Guess who got an ice-cream maker for Christmas? And when you have an ice-cream maker, like chocolate, and want a low-fat desert, then what better than a chocolate sorbet?
I’ve looked high and low for sorbet recipes. My first attempt was a bit of a failure – it wouldn’t churn properly and set so hard that it needed to be chopped up with a knife. Not good.
This recipe gets the seal of approval. It’s easy, and seriously yumbly. The brown sugar gives a more complex flavour than using white sugar, but if you don’t have any, just ignore it and use a cup of white sugar instead.
Secret hint of sorbet: Don’t reduce the sugar quantity – too little sugar and it will set too hard and be horrible.
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup soft brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- About 100g good quality dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp Galliano Amaretto (or brandy, or cherry brandy) (optional)
Bring the water to a boil, and add the sugars. Dissolve.
Add the cocoa powder, whisk in, and then leave on the heat for a minute or two.
Break your dark chocolate into pieces about 1 cm x 1 cm (a bit bigger or smaller does not really seem to matter). There is no need to chop finely or mess about with a food processor.
Add the chocolate pieces to the hot water / sugar / cocoa. Stir for a few seconds.
Turn off the heat.
Over the next 1-2 minutes, whisk a few times to make sure all the chocolate has melted and mixed in.
Leave standing to cool – about an hour; then add the vanilla and Amaretto and whisk in.
Refrigerate the mix for several hours.
After a few hours, the mix will seem to have separated with a semi-set layer on top – that’s OK, just whisk it again to mix, and then pour into your ice-cream maker.
Allow to churn until it seems to have a lot more resistance, and it looks glossy – about 20 minutes but times will depend on quantity, room temperature and your ice-cream maker. More churning seems to make smaller ice crystals and a smoother result.
Scoop the mix out of the ice-cream maker into a bowl, and place back in the freezer to harden – at least an hour; preferably overnight.
To serve: allow the large frozen container of sorbet to warm a little: 5-10 minutes out of the freezer makes all the difference. Form 2-3 balls per person using a scoop or a couple of spoons, and shave a little dark chocolate over (a vegetable peeler works well for this).