sweet basil and dark chocolate sorbet

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 in Food

I couldn’t wait any longer.

I’ve been dying (DYING, I SAY!) to pull out my ice cream maker for weeks now. It’s been so warm and sunny and breezy and perfectly spring-y, but I knew if I pulled it out too early, I’d get some seriously strange looks. After all, who makes ice cream in April?

This girl does.

Well, technically, this girl makes sorbet. Weird, intriguing and addictive sorbet.

Last summer, I hit up Hartzell’s ice cream, which is about a hop, skip and a jump away from my office building after having lunch with my favorite Babyface. Hartzell’s has a reputation for having interesting, off-the-wall flavors and I always get something new and different every time I’m in there. That particular visit, they were spotlighting a basil and chocolate ice cream that was calling my name.

While the flavor combo sounded intriguing, the actual ice cream left a little to be desired. I’m a huge chocolate fan and in this particular version, the basil over-powered my beloved chocolate. Basically, to me, it tasted like basil ice cream that happened to be brown. But it was an incredible start of an idea that I’ve been saving in my brain bank all winter long.

When I saw giant bunches of organic basil on sale at my local grocery store, I knew it was time to try my hand at this combo. Not only did I want to adjust the flavor profile—up the chocolate-ness and reduce the basil, I also wanted to downgrade the fat and calories and turn this into a guilt-free treat (not that you should ever feel guilty about eating anything, yo). So I turned it into a sorbet, using lowfat milk and plain ole water as a base.

The end result is quite possible my favorite thing ever. EVER. It’s richly chocolate, like eating a high-percentage chocolate bar, with just an interesting twinge of basil. It’s an intriguing flavor that I find incredibly addictive. Which is okay, because it clocks in only at around 200 calories and 2 grams of fat per 1/2 cup serving. Even better? It is so chocolately, that 1/2 cup is all you need.

This one is an excellent one to use to officially welcome you to ice cream maker season. Go get your sorbet on.

Sweet Basil and Dark Chocolate Sorbet

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 6 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Inspired by: Hartzell’s and Ina Garten

Makes: About 1 quart

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups lowfat milk
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, bruised
  • 1-1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (Kahlua)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine water, milk and basil leaves. Steep over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until mixture just begins to bubble. Remove from heat, strain out basil leaves and discard.
  2. Return pot to low heat, add in honey, cocoa, and salt. Whisk over heat until well combined, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add in vanilla extract and coffee liqueur.
  3. Transfer mixture into a container with lid and chill until completely cold. Pour into ice cream maker and churn as directed by the manufacturer. Sorbet will be soft. Spoon into a freezer-safe container with a lid and freeze for 4-6 hours or until scoopable.
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What’s your favorite odd food combination?

7 Comments

  1. What do you think would happen if I replaced the Kahlua with Bailey’s or just used milk in it’s place?

    • The Bailey’s would probably work. The coffee helps to bring out the chocolate flavor and the alcohol helps the sorbet from getting too icy in the freezer (since alcohol doesn’t freeze). :)

  2. nifty flavor combo, bet it would be great with thai basil, too. I think my favorite wonky ice cream flavor is a classic vanilla studded with chocolate chips and roasted garlic.

  3. I pretty much die over any strange combo Salt & Straw comes up with. And yes I feel completely spoiled getting to call this place my go-to for ice-cream cravings. http://saltandstraw.com/flavors.php

    • PEAR WITH BLUE CHEESE.
      HONEY BALSAMIC STRAWBERRY WITH CRACKED BLACK PEPPER.
      I want to go to there.

      • I KNOW RIGHT. Apparently Oprah blogged about the olive oil flavor. OPRAH! Wiggity whaaaat?
        p.s. I love that you posted that 30 Rock clip.

  4. I’ve a new ice cream amker too to try and this ice cream sounds unique and delicious! My compliments… I’ll have to try it!

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