This is one of the very first desserts I made as pastry chef at Lowell’s. Being in charge of a dessert menu which included a vegan option was very daunting and I wanted to steer clear of the “just give them fruit” ethos. Enter the Chocolate Sorbet. The recipe comes from a pastry chef hero of mine, David Lebovitz. He has provided me with endless inspiration and this brilliant sorbet was my debut vegan option, served with poached pears and candied almonds. As my time here at Lowell’s comes to a close, it seems only fitting that my last entry for the blog is for this lovely sorbet. All who ate it immediately loved it, and this gave me the confidence I needed to carry on with a job that felt quite far out of my comfort zone. I’ll miss making desserts at Lowell’s, but not as much as I’ll miss the wonderful people I’ve been lucky enough to share that little kitchen with.
I personally feel that this sorbet is better than chocolate ice cream. It is deep, dark and rich – a truly delicious, pure chocolate experience. The magic of this sorbet comes in the process, not just the ingredients. Of course make sure your chocolate is at least 65% cocoa solids and that your cocoa is best quality you can afford. More importantly, don’t skip the blending step, this is what emulsifies the cocoa butter into the water to ensure a silky smooth end result. Also, there are two measurements for water, one lot you add at the beginning of the process, the other you add towards the end.
1 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar
¾ cup cocoa
6 oz. chocolate, chopped into small pieces
½ t vanilla
¾ cup water
Bring the 1 ½ cups water, sugar, cocoa and salt to simmer. Watch the pot carefully as you bring it up in temperature, this can easily boil over the sides of the pot if left unattended. Once it comes up to a hearty simmer, whisk for 45 seconds and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and vanilla and let sit for a minute or two to allow the chocolate to melt. Whisk the chocolate in, and then add the water and whisk again until everything is well combined. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on high speed for 20 seconds. Pour into a container and let it cool before refrigerating overnight. Once fully cold, the sorbet base is quite thick. Before spinning it into sorbet, whisk it really well to loosen it up. If it is super thick you can whisk in a bit of water. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions and prepare to swoon.