There’s no need to worry about finding alternatives or “safe” chocolate with this chocolate sorbet recipe. It uses just sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Okay, you need some water, too. But that’s it! The end result is a light, flavorful dark chocolate frozen dessert to enjoy by the scoop, atop a dessert, or sundae-style with dairy-free chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, fruit sauce, or fruit.
Chocolate Sorbet made with 4 Basic Allergy-Friendly Pantry Ingredients
The trickiest part about this recipe is the initial caramelization stage. Be careful not to let the sugar burn as it is caramelizing. Here are some great step-by-step photos and instructions to help ensure success. The rest of the recipe is a breeze, and requires very little hands on time.
We first posted this recipe about fifteen years ago, when it was shared with us by Veg Cooking, a former vegan website. We’ve since updated it and added some options, should you wish to mix things up!
Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Sorbet
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly.
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the sugar to a large saucepan and shake to spread it in an even layer. Let the sugar cook over medium heat, without stirring, until it just begins to melt (the edges start to caramelize). Now stir continuously as it cooks, until the sugar is completely melted and caramelized.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the water and stir continuously. The caramel will steam and harden, but continue to cook and stir until it is dissolved.
- Whisk in the cocoa and salt until dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the vanilla, cover, and refrigerate the mixture for approximately 2 hours.
- Process the mixture in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container, and freeze for at least a few hours before serving, to allow it firm up.
Flavor Depth Options: You can also add a teaspoon or two of espresso or a tablespoon or two of Kahlúa with the vanilla. The Kahlúa will also help lessen ice crystals in the final chocolate sorbet.
Flavor Options: You can add peppermint extract, orange extract, or other extracts with the vanilla or in place of it. Start with just ¼ teaspoon of the flavor extract, and add to taste.
No Ice Cream Maker Option: Pour the cooled sorbet mixture into a shallow, freezer-safe dish, place it in the freezer, and stir it every 30 minutes to 1 hour by hand or with a hand mixer, until the sorbet is smooth and frozen.
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