If you think sorbets can't be creamy, you've never had a good chocolate sorbet. I first encountered chocolate sorbetto at one of the hundreds of gelato shops in Florence, and when The Penny Ice Creamery opened in Santa Cruz, I was ecstatic to hear that their amazing dark chocolate sorbet is a permanent fixture on the menu. But of course, I had to try to create my own because I can't always afford gourmet ice cream, and although I can't claim to have beaten Penny's sorbet, I've never met a dark chocolate lover who was disappointed.
I add a bit of coffee to deepen the chocolate flavor, but if you don't want to use coffee, replace with 1/4 cup of water.
Makes 1 pint (serves 4)
1/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee
1/3 cup cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
3 oz vegan chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the agave with 1/4 cup of the water, the coffee, cocoa, and salt. Bring to a boil and let boil about 1 minute, whisking continuously. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted, then add the vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup water. Pour into a blender and blend for a minute or two (if you don't have a blender, don't worry, but just be sure to whisk the mixture very well).
Chill the mixture for at least 3 hours or overnight. I should warn you this refrigerated mixture makes for a delicious chocolate mousse if you chill it in individual ramekins (see below), but otherwise, transfer the mousse into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. I like the frozen version slightly better because it's less sweet, so the chocolate flavor is even more intense.