Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-A-Melon)

July 8, 2021Van
Blog post

Prep time: 5 hours

Serves: 6

One of my favorite summer treats I’ve ever made!  Watermelon Soft Serve in a Watermelon Slice + Dark Chocolate Watermelon Seeds, this is inspired by Dominique Ansel’s genius creation: What-A-Melon – it was introduced at Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo in 2017, but now you can get it at many of his bakeries during the summertime. The main ingredients are simple: watermelon, sugar, lime juice – so the flavor of watermelon really shines.  Since this is dairy free, fat free & vegan, I added 2 thickeners to help achieve a creamier texture – without them, it would be the same texture as an icee.  If you love watermelon like I do, this is definitely a fun and delicious project to try out. Watch my short Instagram recipe-video here

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Use a blender + mesh strainer to extract the watermelon juice, you can also use a juicer if you have one Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Dominique Ansel’s version is vegan, so I used Sorbet Stabilizer and Guar Gum to help create a creamier texture. Since this is soft serve sorbet, it’s never going to be as creamy as standard ice cream soft serve.  If you don’t need it to be vegan, you can also substitute 1 Cup of Watermelon Juice with 1 Cup of Heavy Cream for a creamier textureWatermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

I used this 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker, it uses ice + ice cream salt to create ice cream, not only does it work really well, it one of the cheapest ice cream makers on the market.  You can also use this popular 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker which uses a freezer-bowl instead of ice.

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Dark Chocolate Watermelon Seed, I simply melted the chocolate and didn’t go through the trouble of tempering the chocolate – so you have to place the seeds into the fridge to harden up.Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

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Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

If you have leftover soft serve, freeze it overnight & enjoy it as Italian Ice!Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-a-Melon)

Print Recipe

Watermelon Soft Serve Recipe (Dominique Ansel’s What-A-Melon)

  • Prep time: 5 hours
  • Serves: 6

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Ingredients

Method

  • 1)

    Cut out 6 triangular thick slices of watermelon from the center of the watermelon, they should be about 2.5 inches thick. Cut out 1 inch of the center of the the slices so it’s hollowed out for the soft serve (see the photos above for reference), reserve the center watermelon pieces for juicing. Wrap the watermelon slices in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator until your’e ready to serve. Cut up the rest of the watermelon into cubes, discard the rinds and remove any black seeds.

  • 2)

    Place the watermelon cubes into a blender, blend on medium speed just until the watermelon is broken down – this only took about 30 seconds for each batch in my Vitamix. Pour into a large mesh strainer and press out any juice from the pulp, then discard the pulp. Repeat this step until you juice all the watermelon pieces – you’ll need 5½ Cups Watermelon Juice for the soft serve.

    *If you have a juicer, you can juice the watermelon instead of using a blender.

  • 3)

    In a bowl, add ¾ Cup Sugar, 2 Teaspoons Sorbet Stabilizer, ½ Teaspoon Guar Gum and stir well with a whisk to combine. Add 1 Cup of the Watermelon Juice into a sauce pan along with the sugar mixture, use medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and it starts to gel, let it cool for 10 minutes, add 4½ Cups of Watermelon Juice, ¼ Cup Lime Juice and stir well (I didn’t add any coloring, but you can add a few drops of red food gel if you want a more vibrant color) cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours before making soft serve.

  • 4)

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Melt ¼ Cup Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, place into a piping bag or ziplock bag. Snip the very tip of the bag and pipe little chocolate dots, about the size of a standard chocolate chip. Use an icing needle or skewer to shape the dots into the shape of a watermelon seed. Place into the fridge until ready to use.

  • 5)

    Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers’ instructions – it usually takes around 25 minutes, but timing will differ depending on your ice cream maker. Once it starts looking like soft serve, stop the machine and place it into a large piping bag fitted with a large open star tip and freeze for about 1-2 hours, you want it to get firmer in the freezer, but it should still be pipeable.

    *If you let the machine run too long, it incorporates too much air and will turn very icy, similar to Italian Ice.

  • 6)

    Make small slits in the watermelon slices where you want to place the chocolate seeds then add the chocolate seeds. Pipe the watermelon soft serve into the center of the watermelon slices, eat these hand-held right down to the rind. Enjoy!

    * Watch my short Instagram recipe-video here

Notes

 










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