Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Chocolate Sorbet

Posted on: January 14, 2010

Healthy but decadent

I’ve always wanted to try chocolate sorbet. Most sorbets are fruit flavored, so I wondered if a chocolate flavored one could really be any good. Especially with the yumminess that is chocolate ice cream to compete with. But after making this amazingly flavorful sorbet, I’m happy to report that the two frozen treats are different, but equally good. Using water instead of milk products or eggs allows for a deep, dark chocolate flavor to shine through in a way that would be difficult in an ice cream. And the best part is that its devilish taste belies the sorbet’s angelic nutritional profile. So after a calorically packed holiday season, treat yourself to this sorbet guilt-free!

The main ingredient-Cocoa!

I used a recipe I found from a book called Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich. What intrigued me was its simplicity of ingredients and ease of preparation. It has essentially just three ingredients- cocoa powder, water and sugar. Can water really even be counted as an ingredient? And as for the preparation, it’s a quick, simple boil on the stove. The hardest part is probably the agonizing wait for the sorbet to become solid and ripen in the freezer!  

Doesn't it sort of look like Sand Art?

The only thing to watch out for with this recipe is that you definitely don’t want to overcook your sorbet when it’s on the stove. You want to heat the cocoa-sugar-water mixture just until the sugar dissolves and no longer. You see, I’ve learned from this recipe that heat is the enemy of the flavorful cocoa powder. If you boil it too long, the cocoa will lose all of its chocolately intensity- definitely something to be avoided.

With a dollop of whipped cream on top!

I had a family member on a diet who flipped for this recipe and couldn’t believe it wasn’t a wicked indulgence. It’s remarkably creamy for a frozen treat with no dairy products, and also holds up very well after days in the freezer. This is chocolate at its best; rich, unadulterated and distraction free.

Chocolate Sorbet
Paraphrased from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich

1 cup (3.25 oz) cocoa
Scant 1 cup sugar
2 tiny pinches salt
2 cups boiling water
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar, salt in saucepan and whisk in 1/2 cup boiling water to make a thick paste. Add the remaining water. Stir over medium heat just until tiny bubbles form at the edges of the pan. Don’t cook any longer, as the heat can damage the flavor of the cocoa.

Take the mixture off the heat and add the vanilla. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours. Add the rum or vodka, if using. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Harden the sorbet in the freezer for at least 3 to 4 hours.

Note: The flavor is so rich that you can substitute half of the water with milk.


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