Nearly Summer (+ Chocolate Sorbet)

[Chocolate sorbet fresh from the deep freeze — note ice flecks – June 2012.]

Woke up today to more sun and brilliant blue skies, feeling the air coming in warm through the window screen. Thinking: The times to visit San Francisco: early-mid June; September; the first weekend of October; maybe late August if it’s a good year. I’ve lived here long enough now to know this. This is the kind of weather that makes you want to slough off work and head to the beach with a stack of magazines (Vogue and Vanity Fair are my guilty pleasures, though I do love my New Yorkers, too) and a book you’ve been wanting to read for awhile and lots of water and a cold bottle of Orangina. Maybe a bag of Kettle chips (another guilty pleasure). And then come home for a dinner of pizza and salad, with a big scoop of sorbet to finish.

I’ll take it.

I am not sure exactly why we decided to try to go vegan for the month of June – I think the idea was hatched over a post-work Friday pint, as most good ideas are. But once agreed-upon we committed to it, with admittedly a few slip-ups here and there (a cheese sandwich last weekend, a slice of wedding cake, a smidge of chocolate cake with salted caramel butter cream for me yesterday). As I mentioned, it’s not been too hard, really, even if I have longed occasionally for a piece of sharp cheddar or a generous helping of parmesan atop my pasta. We’re about half-way through what I’ve been calling The Vegan Experiment already (I’m going to tack on a couple extra days at the end of the month to make up for my occasional transgressions) and I’ve loved how it’s pushed me a bit to come up with new combinations of old favorites, to think outside my non-vegan box, to make more of an effort.

Enter chocolate sorbet. I’ve made sorbet and granita, which is sort of the lazy-man’s (by ‘lazy-man’ I mean ‘me’) sorbet, before, but only with fruit. A few summers ago I stripped my parents’ wee blackberry bush at the edge of their field and cooked the berries with a little sugar and then pureed with an immersion blender and stuck in the freezer for awhile. Insta-dessert. It was divine. Fruit seems tailor-made for sorbet, especially berries, and is a snap to put together. I’ve also heard of some sort of mythical ‘ice cream’ that can be made in three minutes by blending frozen bananas or frozen mangoes (or a mix?) in a food processor to create a very creamy, very dairy-free yet ice-cream-like dessert. This is on the ‘probably will do some day’ list.

So yes: fruit for sorbet but not chocolate.

In the spirit of the Vegan Experiment – and in the spirit of experimentation in general – I made those vegan chocolate chip cookies earlier in the week (a coworker’s comment: these are vegan? I actually think I like them better than the regular ones), but because I don’t really know how to relax and also because I saw a recipe for chocolate sorbet, I threw it together after my run the other night. And I really almost literally threw it together: the assembly took about 4 minutes, tops, basically as long as it took to boil water and melt chocolate chips. A few hours in the freezer yielded pure decadence, the ultimate chocolate (and vegan) dessert.

I would never call this ‘healthy’ but, boy, is it good. Fudgy and rich and just the thing for these nearly-summer warm days by the bay. I topped my little cup last night with the last of the cherry preserves and it was so! delicious. It’s hard to believe the recipe doesn’t call for cream or eggs – it tastes like it should – but it doesn’t. It’s a bit like having a square or two of dark chocolate after dinner; the perfect digestif — well, if you consider a non-alcoholic, creamily frozen dessert a digestif. Which I do.



Join the Conversation

  1. The banana ‘ice cream’ totally works. It’s delicious! And especially good if you throw in a spoonful of peanut butter.

  2. I’ve made this chocolate sorbet and it is good! Very rich, but icy. Yum. Can’t wait to know more about The Vegan Experiment!

  3. Decadent, indeed! This will be in my freezer today. I’m already looking forward to “Sunday Dinner” and the “Tuesday Treat.” How you spoil us and how we love it!

  4. I’m going to try it. Yum!

  5. Looks scrumptious! And I’m happy to hear your conclusions about the good times to be in San Francisco, as my almost-husband and I are moving out your way in August — in time for those lovely fall days you speak of. Best of luck with the remainder of the vegan experiment — seems as though you’re doing famously! :)

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