Chocolate Sorbet

September 14th, 2009  |  29 Comments

chocolate-sorbet-final

You’ll probably want to throw tomatoes at me for saying this, but I don’t like frozen chocolate anything. Not chocolate ice cream, not sorbet, not frozen parfait, nuthin’. I’ve always preferred fruit flavors in my freezer. I don’t have a good explanation, but could theoretically defend myself by saying chocolate flavors are best and most pronounced when closer to room temperature. Yes, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

So what’s all this? Why the chocolate sorbet now?

Back off, man! It’s just that so many folks around these internet parts have been making it, it lodged into my psyche. Like a song stuck in my head, I couldn’t shake it off. A friend once told me that the cure for a tune looping in the brain was to actually play the offending song out loud. Believe what you will, but it works! Following this faulty logic, it stands to reason that I could get some relief by making this nagging dessert. The base can be made in a few minutes so I knew it would be no skin off my teeth to easily throw it together and forget it for, I hope, at least a few months.

I’m not one of those people that thinks eating ice cream after summer’s over is like wearing white after Labor Day. I eat it all year long, even if it below zero. Scott would now tell you about the blanket I keep near the couch in winter for such occasions. I’ll happily eat a bowl of a frozen treat on a bitter cold night while watching movies, wrapped in the Martha Stewart K-Mart special.

Restaurant goers agreed with me. At The Gotham, they ordered ice cream and sorbet no matter what awaited them outdoors. We served 3 scoops of mixed flavors, whatever we made the day, mostly fruit flavors, and then one of them was sometimes chocolate. In my opinion, it’s tough to pair fruits and chocolate. Neither fruit nor chocolate seem enhanced by the other’s presence, instead both end up tasting harsh and acidic. It takes a skillful hand to balance out the flavors. But in France, the patissieres seem to look the other way on any and every fruit and chocolate marriage. When I took some classes at the Valrhona school, they were demonstrating all manner of mixtures: honeydew melon and chocolate desserts, mango and chocolate desserts, pineapple and chocolate. Anything went. I guess I had to be more open minded if I wanted to be like the French. Still, something rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was the fact that the desserts were only sometimes delicious.

chocolate-sorbet-chocolate-block

Once when I was scooping orders of sorbet at the Gotham, we ran out of all other fruit flavors and only had chocolate and pineapple around. Joe, the pastry chef had gone home for the night and I was in charge. I thought nothing of doling out two scoops of chocolate and one scoop of pineapple, as it was the norm to just serve what was available. I put the plate up on the pass for the waiter to grab. Suddenly, I heard a booming call. “Oh, CHEF!” Amidst the bustle of dinner service, there stood the restaurant owner and renowned chef Alfred Portale peering at me from across the kitchen. Since I wasn’t the chef, I deduced that was sarcasm dripping from his tone. “What makes you think you could serve pineapple and chocolate together? Who taught you that?” Em, the French? The man had an intense way about him and made my scooping hand shake. I didn’t try to argue and just ladled a new batch of flavors.

This may seem like nothing more than a slightly embarrassing moment in my young chef life, but it stayed with me. Alfred Portale has an incredible palate and knows his stuff. So who’s right? I thought more about chocolate and it’s characteristics and started to taste it with the same discernment as a wine connoisseur. Each chocolate had its own nuances, levels of bitterness, and mouthfeel. I started to imagine how some types could go with certain fruits, even pineapple, as long as one flavor didn’t overpower the other. It really comes down to what you enjoy, doesn’t it?

Here’s that same chocolate sorbet. If you think you would enjoy it with pineapple, I say go ahead. I’ve got it with a citrus lace cookie (next post) for a little crunch.

What do you think about chocolate and fruit? Love? Hate? Favorite combinations?

Speaking of chocolate, the winner of last week’s Valrhona chocolate bar giveaway is:

Picture 1

Ilona!

She says “I adore your blog and if I win, I will make a dark chocolate risotto with coffee liqueur and creme fraiche! It’s a dish that’s very dependant on the quality of the chocolate and where I live it’s kinda hard to get my hands on really awesome dark chocolate.”

Can’t wait to see. Please send me your address through the “Contact Me” link on the right so I can mail it to you.

Thanks, everyone, for playing along. I loved reading about your creative ideas.

Also, I just got back from vacation last night, so if you sent me any questions or emails, I apologize for the delay in response. I will reply to you in a day or two.

Chocolate Sorbet
makes 1 quart

12 oz (336g) dark chocolate, good quality
3 cups water
1 cup (210g) sugar

1. Ready to go.

chocolate-sorbet-ingredients

 

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place a large bowl filled with the chocolate over it. This is our stand-in double boiler.

chocolate-sorbet-melt-chocolate

 

Turn the heat down to a simmer and gently stir the chocolate around until it’s melted.

chocolate-sorbet-melted

 

3. Meanwhile, while the chocolate is melting, pour the water and sugar into a pot.

chocolate-sorbet-sugar-water

 

Heat just until the sugar is fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. This is our simple syrup.

chocolate-sorbet-sugar-syrup

 

3. Pour all of the simple syrup over the chocolate at once. You may have heard that chocolate seizes when it comes in contact with water, and that’s true if there is a small amount of water whisked in. With a large amount of water, we have no problem.

chocolate-sorbet-pour

 

Whisk it all together into a very watery, chocolaty soup. Let it stand and cool to room temperature. Do not refrigerate or the chocolate fats will start to harden and make the mixture grainy.

chocolate-sorbet-base

 

4. Pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions. Stow it in the freezer to firm up some more.

chocolate-sorbet-spun

This is the fastest recipe in the west.

Chocolate Sorbet
makes 1 quart

12 oz (336g) dark chocolate, good quality
3 cups water
1 cup (210g) sugar

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place a large bowl filled with the chocolate over it. This is our stand-in double boiler. Turn the heat down to a simmer and gently stir the chocolate around until it’s melted.

2. Meanwhile, while the chocolate is melting, pour the water and sugar into a pot. Heat just until the sugar is fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. This is our simple syrup.

3. Pour all of the simple syrup over the chocolate at once. You may have heard that chocolate seizes when it comes in contact with water, and that’s true if there is a small amount of water whisked in. With a large amount of water, we have no problem.

4. Whisk it all together into a very watery, chocolaty soup. Let it stand and cool to room temperature. Do not refrigerate or the chocolate fats will start to harden and make the mixture grainy.

5. Pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions. Stow it in the freezer to firm up some more.






29 Responses to “Chocolate Sorbet”

  1. I dont care too much for chocolate icecream, etc… only chocolate gelato. But this sorbet sounds like something that may break me beyond the gelato! MMMM

  2. Ilona says:

    I’m extremely delighted to have won! :) Thank you! :)
    That, and I like extra dark chocolate and mandarines together, but other than that I’m not very fond of pairing chocolate with fruits.

  3. Dan says:

    Dang, I was hoping for a companion recipe on how to make the garnishing cookies…they look nice!

  4. PastryPal says:

    Dan—Those cookies are coming up in the next post. Stay tuned…

  5. I’ve never tried chocolate sorbet before. I haven’t used my ice cream machine a lot this summer, except for making your ginger frozen treat. Got give this recipe a try. I like it a lot more because it contains no egg (a good thing for my sis-in-law who’s allergic to eggs)

    Everything goes with chocolate. I just made a kiwi tart drizzled with dark chocolate. It was so good.

    Don’t know if you’ve noticed. I started a bread contest. You should submit one. The winner gets a $179 Super Bread bread knife from New West Knifeworks. You can get more info here:
    http://www.phamfatale.com/id_570/title_18-More-Days-until-the-End-of-the-Bread-Contest/

  6. Ilona says:

    To prove you and myself wrong, I will make a frozen chocolate dessert tomorrow that contains fruits. :) A white chocolate parfait with earl grey tea and dried cranberries. We’ll see if it works out!

  7. Ramya Kiran says:

    Chocolate sorbet looks delicious. Another cool way to enjoy chocolate.

  8. Ilona says:

    (As in: a French parfait, not an American parfait :))

  9. You see a lot of chocolate paired with orange, but the only fruit I like with chocolate is raspberry. That chocolate sorbet with a swirl of raspberry puree would be heavenly!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Mmmm….Chocolate.

    I, too, will eat frozen goodies at any time of year. My childhood birthday cake was always an ice cream cake, not homemade mind you…

    This recipe looks so simple! What would happen if I made it the no machine way? WOuld it turn out granular and crusty? I don’t have one, but I’d love to make this.

  11. Gala says:

    I never go for the chocolate sorbet when trying to decide between flavors…but this does look very good and I probably would finish the whole batch if I had it at my home…..

  12. Kathy says:

    Looks absolutely yummy! I love your pictures.

  13. PastryPal says:

    Ilona — Congrats on winning! White chocolate is so different from dark chocolate, and I think white definitely goes with fruits. Let me know how your dessert works out. It’s sounds like an unusual combination. :)

    Elizabeth — One thing you can try is to freeze the base and then whirr it up in a food processor or blender, then freeze again. (This is kind of how a Paco Jet works, only it has the ability to shave the frozen block VERY finely for a smooth result.) Even if it’s not super smooth, it might still be a tasty frozen something. Or you can just call it chocolate granita. If you try it, let me know what happens…

  14. Oh go on. Let it all hang out. Top that perfect sorbet with a jot of whipped cream and a fresh raspberry or two. Why not? Then you have everything. A chocolate mainline fix made perfect by whipped cream sliding down your gullet and a raspberry to add the punctuation point. Oh. wait. I guess the order should be reversed. Raspberries on the bottom. whipped cream to disguise them, then that deep, dark, dangerous chocolate on top. btw. I would have loved to see a list of acceptable chocolates. We know Valhrona is the top, but what else? Love your blog. gotta sign off. I’m gonna dig out the ice cream maker.

  15. peabody says:

    Mmm, wicked! Looks like a wonderful treat.

  16. Ilona says:

    http://i32.tinypic.com/33oqgdv.jpg
    http://i25.tinypic.com/6ep2xj.jpg

    Here’s my white chocolate & earl grey parfait, with shards of dark chocolate with cranberries. Quite tasty, but not too awesome. The parfait was very rich and dense, which was nice, but I don’t think I’ll make it again.
    (Lame pics – it was already quite dark outside and in my kitchen)

    I’ll be making your lemon mousse on friday! :)

  17. PastryPal says:

    Thanks for sending the photos. It’s fun to see what you’re up to in the kitchen! Too bad you’re half-hearted about this dessert but it was worth a try, right? Let me know how you like the lemon mousse.

  18. Rosa says:

    That sorbet looks fantastic! Pure chocolate heaven!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  19. shaz says:

    That looks absolutely tempting. I must say that I’m not that big a fan of ice-cream/sorbet – I’ll eat it if it’s served to me but probably not the first thing I’d order. But how I LOVE chocolate anything – so this would definitely be something I’d want to eat :) (And I love chocolate- raspberry combos)

  20. yum! your first and last pictures convinced me. I thought chocolate needed something creamy, but you have proven me wrong. Looks sooo good! Maybe it even needs a sprinkle of cookie on top for good measure?

  21. Y says:

    I love chocolate sorbet! There are quite a few fruits I’m not keen on, to pair with chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

  22. Aran says:

    beautiful texture. i love chocolate sorbet too!

  23. Lan says:

    what i am loving about this is that there appears to be no dairy/lactose. recently it’s come to my dr’s attn that i might be lactose intolerant. i bemoan the possible loss of being able to consume cheese and alot of dairy products comfortably. this sorbet just might keep me satiated (and sane) for awhile. :) thank you for sharing the recipe.

  24. Erica says:

    You have a beautiful blog here…..Great pictures and recipes:)

  25. Alma says:

    What a lovely blog! I so enjoy the step by step instructions,how can you go wrong! I made the chocolate sorbet because it looked too easy to be true,and it was such a hit with family and friends. I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate and will try the lace cookies next. I am sooooooooo inspired!!

  26. PastryPal says:

    Thank you Alma—True, the chocolate sorbet is suspiciously easy, and it’s one of the best things about it :). I hope you keep trying recipes from the blog and letting us know how it goes for you.

  27. Emelia says:

    If i don’t have ice cream maker? I stil can make the ice cream rite?

  28. PastryPal says:

    Emelia—If you make the mixture and freeze it, you’ll get more of a granita, which is like a shaved ice. It’s still pretty good, but wont have a smooth texture like ice cream or sorbet.

  29. Kavi says:

    Hi.. This looks beautiful! I’m surprised coz this has no cream or milk!
    Is there a way to make it without the ice cream maker?

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