This is, hands down, my new favorite chocolate dessert. An adaptation on David Lebovitz's Chocolate Sorbet (which is more than worthy of its Genius Recipe status), this impossibly smooth chocolate sorbet is heightened to new levels with the malty and hoppy notes of the beer. I opted for a winter ale (if you can get your hands on Granville Island Brewery's Lions Winter Ale you will not be disappointed) and complemented it with a pinch of warming winter spices, but feel free to change it up and experiment with your own favorite brew. I could also see a rich and dark stout working very well in this recipe (though I would replace some of the beer with water to avoid overpowering the chocolate).
Consider yourself warned: this is some seriously addicting stuff. That fact, paired with the straight-out-of-the-freezer scoopability (almost unheard of in home-churned frozen desserts) are a dangerous combination!
Note: If, say, it is not winter, don't shelve this one until December. Swap the winter ale for a nut brown, hold off on the spices, and enjoy any time of the year. —kangarhubarb
Test Kitchen Notes
Kangarhubarb has created a delightfully decadent sorbet. The recipe is super simple to make, and yet somehow the result is rich and layered with flavor. The Winter Ale is the perfect complement to the chocolate and fits perfectly with the season. —figgypudding
1 1/2 cups
(1 bottle/can) Winter Ale or other beer of choice
good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
each cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and black pepper
Bring water, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Once mixture has come to a boil, add beer (mixture will boil up) and return to a boil. Allow to boil for approximately 1 minute, continuing to stir.
Add chocolate, vanilla extract, and spices to a blender. Pour hot beer, sugar, and cocoa mixture over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes. Blend on high until completely smooth (about 1 minute).
Chill blended mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Store in freezer to allow to firm up. Sorbet will remain smooth and scoopable up to a week (I can't say how it fares beyond that -- it's never lasted that long around here!)