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Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)

You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this refreshing strawberry mint sorbet! This simple recipe is made with fresh strawberries and mint leaves and includes a vegan option, too!

strawberry mint sorbetSummers in Greece are HOT! So when strawberries are in season, I love making this easy strawberry mint sorbet. It’s sweet, slightly tangy, yet cool and refreshing at the same time! This healthy summer snack is a perfect way to beat the heat!

What is sorbet?

Sorbet is a combination of pureed fruit or fruit juice, and a sweetener which is then frozen. It’s typically made without eggs or milk. Classic sorbet is usually made with a simple syrup consisting of sugar and water.

This recipe, however, is much healthier because it’s made with honey! For a vegan sorbet, just replace the honey with maple syrup!

What you’ll need to make strawberry mint sorbet

  • Strawberries: I use fresh strawberries.
  • Sweetener: I use good quality Greek honey. For a vegan option, use equal amounts of maple syrup, instead.
  • Mint: I use fresh mint leaves.
  • Lemon juice: It really adds a nice tanginess.
  • Liquor: I use Vodka, but you could use your favorite liquor of choice.

How to make strawberry mint sorbet.

There are two different methods I’ve used to make this sorbet.

Method #1

This method is for those who don’t want any seeds or pieces of fruit or mint in their sorbet.

All you do is put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Taste and adjust the sweetness, adding more honey/maple syrup if needed.

Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer or sieve, pressing the pulp with a spatula. Discard whatever remains in the strainer.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the sorbet mixture onto it. Make sure you evenly spread the mixture on the tray. Then put the tray in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.

After it has frozen, take the tray out of the freezer and break it into small chunks. The chunks should be small enough to fit into your food processor or blender.

Blend or process the pureed chunks using a spatula to scrape the sides and push all the chunks down so that they’re all well blended.

Put it in a freezer-safe container and put it back in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until frozen.

Method #2

This method is my favorite because it’s quicker and easier! It doesn’t involve any straining, so all the pieces of fruit and mint are in it. Personally, I like the seeds and the tiny pieces of mint and I think they’re healthy. It’s the method I used for all the pictures, too. That’s why you can see the tiny pieces of mint in all the pictures!

Here’s how to make it:

strawberry mint sorbet

Then you put it in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until frozen.

Why use Vodka in sorbet?

I use Vodka because alcohol reduces the sorbet’s freezing point and it prevents the sorbet from freezing solid. So, the more alcohol you add, the softer the sorbet, which means it can melt fast. That’s why I use a small amount of Vodka. Also, you cannot taste the Vodka at all in the sorbet; I only use it to help give the sorbet a smoother texture and to prevent any ice from forming.

strawberry mint sorbet

 TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Use the best fruit you can find.
  • I really love mint, that’s why I use quite a lot in this recipe. If you’re not crazy about mint, I suggest starting out with a few mint leaves and then tasting the processed/blended mixture to see if you want more. Of course, you could reduce the amount in the recipe or omit it altogether. You could also use basil leaves, instead.
  • Instead of Vodka, you can use your favorite liquor of choice, just keep in mind that it might affect the overall flavor of the sorbet. I use Vodka because you can’t taste it in the sorbet at all, but other liquors might have an aftertaste.
  • Before freezing, cover the sorbet mixture with plastic wrap making sure it’s touching the surface. Then cover securely with aluminum foil or a tight lid. The plastic wrap together with the lid/aluminum foil will prevent ice crystals from forming and it will also protect the sorbet from absorbing odors.

I hope you enjoy this easy strawberry mint sorbet!

~Voula

Let me know how this  Easy Strawbery Mint Sorbet turns out for you in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

strawberry mint sorbet
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Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)

You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this refreshing strawberry mint sorbet! This simple recipe is made with fresh strawberries and mint leaves and includes a vegan option, too!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: easy,, frozen dessert, no refined sugar, no sugar, honey, maple syrup,, strawberry mint, sorbet,, vegan option
Servings: 3 - 4 (about 1/2 a quart/liter)

Ingredients

  • about 15 strawberries (350g / 12.3 oz) washed, stems removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (plus more to taste)
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves (10 g / 0.4 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Vodka (or your favorite liquor of choice)

Instructions

  • Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  • Process/Blend until smooth. Taste and add more honey/maple syrup or mint if necessary.
  • Pour into a freezer-safe container. Even out the mixture.
  • Cover with plastic wrap making sure it’s touching the surface. Then cover securely with aluminum foil or a tight lid.
  • Put it in the freezer until it’s frozen (about 1-2 hours).
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
The recipe can easily be doubled.
© Pastry Wishes

 

 

 

 

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NO-BAKE BANOFFEE PIE CUPS

This simple, impressive, no-bake dessert is a twist on an English classic. It’s elegantly luscious and creamy and made in less than 15 minutes!

no bake banoffee pie cups

If you love caramel and bananas and you’re a fan of quick and easy desserts, you will absolutely LOVE this recipe!  It will definitely be hard to resist, especially when topped with homemade whipped cream and chocolate!

What is Banoffee Pie?

Banoffee pie is a popular English dessert made with bananas, whipped cream, and toffee (or dulce de leche) and a buttery, cookie crust. It’s often topped with grated chocolate. The name “Banoffee” comes from the words banana and toffee!

What do you need to make No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups?

For this recipe, instead of making one whole pie, I wanted to make individual cups with 4 main layers – cookie crust, dulce de leche, bananas, and whipped cream.

In the past, I’ve made my own ducle de leche from a can of sweetened condensed milk, which is a bit time-consuming! This time, though, I was too lazy to make my own, so I just got some store-bought dulce de leche, instead, which saved me A LOT of time.

What I really love about this recipe is that you only need a handful of ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Cookie crust: I made my own using crushed Digestive cookies and butter. You could use graham cracker crumbs or finely crush your favorite cookies.

Dulce de leche: I used store-bought.

Bananas: I used 3.

Whipped cream: I made my own from heavy cream because it’s so much more flavorful than ready-made.

Some chocolate to garnish: I used some chocolate shavings. You could also use chocolate curls or you could just grate some chocolate. This, of course, is totally optional, but I think the shaved chocolate really makes it look pretty and the flavor blends so well with the other ingredients.

Why you’ll absolutely love this recipe.

  • It’s quick and easy.
  • It would be perfect for a dinner party or family get-together, especially if you serve it in pretty dessert cups or wine glasses.
  • It’s great for an upcoming summer cookout.
  • It’s soooo good!

no bake banoffee pie cups

How do you make No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups?

This recipe is really quick!

After making the cookie crumb mixture and whipped cream, the rest is easy! Here’s how to make it.

no bake banoffee pie cups

VARIATIONS

You can play around with different flavors if you want! Here are a few ideas:

  • Drizzle some melted chocolate over the crust or the bananas before adding the dulce de leche and whipped cream.
  • For a salted caramel flavor, add a pinch of salt to the dulce de leche.
  • Instead of chocolate on top, sprinkle with freshly ground coffee, cocoa powder, or even some chopped nuts. The ground coffee is amazing!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Don’t use low-fat cream – it won’t create thick, stiff peaks. Use really cold heavy whipping cream.
  • I usually put an empty metal bowl in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients. When it comes time to whip the cream, the cold bowl will help it whip faster.
  • I highly suggest you make your own whipped cream! It’s so much better than the ready-made one! Homemade whipped cream holds its shape perfectly, unlike the prepared, store-bought whipped topping which has a tendency to melt!
  • If you can’t find dulce de leche, you can use caramel, instead.
  • Depending on what type of cookies you use, you may need to add a little bit more or less butter.

Looking for more no-bake desserts? Check these out!

Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Easy Coconut Lush

Easy Vegan Chocolate Truffles 

Greek Halva Cake (Step-by-step Tutorial + Variations)

Rizogalo – Greek Rice Pudding (+ Vegan Option) 

Let me know how these No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups

This simple, impressive, no-bake dessert is a twist on an English classic. It’s elegantly luscious and creamy and made in less than 15 minutes!
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: no-bake, easy summer dessert, bananas, dulce de leche, banoffee
Servings: 6 - 8 (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 can (395 g / 13.4 oz) dulce de leche
  • 3-4 bananas
  • 1 cup (100 g / 3.5 oz) crushed Digestive biscuits or graham cracker crumbs (or your favorite cookies, finely crushed)
  • 50 g (1.7 oz or about 3 ½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml / 7 fl oz) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (or more to taste)
  • 60 g / 2.2 oz chocolate shavings, for garnish

Instructions

  • Put an empty metal bowl in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients.
  • In another bowl, mix the dulce de leche with a whisk or a hand mixer for about a minute to make it creamy. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter together. It should look like wet sand. Set aside.
  • Take the metal bowl out of the freezer and pour the heavy whipping cream in it. With a hand mixer, whip the cream on low speed. Add the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. If you want a sweeter whipped cream, add more powdered sugar. Refrigerate the whipped cream until you’re ready to assemble the dessert.

To Assemble

  • Add 1½ - 2 tablespoons of the cookie crumb mixture to a serving glass or dessert cup. If you wish, even out the mixture with a smaller glass.
  • Peel and slice a banana. Add 3-4 slices on top of the crumb mixture.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche over the banana slices and then add a tablespoon of whipped cream.
  • Repeat the layers (cookie crumbs, banana slices, dulce de leche, and whipped cream).
  • Garnish with chocolate shavings.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. You can store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Low-fat cream won’t form thick, stiff peaks.
If you can’t find dulce de leche, you can use caramel, instead.
Depending on what type of cookies you use, you may need to add a little bit more or less butter.
© Pastry Wishes
 
 
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GREEK HALVA CAKE (STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL + VARIATIONS)

This delicious no-bake cake is made with semolina, honey syrup, nuts, and raisins. It’s delicately spiced with cinnamon and cloves.

Greek Halva Cake

Halva (pronounced hal-VA) is a popular Greek dessert. If you’re not familiar with this dessert, it is made with semolina and honey syrup.

This stove-top dessert is pretty straightforward to make and it’s so delicious!

What is halva?

Halva has origins in the Middle East and you can find many different variations in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, too.

Halva is popular in Greece, especially during periods of Orthodox Christian fasting because it’s dairy free and egg free.

In Greece, there are 3 main kinds of halva.

There is a halva called “Halvas Farsalon” (from a region in central Greece called Farsala), which is made with cornstarch, butter, almonds and a unique caramel crust.

Then there’s one made with tahini paste, almonds and/or honey and sugar.

Finally, there’s one made with semolina and honey syrup, which this post is about.

Here’s what you need to make Greek Halva Cake:

halva ingredients

HOW TO MAKE GREEK HALVA CAKE

1 MAKE THE SYRUP – Just put all the syrup ingredients in a saucepan, stir and boil for 5 minutes.

halva syrup

After 5 minutes, remove the spices and the peel. The syrup will be a light caramel color.

honey syrup

2 HEAT THE OIL & TOAST THE SEMOLINA – Heat the oil on medium-high, then add the semolina. Stir continuosly while toasting, otherwise it will burn.

halva pot

3 TOAST UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN – When it turns golden brown, add the raisin and nuts and stir.

halvapot

4 GRADUALLY ADD THE SYRUP – Take the pot off the heat and add the syrup a little bit at a time, allowing the semolina to absorb it. Be careful because it will splatter. When all the syrup has been added, put the pot back on the heat, reduce to low and stir until it thickens.

5 SPOON THE MIXTURE INTO A PREPARED CAKE PAN – Spread the mixture into a cake pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth out and flatten the top.

halva pan

6 ALLOW TO COOL  – Let it cool for about 1 ½ hours, then turn the halva cake over onto a platter, dust with cinnamon, and top with walnuts.

greek halva cake

TIPS FOR SUCCESS:

  • Make sure you have a deep pot like a soup pot because the semolina needs a lot of space when cooking. It will also offer better protection from the splattering when you add the syrup.
  • A long wooden spoon makes stirring easier. The handle will also stay cool while stirring the hot semolina.
  • When you add the semolina to the hot oil, you need to stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. You’re ready to remove it from the heat when the semolina turns a golden brown and smells toasty. If the semolina burns, it gets dark and the halva will have a bitter aftertaste. Once the semolina is ready, take the pot off the stove before adding the syrup.
  • Let the halva cool for at least an hour before slicing it, otherwise it may fall apart.

halva cake slice

POSSIBLE VARIATIONS:

If you want to customize your Halva cake, feel free to…

  • use different pans/serving bowls. Instead of a bundt pan or cake pan, you could serve the Halva in individual bowls.
  • use different nuts. This cake would be great with pistachios, almonds or even pine nuts!
  • add semisweet/bittersweet chocolate. You could add chunks of semisweet/bittersweet chocolate to the semolina mixture and stir until it melts. You can never go wrong with chocolate!
  • use a different topping. You could top the cake with melted chocolate! Yum!
  • serve it with ice cream or whipped cream. Delish!
  • serve it warm with some extra honey on top. This is how I enjoy Halva cake! I just heat a slice in the microwave and drizzle some honey over it! 😋

I hope you enjoy this Greek Halva Cake!

~Voula 😊

halva cake

Let me know how this Greek Halva Cake turns out for you in the comments below!

I’d love to hear from you!

If you want more yummy Greek desserts, you’ll love these:

GREEK HALVA CAKE (STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL + VARIATIONS)

This delicious no-bake cake is made with semolina, honey syrup, nuts, and raisins. It’s delicately spiced with cinnamon and cloves.
Prep Time20 mins
Resting Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Greek, Halva, Cake, No-bake, honey, semolina
Servings: 10 -12

Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups (400 g / 14.2 oz) sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons honey (about 50 g / 1.7 oz)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 1 whole lemon peel

For the cake

  • 1 cup (250 ml / 8 oz) olive oil
  • 2 cups (400 g / 14.2 oz) coarse semolina (or 1 cup coarse & 1 cup fine)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) walnuts

For the topping (optional)

  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • chopped walnuts
  • cinnamon

Instructions

Prep the pan

  • Lightly grease a bundt pan (or other cake pan) with some olive oil. Set aside.

Make the syrup

  • In a saucepan add all the ingredients listed for the syrup, stir and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and remove the spices. Set aside.

Make the cake

  • Heat the olive oil in a deep pot on medium-high heat. Add the semolina and stir with a wooden spoon. Be careful! You need to stir it continuously, otherwise it will burn. When it turns golden brown, add the raisin and nuts and stir. Take the pot off the heat. Carefully pour a little bit of the honey syrup to the semolina and stir constantly until it has absorbed the syrup. Be careful! It will splatter! Add the remaining syrup and put the pot back on the heat, reduce to low and stir until the mixture thickens.
  • Transfer the semolina mixture to the prepared bundt pan and spread the top evenly with the back of a spoon. Allow it to cool completely (about 1 ½ hours).
  • Turn the halva over onto a cake platter/dish. Sprinkle with some cinnamon and top with nuts and honey.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

* Keep the Halva Cake covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
© Pastry Wishes
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Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

This creamy, decadent dessert is a snap to make! Its chocolaty, luscious, silky smooth texture is divine, but not overly sweet! Great for Valentine’s Day!

cheater’s chocolate mousse

This delicious and impressive chocolate mousse is perfect for entertaining or whenever you want a  super quick chocolate dessert that just melts in your mouth!

If you celebrate Valentine’s Day and you’re looking for something quick and easy to make, this no-bake mousse is  for you! But even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, you will absolutely love this chocolate mousse.

What makes this Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse AMAZING:

It has only 4 ingredients.

It’s made in ONE bowl.

It’s egg-free.

It’s quick.

It’s no-bake.

It’s easy.

It tastes like sheer heaven in a glass.

It’s eye-catching.

This is my kinda dessert!

Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse

What you’ll need :

Heavy Cream: This is also called whipping cream. It helps make the mousse thick and adds to the overall flavor.

Cocoa Powder: I use unsweetened Dutch process cocoa because it has a more intense chocolate flavor. It’s also darker than natural cocoa powder, but you can use either one, as long as it’s unsweetened.

Powdered Sugar: I use just enough to balance out the bitterness from the cocoa powder.

Cream Cheese: I use full fat cream cheese, but you could use low fat varieties.

Chocolate Cookies: I use crushed Oreo cookies, but you could use your favorite chocolate cookies, instead.

Chocolate: I use good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and white chocolate to garnish the mousse with chocolate hearts and shards, however, this is optional.

Serving Glasses: I use liqueur glasses to serve them in, but they also look fantastic in tall wine glasses or small glass pots.

Pastry bag & tip: I use a Wilton 2D tip to make them look fancy! Of course, you don’t have to pipe them into serving glasses, you could just spoon them in.

Heart-shaped Cookie cutter: To make the chocolate cutouts.

How to make Two-toned Chocolate Hearts

I use silicone molds because the chocolates just pop right out without cracking or breaking. To make the chocolate hearts, melt the white chocolate and pour it into a silicone mold halfway, let it cool until chocolate is set and then top it with melted bittersweet chocolate. When it cools completely, gently remove the hearts from the mold. They’re great with cognac or on their own!

Two-toned chocolate hearts

For the Chocolate Shards/Cutouts

Melt the bittersweet chocolate and pour it on a large sheet of parchment paper. Evenly spread it out using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Let it cool until chocolate is set. Drizzle some melted white chocolate into lines over the dark chocolate. When it cools completely, cut out chocolate hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter or break it into shards.

Store the chocolate hearts, shards or cutouts in the refrigerator until you’re ready to garnish.

Variations 

Instead of crushed cookies or chocolate hearts, you could add grated chocolate, sprinkles, or nuts.

You could also add 1 or 2 teaspoons of your favorite liqueur if you want a boozy boost.

I hope you enjoy this Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse!

~Voula

LOOKING FOR MORE EASY AND DELICIOUS NO-BAKE DESSERTS? 

Check these out:

Let me know how this cheater’s chocolate mousse turns out for you in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!

Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Prep Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy chocolate mousse no-bake Valentine's Day
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the mousse

  • ¾ cup (200 ml / 6 fl oz) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (25 g / 0.9 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (60g / 2.1 oz) powdered sugar
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) cream cheese
  • 2 chocolate cookies, crushed
  • a pastry bag & tip (optional)

For the Two-toned Chocolate Hearts

  • 125 g / 4.4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 125 g / 4.4 oz white chocolate, chopped

For the Chocolate Shards/Cutouts

  • 50g / 2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 50g / 2 oz white chocolate, chopped

Instructions

Make the Garnishes

  • For the Two-toned Chocolate Hearts
    Place the chopped white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, preferably glass, and place it over a pot of just simmering water. Make sure the bowl DOES NOT TOUCH the water or it may burn the chocolate! Pour into silicone molds halfway, and tap gently to even out the mixture, and let it cool until chocolate is set. Melt the semisweet chocolate the same way and pour on top of the white chocolate. Tap gently and allow it to cool completely. Gently remove the hearts from the mold. Refrigerate until you’re ready to garnish.
  • For the Chocolate Shards/Cutouts
    Melt the bittersweet chocolate as mentioned above and pour it on a large sheet of parchment paper. Evenly spread it out using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Let it cool until chocolate is set. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the bittersweet chocolate. When it cools completely and has set, cut out chocolate hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter or break it into shards.
    Refrigerate until you’re ready to garnish.

Make the mousse

  • Using an electric hand mixer, whip together the heavy cream, unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form, scraping the sides of the bowl often.
  • Add the cream cheese and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a Wilton 2D tip, and pipe the mousse into serving glasses.
  • Top with crushed chocolate cookies and chocolate garnishes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Melting the chocolate: By melting the chocolate over barely simmering water, you prevent the chocolate from burning, which tastes awful. This is another reason why I usually don’t melt chocolate in the microwave, either. It’s best to use a heat-proof glass bowl that fits nicely over a pot of simmering water so that you can see how the chocolate changes as it melts. This is really a fool-proof way of melting chocolate because you have better control over the heat. It’s worth the extra time and effort!
Adapted from https://entertainingwithbeth.com/no-bake-chocolate-mousse/
© Pastry Wishes

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