In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I made Mexican Chocolate Sorbet. Apparently, the addition of almond extract helps make it mexican. Who knew? I don't remember almonds being a part of any Cinco de Mayo celebration we had in elementary school. But maybe I was just more focused on the pinata. The downside to making ice cream is the lack of instant gratification. You have to let the mixture chill, preferably overnight. As I've been having not the greatest of luck since we moved into our house with ice cream - it always comes out of the machine almost as liquidy as when it went in (and apparently, after 3 1/2 years of living here, I'm too lazy to fiddle with the temperature knobs in my fridge), so I chose to let it chill in the fridge overnight. So to get my instant gratification, I made a strawberry kuchen. That turned out to be a bit of a disaster. The upside, however, is that I found out a day in advance that the spice girls also finished my cinnamon, which I needed for the peanut butter torte I planned to make on Sunday. To be fair, I may have finished the cinnamon before I went on vacation, but 1) they did finish my cumin and paprika and 2) they made a bunch of other messes while I was gone, so I blame them. I'd made this sorbet a few years back, in my old apartment where the ice cream froze perfectly every time. It comes from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein. I remembered it being rich, creamy and chocolate, which it should be, considering the official name for the master version is "Chocolate Sorbet #3 (Rich and Creamy)". It's almost as rich as ice cream, although a tad grainy from the cocoa powder - but not too much to make it unpleasant. Just make sure to mix well before pouring it into the freezer. A trip through a fine meshed sieve before placing in the fridge to chill may help too. It also wasn't fully frozen when I ate it last night, so the bit of graininess may disappear entirely when firm. The cinnamon probably would give it a kick to somebody with the ability to smell, but I need much more than 1/2 teaspoon to have any noticeable effect. I do think the tiny bit of almond extract added a bit of something, as it tasted slightly more than just chocolate. But it's still a tasty sorbet. Viva la Mexico!
Total Calories: 1639; Servings: 8 (about 115 grams per serving); Whisks: 3. Ingredients: 3 cups water; 1 1/4 cups sugar; 3 tablespoons light corn syrup; 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder; 1/4 tsp almond extract; 1/2 tsp cinnamon; 2 ounces semisweet chocolate; 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
Combine the water, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Place over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium, bring to a boil, adn cook 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the chocolate, almond extract and cinnamon and simmer 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, and add the chocolate, stirring until it's completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature, and stir in vanilla extract. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Stir the cooled mixture and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Eat directly from machine, or place in freezer for 2 hours to firm.