June 4, 2009

Xocoatl Sorbet

First Place Winner in the Zupan's Chocolate Decadence Contest!


Xocoatl Sorbet

The Mayans turned cacao beans into a drink, but it was the Aztecs who added vanilla and honey to make it sweet. If they had invented sorbet, I'd like to think they would have made something like this.

I've added cinnamon for spicy-sweet tones, ancho chile powder for sweet-hot notes, and chipotle powder for smoky heat. The Scharffen Berger Chocolate doesn't contain any dairy, but isn't labeled vegan, so a substitution might be necessary. Glucose is a viable substitute for the honey I've used, and it will produce the same texture. Pernigotti is a very fine Dutch process cocoa powder, but it isn't labeled vegan either, so a substitute might be required.

A bite of this sorbet is an interesting experience. The cinnamon appears first in the interior nasal passages, followed by a rich, deep chocolate flavor. Then the cinnamon appears on the palate, followed by the heat of the chiles just about when you swallow. I found that the heat became much more intense if I ate faster.

Xocoatl Sorbet
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups Pernigotti Cocoa
2 ounces Scharffen Berger Bittersweet 70% Cacao Chocolate
1/3 cup honey
pinch Australian pink flake sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
3/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder

Mix the water, sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. As soon as the sugar and cocoa powder are completely absorbed into the water, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir in the remaining ingredients after the chocolate melts. The mixture will thicken as it cools, so strain while still somewhat hot.

Refrigerate at least six hours, or overnight, to let the flavors develop completely. Process in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions.

37 comments:

  1. Thanks! Tastes pretty amazing too.

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  2. The photos looking wonderful. You have introduced very different flavours. Interesting recipe.

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  3. Thanks! Chocolate and cinnamon are a natural pairing, and chocolate and chile should be. The three flavors together produce a richly layered flavor profile.

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  4. All I can say is... Oh. My. GOSH.

    I don't suppose this would work with fructose instead of sugar, and agave nectar instead of honey?

    I need to avoid glucose/sucrose sugars but fructose is "ok." I know using Splenda would just not work. I've heard it freezes like a rock.

    I absolutely love dark chocolate. The darker the better. I can easily eat Lindt 85% dark, and have even tried their 99% dark, but found that was pushing things just a wee bit. Would going with an 85% dark be too far over the top?

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  5. Thanks!

    I don't know whether exchanging fructose for the sugar and agave nectar for the honey would work or not, because I've never tried. Give it a try on a small batch and let me know.

    As for using 85% instead of 70%, well, that's a matter of taste preference. It would work fine, it would just be more bitter than I prefer.

    If you go with a sugar substitute, be sure to let the base sit overnight so that the flavors have plenty of time to develop. Then process according to your ice cream maker's instructions, but don't freeze it. Just serve it soft.

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  6. I have to say, I'm not sure I would make this myself (yet), but I'd very happily eat it. The flavour palette sounds really good, and I'm amazed it's non-dairy.

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  7. That's the beauty of sorbet--no dairy. And this one has big flavor. You'll want to check the ingredients on the chocolate to make sure it has no dairy.

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  8. Dark chocolate and cinnamon are the best combination. I am picturing this in a waffle cone! Oh, my!

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  9. This looks absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! A few raspberries on top and im off and gone to heaven!

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  10. Love, love chocolate
    Love, love sorbet
    Ready to dive in..

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  11. I used really good Saigon cinnamon, so the flavor is really able to stand up to the rich chocolate. The salt really helps as well.

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  12. Best part is that it's relatively low calorie, relative to gelato or ice cream that is. ;)

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  13. I love chocolate and raspberries as well, but you might want to dial back the ancho and chipotle powders to better match the berries.

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  14. Just the way I like my dessert -- very dark, refreshing and not fatty.

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  15. Hi. I've just come across your site. This looks amazing. I've only made one sorbet before. I will have to give this a go....when the weather warms!! :)

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  16. Thanks! Sorbets are really pretty simple, although this one has a lot of ingredients. If you like chocolate and chiles you'll love this sorbet.

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  17. Hi. Just found your blog off of a link from Ruhlman's. It looks beautiful, and I can't believe I've missed out on such a wonderful local blog. Was just at Foster+Dobbs and got the pink sea salt, and have the rest in my pantry, so I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!

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  18. Thanks! I'm glad you like it. Hope you enjoy the sorbet as much as I did. Just don't eat it too quickly--the heat begins to build up rapidly and it can get to the point of sweating while eating a frozen dessert.

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  19. I add chocolate, hot pepper and cinnamon to my chili stew but in a slightly different ratio than what you have listed here. Your sorbet looks wonderful.

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  20. Thanks! The proportion is really a matter of taste. Want it hotter? Add more. Want less heat? Add less.

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  21. This looks amazing... and I DONT HAVE TO MAKE ANY ADJUSTMENTS as it contains NO DAIRY, NO GLUTEN, and NO SOY ingredients. JOY!

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  22. It has a really deep, rich chocolate flavor, and demonstrates how easy it is to satisfy dessert cravings without causing problems for those with allergies.

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  23. I'm a sorbet maker and eater and this looks like a must have recipe to add to my repertoire.

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  24. It's extremely rich and gets hotter with time in the freezer, so be careful to modulate your chile heat.

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  25. Wow. Thank you for this recipe! I love making ice cream, but I don't have an ice cream maker!!! This is next week's project for sure. I'll post it and give you props.

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  26. Thanks! I'll look forward to reading about your results.

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  27. This looks wonderful.....the richness of the chocolate--and I only use Scharffen-Berger for baking--is mouth watering. Will definitely make this!

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  28. Not only the recipe looks fantastic, but your description of the flavor is really interesting, I will try it myself.

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  29. Very interesting recipe..Feels like eating it right away.. yummy!! cheers :)

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  30. It looks like we both have chocolate on the brain!! Great info and recipe!

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  31. Oh...My...GOD!!! That's looks absolutely indescribable. And I'm sure it tastes heavenly! (Vote: Triply Slurrpalicious)

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  32. I can't wait to give this a try. Looks delicious!

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  33. This looks great and I'm intrigued by the chipotle. I recently made a similar recipe for my dad on fathers day that had godiva chocolate liquer, cinnamon and cayenne. I debated the use of chipotle and finally ended up leaving it out because I was afraid it would be overly smoky.

    I guess next time I'll include it! Cheers!

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  34. Great post! I love learning more about the food I eat. I think you are right, this might have been the sorbet that the Aztec's invented.

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  35. Wow, congrats on your win. I've never had a chocolate sorbet before.

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  36. Looks amazing. Would love to dig right in there.

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