Diary of a Foodie

Watermelon Sorbet Slices with
Chocolate Seeds

Diary of a Foodie: Season Two: Trompe l’Oeil: The Art of Culinary Deception

  • Active Time:1 hr
  • Start to Finish:16 1/2 hr
February 2008
  • 3 1/2 to 4 lb watermelon (whole or a quarter of a large one)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Sambuca or anisette liqueur (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), chopped
  • Equipment:

    an ice cream maker
  • Cut watermelon into 1-inch-thick semi-circular slices. Cut flesh into chunks, reserving rind.
  • Arrange rind slices on their sides on foil-lined baking sheets, leaving space between them to add sorbet later, and cover tightly. Freeze until frozen hard, at least 2 hours.
  • Discard seeds from melon, then purée enough melon in a blender to yield 5 cups. Heat 1 cup purée with sugar in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, then stir into remaining purée along with lime juice and Sambuca. Chill, covered, at least 8 hours.
  • While purée is chilling, line another baking sheet or tray with parchment paper. Melt chocolate (see Tips), then remove from heat. Transfer chocolate to a small sealable bag and seal, pressing out excess air. Snip off tip of one corner to form a tiny hole. Pipe 1/3- to 1/2-inch-long ovals of chocolate onto sheet, flattening them slightly, to resemble watermelon seeds. Freeze chocolate “seeds” on sheet until very firm, about 30 minutes. Working quickly, loosen “seeds” from parchment with an offset spatula or knife and transfer to a small bowl, then freeze, covered.
  • Freeze chilled purée in ice cream maker to a thick slush, then add three fourths of chocolate “seeds” and continue to freeze until frozen.
  • Working quickly, fill frozen rinds with sorbet, smoothing with a rubber spatula. Quickly sprinkle remaining chocolate “seeds” realistically on slices and smooth sorbet again. Freeze, covered with plastic wrap, until very firm, about 6 hours.
Cooks’ note: Sorbet slices can be frozen, wrapped tightly, up to 3 days.
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