Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet
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chocolate sorbet
Just a small scoop is perfect!

What’s that we hear? A quizzical response to the idea of a sorbet made with chocolate. Yes, us too. We always think of chocolate ice cream, or at least something creamy with the chocolate. This really is a sorbet, having no dairy whatsoever. We have to admit that we’re still a bit skeptical, but, we figure that, since it’s chocolate, if it doesn’t turn out, we’ll probably still eat it. Okay, you can omit the word “probably” in the previous sentence.

The basis of this recipe comes from dirtcandy (yes, lowercase), by Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey, an interesting and fun cookbook/memoir done in the style of a graphic novel with tons of great tips to help you improve your cooking skills. While many of the recipes might not have been for us, we had a lot of fun reading the book and loved the pictures and idea of using the graphic novel format for a cookbook. In fact, we really think that someone should put together a graphic novel containing basic recipes for beginning cooks. Wouldn’t that be fun? Now, if you write such a book, based on our idea, you won’t owe us anything but a mention somewhere.

Now that we gave away our million dollar idea, let’s give away our version of the recipe, too, and get scratchin’.

Chocolate Sorbet

Yield: 1 quart

Chocolate Sorbet


  • 500 g (2 cups) water
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 135 g (1/2 cup + 3 Tbs) granulated sugar
  • 15 g (1 Tbs) corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 170 g (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Abbreviated Instructions

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine water, cocoa, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Place over high heat and whisk until smooth and the mixture is boiling. Remove from heat.

Add chocolate and stir until smooth.

Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Pack in an airtight container and keep frozen.

Ingredient discussion:

Three words: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Chocolate is one of those things in life in which you’ll generally get what you pay for. If you buy inexpensive chocolate, it won’t taste good. Same with cocoa. For us, we used Valrhona cocoa and Callebaut 72% cacao dark chocolate. We think both are very good. Well, actually, we think they’re excellent, and we buy them in large quantities (three-kilo bag and 5-kilo bar), to keep down the cost per recipe.  So, what’s Dutch-processed cocoa? It’s cocoa treated with alkali to neutralize the acidity. Huh? It’s processed so it tastes less bitter. Oh, and, you know, of course, that vanilla flavor is not real vanilla and only real vanilla works in a scratcher’s kitchen.

Note: we give almost all the ingredients in terms of weight first. If you have a scale, it’s the easiest why to measure; plus, it’s consistent. After all, 75 grams of cocoa weighs 75g no matter how much you fluff or pack it. But, 3/4 of a cup of cocoa will be quite different if the cocoa is packed versus if it’s fluffed before measuring.

Procedure in detail:

chocolate sorbet ingredients
This is an easy recipe. Just chop chocolate, and measure out a few ingredients.

Measure. In a medium saucepan (all the ingredients will end up in here), measure out the water, cocoa, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt.

chocolate sorbet
Keep whisking while you heat the chocolate mixture until it boils.

Whisk and boil. Give it a good whisking and place it over high heat. While heating, keep whisking the mixture to get everything blended together and to prevent it from burning (yuck). Once it’s boiling, remove from heat.

chocolate sorbet mix
Once boiling hot, add the chocolate pieces and stir until smooth.

Add chocolate. Stir the chocolate into the hot liquid. Keep stirring until it melts and the mixture is smooth.

sorbet mix
We put our sorbet mix into a large measuring cup with a spout. Easy to pour into the ice cream churn.

Chill and churn. We transferred our sorbet mix to a large measuring cup with a spout so that it’s easier to pour into our ice cream churn (we like to think ahead), but really all you need to do is cover the sorbet mix and place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight. Churn the sorbet according to your manufacturer’s directions.

churning sorbet
Churn according to the manufacturer’s directions, although this did seem to freeze faster than other sorbets.

Pack. Once churned, you can serve some immediately, but pack any left into an airtight container and store in the freezer.

What’s not to like? It’s cold, it’s chocolate, and it only takes a few minutes to make the sorbet mix and a few minutes to churn. We guess the thing that we don’t like is the chilling stage. Eight hours or overnight? We guess this isn’t a recipe to go to for a quick dessert. But, it is one to go to for a great dessert. Nice and chocolatey, in fact super chocolatey, without any cream to dull the flavor. Of course, without that cream, sorbet is never as smooth as ice cream, and you might find that the texture is just slightly granular, reminiscent of having ground hazelnuts in the mix. Hey, another great idea! Today we seem to be full of them! Five stars.

Worth the trouble?

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