Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chocolate-Chile Sherbet

Sherbet ...sherbert...sorbet. I'm settling the score.

Sherbet, which a misguided but endearing contingent misspells as sherbert, is a frozen treat that may contain modest amounts of milkfat. Sorbet is the French word for sherbet, and is commonly used interchangeably, but it is worthwhile to note that true sorbet contains nary a wee drip of dairy. Fruit juice, pulp, liqueurs, sweetening agents, water, but no milkfat.

Pedantry aside, may I now introduce you to my favorite summer treat?  I present Chocolate-Chile Sherbet, adapted from sweet treat demi-god David Lebovitz's recipe for chocolate sherbet in The Perfect Scoop. You can very easily jettison the spice element in this by just using regular dark chocolate, but where's the fun in that?

Always anglin' for a lick
 Chocolate-Chile Sherbet

*2 cups milk, whatever % you have on hand. It's generally always skim pickin's for me.
*1/2 cup vanilla sugar (stick a spent v-bean in a little mason jar with sugar to keep for a while and voila)
*1/2 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
*4 oz of chocolate cut with chiles; I always use Dagoba Xocolatl 74% Dark Chocolate, which I find at Whole Foods, but there are tons of specialty spicy chocolate bars out there.
*Scant 2 tablespoons of Chocolate Vodka; alternately, a chocolate or coffee-flavored liqueur would work. You don't have to include this, but adding a touch of alcohol makes it freeze niiiice 'n smooth.
*Pincha salt, pincha cayenne

In a pan, gradually bring half of the milk, sugar, pinches of salt & spice and cocoa to a boil while whisking subtly, then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 seconds before removing the pan from heat. Chop the chocolate and stir it in with the alcohol, followed by the other half of the milk. Use an immersion blender to smooth the mix out once all the chocolate has melted. Chill thoroughly (very important), then freeze in your ice cream maker for about 25 minutes or according to the maker's instructions. I usually chill my mix in a zip-lock bag submerged in a bath of ice water for a spell while I'm bustling around the kitchen, and then pop it in the fridge for a number of hours longer before freezing it (about 5-6 hours). Or, I chill it in the fridge overnight. I highly recommend storing it in these paper ice cream containers. The sherbet probably will need a bit of time in deep freeze to firm up after being churned in the maker, so make sure to have a good container on hand.

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