When I moved to London about two months ago, I was looking forward to Britain's famous chocolate bars. Here, Cadbury is an institution, a source of national pride surpassed only by the Beatles, the Queen, and the glorious victory in the Falklands War. But I was pretty surprised at how difficult it can be to find good dark chocolate. Brits love their multi-layered peanut-caramel-cookie-nougat-and-air-bubble-filled concoctions, but ask for real dark chocolate, and they start muttering about the fall of the British Empire.
In an attempt to satisfy my craving for intense, bitter dark chocolate, I tried this sorbet recipe, which has been on my ice cream to-do list for quite some time. It's a dairy-free, egg-yolk based dark chocolate sorbet that delivers a clean, powerful chocolate flavor.
Use good chocolate: Ghirardelli is my go-to supermarket chocolate in the States, but I used Green & Black here, which has a much brighter, fruitier flavor. I mixed bars with 70% and 85% cocoa solids, but you can go as dark as you like. Since there's no milk in the recipe, the chocolate's flavor will be wonderfully intense and nuanced, and it's parve, if you're into that kind of thing. The final product will be a wonderful, incredibly creamy frozen dessert that is so rich and smooth, no one will believe it's a sorbet. As you can see in the photo, my roommates (or "flat"mates, rather) didn't have any trouble helping with the taste-test.
A note about water: When I made this recipe, I used London tap water, which has a very metallic, mineraly tang. It gave the final product a slightly metallic flavor. Next time I make this recipe, I'll use bottled water. As a native New Yorker, I was weaned on our Catskill Mountain-sourced Eau de Bloomberg—if you're lucky enough to live in a place with mild, sweet tap water, than by all means use it. If you're not (like me) I'd recommend buying bottled.
About the authors:
Ethan Frisch is the chef and co-mastermind behind Guerrilla Ice Cream. He's traveled around the world (30 countries, 5 continents) and worked as a pastry chef and line cook in some of NYC's great (and not so great) restaurants. He currently lives in London, where he really misses New York City tap water.
Max Falkowitz writes Serious Eats' weekly Spice Hunting column. He's a proud native of Queens, New York, will do just about anything for a good cup of tea, and enjoys long walks down the aisles of Chinese groceries
- Yield:1.5 quarts
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:4-8 hours
- 6 egg yolks
- 12 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 3 cups (24 oz) bottled water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee
Combine 3 tablespoons of water and 3/4 cup of sugar over medium heat until light golden caramel color is achieved. Reduce heat to low and add remaining water (sugar will sputter) and instant coffee.
Whisk egg yolks with remaining 1/4 cup sugar until pale yellow. Whisking constantly, add one ladle of hot sugar mixture to eggs in slow steady stream. Whisking constantly, slowly pour egg mixture into pot with hot sugar mixture. Heat over low heat whisking constantly until thick enough to coat back of spoon. Pour through sieve into heatproof bowl with chopped chocolate. Mix with rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
Cool mixture in refrigerator at least 4 hours. Spin ice cream in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.