When I was a young child, I was obsessed with chocolate ice cream. It was always chocolate and only chocolate, no stinkin' vanilla. Not until I grew up, explored the world, and expanded my palate did I realize other ice cream flavors were just as tasty. I actually prefer lighter, fruity flavors now. But every once in a while I still crave a scoop of rich, chocolate ice cream.
Almost a year ago I made some Sinful Chocolate Ice Cream for the first time and it that was to die for. It was a little rich for the August heat, but I have made it several times since and enjoyed it everytime. Now that the weather is getting hot and sticky again in New Orleans, I wanted to make a chocolate scoop that wouldn't stick to my ribs. Chocolate sorbet seemed like the perfect solution.
During a recent trip to Florida, I was inspired by a scoop of chocolate sorbetto in which the owner incorporated a hint of porter from a local brewery. The addition of porter added elements of mocha and coffee without overpowering the chocolate. Given that this coming week is American Craft Beer Week, I decided to make my own chocolate sorbet flavored with some American-born porter from Anchor Brewing Company. The result is scoop that is dark, rich, sweet and bitter all at once without being too heavy or creamy. Enjoy!
I added a large amount of porter to this recipe, so the sorbet definitely has a beer finish. The beer also helps make this scoop scoopable. If you don't want your sorbet to have a beer taste, cut back on the beer and substitute water. The sorbet will still taste good but may be a little bit harder to scoop.
I used Scharffen Berger 62% semisweet chocolate and Scharffen Berger cocoa powder. High quality chocolate is key to making the most out of this recipe.
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup porter
1 cup (200 g) sugar
3/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk, for about 45 seconds.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Add vanilla extract and porter, stirring to combine. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds (this will incorporate the chocolate better and reduce graininess).
Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 4 hours or overnight). Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place plastic or parchment over sorbet (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Full disclosure: Scharffen Berger sent me some complimentary chocolate and cocoa power, but I am genuinely a fan. Great stuff!