Dark Chocolate Sorbet

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Sorbet, a fruit ice typically made with water, sugar, and fruit purée, is a delicious vehicle for chocolate, as well. You'd never guess this rich, creamy, frozen confection is dairy-free.

There are many chocolate sorbet recipes available online; our thanks to authors Ina Garten and David Lebovitz for the inspiration responsible for this version.

10 mins
8 hrs 20 mins
about 3 cups sorbet
Dark Chocolate Sorbet


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Combine the sugar, cocoa, salt, espresso powder, chocolate chips, and water in a saucepan set over medium heat.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the chips and sugar are dissolved.

  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla and Kahlua or vodka. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled; overnight is best.

  4. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions. It'll remain quite soft; freeze for several hours before serving, to firm up.

  5. Yield: about 3 cups sorbet.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make sorbet without an ice cream maker: Make the chocolate mixture, but omit the alcohol. Place the mixture in a shallow pan; an 8" x 8" square pan or 9" round cake pan are both good choices. Place the pan in the freezer. There's no need to cover it.

    After 2 hours, use a fork or spoon to stir it around, bringing the frozen edges into the center. Return to the freezer.

    Continue to stir every hour or so, until the sorbet is nearly as firm as you like. This may be as little as 4 hours total, start to finish; or it may take longer, depending on the temperature of your freezer.

    Once the sorbet is entirely icy (like a slush drink), add the alcohol, if you're using it. Rather than add the alcohol while the sorbet is still in its shallow pan, transfer the sorbet to a lidded storage bowl. Stir in the alcohol, then cover the bowl and place it in the freezer. Let the sorbet "ripen" (freeze), undisturbed, for several more hours, until it's as hard as you like.
  • The liqueur or vodka keeps your ice cream/sorbet soft enough to scoop right out of the freezer. Want to leave out the alcohol? Go right ahead; your ice cream/sorbet will freeze rock-hard, so make sure to remove it from the freezer 20 minutes or so before serving, to soften.