominating. During the process of freezing, the flavor balance had altered.
So, in making it again, the proportions of coconut and yuzu would need to be adjusted, which is an easy change. This helps to show that experimentation with flavor combinations is necessary in flavor creation, to see what works and doesn't work. The Sake worked well in the sorbet and would make an excellent ingredient for other flavors of gelato and sorbet too. Kudos to Jim for allowing me this opportunity and sparking my inspiration.