Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet

Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet with Cocoa Nibs in glass dessert dish

During the weeklong Patricia Wells’ cooking class, my tasks ran the gamut from braising asparagus, creating compound butters, deep frying onion rings, setting lemon panna cotta, to making an amazing Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet, which won “Best Taste of the Week.”

Ingredients for Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet
Mise en Place in Paris

This sorbet is deep, rich, and incredibly satisfying. With help from my 10yr old, it was the first recipe I recreated when I arrived home and a huge hit with my family. So easy to make, the sorbet will be a standard freezer item all summer long. Enjoy!

Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet

Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet

  • Servings: 8-10
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*recipe adapted from Patricia Wells

2 cups water
2/3 cup mild honey
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or light corn syrup)
cocoa nibs for sprinkling (optional)
chopped nuts for sprinkling (optional)

In a large saucepan combine water with honey, salt, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute, whisking constantly. The mixture should turn a shiny, deep brown.

Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces, vanilla extract, and syrup. Stir until chocolate is fully melted. Transfer mixture to bowl and place in freezer to chill thoroughly, about an hour.

Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. *See note below.

Serve in chilled bowls with a garnish of cocoa nibs, nuts, or your favorite topping.

*I used my Kitchen Aid mixer’s “ice-cream maker” attachment to make the sorbet. Kitchen Aid recommends 20 minutes of processing to transform the liquid mixture to sorbet. Unfortunately, after 20+ minutes of mixing, my sorbet was still soupy. Not one to give up, I just transferred the mixture to a glass storage container and placed it in my freezer. A few hours later the mixture was frozen and we had sorbet!

In Patricia’s kitchen, I used a traditional ice-cream maker. The sorbet processed while we ate lunch and was ready to serve for dessert. Please follow your manufacturer’s instructions for specific processing times.

Ingredients for Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet
Mise en Place
Water, honey, salt, and cocoa powder combined in a saucepan
Combine water, honey, salt, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil.
Whisking cocoa mixture while it simmers
Simmer for one minute, whisking constantly. The mixture will turn a shiny deep brown.
Whisking in chocolate pieces to cocoa mixture
Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces. I didn’t have a bar of bittersweet chocolate on hand, so I used bittersweet chocolate chips.
Pouring chocolate mixture into glass bowl
Pour chocolate mixture into a bowl and place in freezer to chill.
Chocolate mixture in ice-cream maker
When thoroughly chilled, transfer mixture to your ice-cream maker and process according to your manufacturer’s directions.
Scooping out the Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet
Sorry- we dug right into this bowl, before I had the chance to take a picture… leftovers went back into the freezer for another day.
Bittersweet Chocolate and Honey Sorbet sprinkled with cocoa nibs and served in a glass dish.
The sorbet melts fairly quickly, so it’s best served in a chilled dessert bowl or glass. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs, chopped nuts, or your favorite topping. Enjoy!


Eiffel Tower at night

Bonjour! Several years ago, for a significant birthday, my husband gifted me with a Patricia Wells cooking class- to be used when I felt the time was right. My kids were much younger and I couldn’t imagine leaving for a week, let alone going abroad without them. Fast forward to a Christmas party circa 2014, and a dear friend and I were chatting about our favorite subjects… food, cooking, and traveling. I mentioned that I had this cooking class and asked if she’d like go with me. With gleam in our eyes, we turned to our husbands and shared the wonderful idea… Joanne and I wanted to go to Paris for a week. On our own.  Reminder- we’re at a Christmas party where everyone is full of spirit(!) and cheer. The answer they gave was a resounding and supportive, “Yes!”

Eiffel Tower at night
View of the Eiffel Tower from our apartment.

A few days later, back in the real world and in the light of day with clearer heads, Joanne and I reconfirmed with the husbands, that yes, they were ok with the plan. With that, we booked our trip for April 2016- a year and a half out.

Sacré Coeur
Sacré Coeur

I returned home a few weeks ago. It was my first time in Paris, and I couldn’t have asked for more. It was absolutely incredible; everything from the apartment we rented, to the cooking class and the amazing women we met, to exploring and experiencing the culture inspired me. My biggest takeaway was to slow down… sit, enjoy time with family and friends gathered round the table. Linger over fresh simply prepared seasonal food and share your stories, thoughts, and ideas. Why do we always feel the need to hurry up and go, go, go? What are we racing towards? Most importantly, at that breakneck pace (to nowhere?), what are we missing that is right in front of us?

playing boules in paris
A Sunday afternoon game of boules.

An interesting observation was prompted by our multiple passes at the Starbucks just down the street from our apartment. Joanne pointed out the window display, “What do you see- or rather, what don’t you see?” “Travel mugs! There aren’t any travel mugs.” The window display had real espresso cups, coffee mugs, and coffee stacked decoratively, but not a travel or to-go cup in sight. No one is drinking coffee on the run; quite the opposite, people sit and actually enjoy the moment. What a novelty! I understand that a blanket statement like “no one” is a very broad generalization, but in my defense the only eating/drinking I saw on the go were a few people at the end of the workday tearing off and nibbling at the heels of the baguettes poking out of their paper sleeves.

rainbow over the Pantheon and Sorbonne in paris
A rainbow over the Sorbonne and Pantheon…

I’ll be sharing much of what I learned in the cooking class in future posts. For now, appreciate the present moment- enjoy what’s in front of you, whether it’s the company you’re keeping or the produce that’s in season in your part of the world. Ideally, you’ll get in the kitchen and find a way to do both at the same time! À bientôt!

Notre Dame at night
View of Notre Dame from our apartment.