Make Ahead

Chocolate Cardamom Sorbet

January 29, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Makes 1 pint plus a little more
Author Notes

This is hands down my favorite chocolate sorbet base recipe! In this one I use some strained apricot jam to bring up the fruit aspects of the chocolate and add cardmom with just a little cinnamon. I've also done it without any of those additions, and have just added 1/2 cup strained raspberry jam. Or you could just go with chocolate, straight-up! It's so chocolatey, you'd never guess it's a sorbet. This ridiculously easy to make, but I highly recommend making it the day before to allow it to completely set up overnight in the freezer. - ChezSuzanne —TheWimpyVegetarian

Test Kitchen Notes

This icy treat reminds me of a frozen Mexican hot chocolate that is packed with a chocolatey, spicy punch. This was the perfect balance with the chocolate to bring out the aromatic flavor that cardamom delivers. If you don't have an ice cream maker, never fear, I attempted it the 'old fashioned' way and poured it into a freezer-proof bowl and popped it into the freezer. I scraped it every 20 minutes until frozen. It wasn't quite as perfectly smooth as using a machine, however definitely better than missing out on this delicious sorbet entirely. —Victoria Ross

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (use a good one)
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (chips or bar form cut up; use a good chocolate here too!)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup strained apricot preserves (you want it completely smooth)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine the water and sugars in a medium pot over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the chocolates all at once and stir until completely melted.
  3. Add the strained apricot preserves and spices. Keep stirring until the powder is dissolved. This could take 5 minutes or more. Keep checking by dipping in a spoon and removing it. You shouldn't see individual granules of chocolate, or at least very, very few. Don't be tempted to put back on the stove as chocolate can be very temperamental with heat and doesn't need much to melt!
  4. Cool to room temp and chill for at least 2 hours. Process in an ice cream maker for about 45 minutes, put in a container and place in the freezer overnight. It should be perfectly set up by morning.
  5. Tip: for my ice cream maker, this sobet sets up best if I divide the chocolate liquid into 2 batches and process them separately. If you do that, and have an ice cream maker that requires you to put the metal container in the freezer before using, I just make one batch the 1st day, putting the rest of the liquid in the fridge in a zip-lok; and finish it off the next morning.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • dymnyno
  • lapadia
  • AppleAnnie
  • AntoniaJames
  • lastnightsdinner

39 Reviews

dymnyno June 3, 2013
This is a great well thought out recipe and it sounds super delicious to a chocolate lover like me!
You would love it Mare. As I mentioned below to Suzanne, it's my #1 frozen chocolate dessert. And the great thing is that it feels soooo decadent, but it's not.
lapadia June 3, 2013
Yum, and your photo is totally inviting!
Thanks so much Linda!!
AppleAnnie February 12, 2011
I had great luck with this recipe, a wonderful combination of chocolate and cardamom flavors. The smooth, dense texture is almost creamy, hard to believe it is really a sorbet. I used a coffee-infused wine jelly (Espresso chianti) from a local chef instead of the apricot preserves, and it blended in beautifully. Picked up Hardlikearmour's suggestion and used Penzey's high fat cocoa. Now I'm eager to try this recipe with other flavors, such as coffee or hazelnut.
TheWimpyVegetarian February 12, 2011
Thanks so much, AppleAnnie! I'm glad the recipe worked out well for you, and I love the idea of a coffee infused wine jelly with this. Sounds killer! Making a coffee version is my next experiment with this too!! The base recipe has been a very adaptable one for me.
AntoniaJames February 10, 2011
Congrats on the EP! It looks so tasty! Mmmm, yum. Thanks for sharing this. ;o)
TheWimpyVegetarian February 11, 2011
Thanks AJ! Although it tastes very different with the cardamom-apricot-cinnamon flavors, it uses the same base as the chocolate raspberry sorbet I brought to your potluck last summer. I keep tweaking it (can't help myself).
lastnightsdinner February 2, 2011
Wow, this looks amazing!
TheWimpyVegetarian February 2, 2011
Thanks LND!! Hope you like it if you try it!
dymnyno February 1, 2011
What a great way to get a chocolate fix! This looks really creamy and the cardamom must give the sorbet a really unique flavor.
TheWimpyVegetarian February 1, 2011
It's so good, Mary! I keep sneaking into the freezer during the day to get a little scoop. Welcome back home - hope your trip to Florida was fruitful!
chefcarla February 1, 2011
I love sorbet and the addition of cardamom and apricot sounds like a real winner. Honestly, I'd rather have a sorbet like this than a super fat chocolate ice cream because the fadded at in the ice cream seems to step on the chocolate flavor (I know this isn't the case for everyone). I can't wait to give this a go!
TheWimpyVegetarian February 1, 2011
Hey, thanks so much chefcarla! I'm making your fabulous sounding oranges tonight! I can't wait to try them!
testkitchenette January 31, 2011
What a wonderful use of cardamom and chocolate together in a somewhat guilt free dessert. I've never made sorbet (ice cream and gelato, yes) but this is going to get me to break out the ice cream machine for sure!
TheWimpyVegetarian January 31, 2011
Thanks so much testkitchenette! I'd love to hear back your thoughts if you make it!
hardlikearmour January 30, 2011
This sounds to-die-for good! How strong is the cardamom flavor? My ground cardamom is really fresh, and I'm afraid 1 & 1/2 tablespoons might be too much.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
That's an important variable. The other one is how chocolatey your chocolate is. Valhrona is different from ghiradelli for example. I would start with 1 tablespoon and taste it. Add additional cardamom 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Let me know what you think!
hardlikearmour January 30, 2011
Good idea. I'm hoping to have time to make this sometime this week. I have the Penzey's dutched high fat cocoa & and a mix of ghiradelli and trader joe's chocolate at home, plus some homemade plum preserves to use.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
That sounds killer!! I'd love to hear how it goes for you!
AppleAnnie January 30, 2011
Can you think of anything else to replace the apricot or raspberry jam (which I don't have on hand at present)? Honey? maple syrup? agave? coffee (I have had Ethiopian coffee which has cardamom)
Sagegreen January 30, 2011
I wonder what ChezSuzanne would think about experimenting with apple sauce or apple butter sweetened with maple syrup as a jam substitute...which might put this on track to another recipe altogether. Just guessing you might have those on hand?
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
The apricot is there to bring up the fruity side of chocolate that can sometimes be overwhelmed by bitterness of the cocoa bean, so my first instinct is go with strained jam of any berry like strawberry, blackberry, etc. Or cherry preserves. Or if you have any fruit syrups, you could reduce them on the stove to reaaly thicken them. Pomegranate molasses could be interesting, or just super-reduced pom juice. That said, i think espresso would be very interesting and have thought that would be my next experiment. It will be a different direction, so adjust the sugar to compensate for increased bitterness and a little more salt. And sagegreens ideas as always are really interesting. It's another idea entirely, but it sounds really good to me and i've added apples to my short list of things to try now. Let me know how it goes!
AppleAnnie January 30, 2011
I thought the preserves might contribute pectin--for a smooth texture, as well as the fruity flavor.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
I use the apricot purée in chocolate for icing cookies when I want a firm coating, so you make an excellent point Apple Annie about pectin. I'm honestly not sure the role of the pectin in sorbet. But now I'm curious and want to know!
Kitchen B. January 30, 2011
The flavours are divine!
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
Thanks KB! And i am loving your cardamom entries! I'm trying your kumquat smoothie right after i make your cardmom sugar!
lapadia January 29, 2011
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
Thanks lapadia! It was soooo good after dinner tonight :-)
drbabs January 29, 2011
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
I thought about you as I was making this. Right up your alley!
drbabs January 31, 2011
It is--and I'm honored that you thought of me!
Jennifer A. January 29, 2011
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
Thanks Jennifer Ann! Hope you try it!
Sagegreen January 29, 2011
Love the idea of a chocolate sorbet!
TheWimpyVegetarian January 29, 2011
Thanks sagegreen!! It can be a great, easy chocolatey option for Valentine's Day around the corner too!
Lizthechef January 29, 2011
Looks beautiful! The apricot preserves is a great touch, along with the cardamom, of course.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 29, 2011
Thanks so much Liz! I frequently add apricot to chocolate recipes to bring up the fruit flavors of chocolate that can otherwise be really overshadowed. Or at least that's what my tastebuds tell me :-)
Lizthechef January 29, 2011
Forgot the Thumbs up...