Monday, July 4, 2011

Chocolate Sorbet

This weekend, I hosted my very first Shabbat meal in my apartment! And, be proud, for the first time in a long time, my dessert choice came easily to me! As the summer progresses and the days get hotter, I find the need for something cool and refreshing increases. So I whipped out my copy of The Perfect Scoop and looked around for information. In this definitive volume devoted to all things ice cream, David Lebovitz provides no shortage of inspiration. Seeing as I have no ice cream maker, I didn't want to use a million egg yolks, and dairy was off limits, I headed to the chapter on sorbets. The fruit sorbets sounded delicious, (the cherry sorbet stood out as it's prime cherry season here!) but I passed them over in favor of the rich and decadent Chocolate Sorbet. Made with only the best cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, this sorbet packs a powerful punch. Add the chill factor and you have a wonderful, refreshing, and refreshingly different Shabbat dessert. If you have an ice cream maker, this is a breeze to prepare. If you don't, and I don't (I asked around electronic shops here, apparently they dont carry them anymore in this country- shame!), you can still make this by chilling the base and then beating it every half hour to break up the ice crystals. The texture isn't as smooth as if machine churned, but this version doesn't suffer too much. Out of sheer laziness, and the late hour, I didn't blend before starting the freezing process, but I don't think it mattered. Also, for easier mixing, I poured the base into a nine inch pan.  I would suggest though, pouring the base into a tall container when you're finished the "churning" process as the increased surface area of the pan allows the sorbet to melt faster. No one complained about the fudgy, melty texture, in fact this was a big hit, but I would have preferred nice, clean, unmelted scoops of sorbet. 
Chocolate Sorbet
slightly adapted from The Perfect Scoop

2 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
pinch salt
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a large saucepan, place the 1 1/2 cups water, cocoa and salt. 
Whisk thoroughly.
Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. This mixture bubbles up so make sure it's a big saucepan!
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla.
Stir to make a smooth mixture.
Add the remaining water and stir until smooth.
Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to package directions or freeze using this technique:

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