"It had a deep, pure chocolate flavor, and a consistency so smooth it reminded me more of sherbet than sorbet."
When I got my ice cream maker a few years ago, my friend Erin had a few words of advice: "Be careful," she said. "I broke mine due to overuse." I laughed, tossed caution to the wind, and spent the entire summer churning out pints of bourbon-vanilla, fresh mint-chocolate-chip, and maple syrup. The ice cream maker didn't break, but by the beginning of September, it had become increasingly difficult to button my jeans. (Oops.)
Determined to find a way to continue pursuing my passion as an ice creamatoligst without ruining my waistline, I experimented with sorbet and frozen yogurt. More often then not, the results were disappointing: the sorbets were grainy and full of ice chunks, and the frozen yogurts tasted like, well, yogurt.
It seemed like the only way to get good results from a home ice cream maker was to use a batter that included at least four (and truthfully more like six) egg yolks. But while a custard base yielded ice cream as smooth as satin and creamy as butter, it wasn't exactly diet-friendly. Discouraged, I buried my Cuisinart deep in the back of the freezer. A few days ago, however, I dug it out to give the Well Dressed Food Company's Dark Chocolate Sorbet Mix ($6.95) a try.
Based in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, the Well Dressed Food Company produces a line of all-natural specialty foods including apple-crumble granola and rosemary-Riesling jam. Yum. The sorbet mix promised "dark chocolate debauchery without the guilt." It sounded pretty good to me.
To make the sorbet, all I had to do was combine the mix with three cups of water in a medium saucepan, bring it to a boil, and cook it for one minute. After it cooled a bit, I transferred the "batter" to a bowl, covered it with plastic, and refrigerated it overnight. (It needs to chill for at least four hours.) The next day, I churned the batter in my ice cream maker for 25 minutes until it was frozen, thick, and about the consistency of soft-serve.
I let the sorbet harden for about an hour, then heaped several scoops into a bowl. The color of the sorbet was so dark it bordered on black, and it smelled like a heady mixture of cocoa beans and espresso. (Sure enough, coffee is listed as one of the main ingredients.) A spoonful bordered on perfection: deep, pure chocolate flavor, and a consistency so smooth it reminded me more of sherbet than sorbet. Seriously, the last time I remember tasting chocolate this intense, it was a press event for Michel Cluizel.
I would enthusiastically recommend this mix for anyone with an ice cream maker. If you don't have one, not to worry—there are instructions for making a mean dark chocolate granita.