To the common man’s palate, ice cream is probably the first thing that comes to mind when asked about a cold dessert. So, a dinner at an upscale restaurant can discourage anyone who comes across less-than-familiar cold dessert terms. Here are the most common ones which are fast gaining popularity and worth learning about, just so you can enjoy life’s cold pleasures, besides the usual ice cream.
Ice cream is cream frozen, but granite is frozen ice. The difference is, the texture of granite is sharper and grainier and not creamy at all, because it is not churned in an ice cream machine. Fruit, sugar, or alcohol like wine is blended and poured into a shallow pan, and then kept to freeze. When frozen, the dish is created by scraping the top with a spoon. It makes for a good dessert because of the ice crystals that melts immediately upon touching the tongue.
If you love fruits, then you will enjoy a sorbet for dessert. A sorbet is made by combining pureed fresh fruit, and a sugar and water syrup. This mixture is churned by an ice cream machine and then frozen, then whipped to add air. When this is done, the mixture is then stored in the freezer at a preferred temperature of 10 degreees Fahrenheit. Sorbet lovers enjoy this cold dessert between courses, and like it with mint leaves or citrus swirls or biscotti or wafer bits for a palate cleanser.
To the untrained taste buds, a true parfait can be easily mistaken for an ice cream. However, it is actually lighter and airier. A mixer is used to combine egg yolks sugar into a whipped consistency, until it is ribbon-like. Simultaneous to the whipping process is the soft ball stage, where water and sugar are cooked together, and poured into the egg yolk mixture to “cook” it. Then, when this cools, flavors like praline or hazelnut are added. Whipped cream is folded in for a light consistency, and the finished dessert is served in parfait glasses.