Chocolate-Orange Sorbet

Joined Dec 21, 2005
For a dessert at a dinner party last week we made warm cinnamon-sugar churros served with a chocolate-orange sorbet topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. We based the sorbet on a recipe from Bon Appetit which used about a pound of chopped dark chocolate "dissolved" in a simmering sugar syrup flavored with orange juice concentrate and zest (that had been finely worked into the sugar). Though it tasted delicious, it was distractingly grainy. The chocolate mixture was initially smooth, but apparently precipitated particles on chilling, despite an egg white emulsifier.

I usually find most Bon Appetit recipes to work well, but this was a disappointment. Any suggestions on what may have gone wrong or what we might do right next time?  
Joined Aug 15, 2003
It would help if you posted your recipe and method.

Did you chill your base before you spun the sorbet? Rapid changes in temperature could have caused the chocolate to seize. If you put the base in the machine while it was warm that might have done it.
Joined May 5, 2010
Let's get some definitions going here shall we.

Sorbet by definition is sweetened water with flavoring, typically fruit juice or fruit puree.

Sherbet is an American term for a frozen dessert like sorbet but containing a small amount of milk fat 1%-2%

Sherbert (An American invention) and Sorbet contain both fruit juice and 1%-2% milk fat

It sounds like your chocolate seized up. I can't get my mind around using chocolate in Sorbet.

I'm with Someday......Could you please show us the recipe?
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
I saw numerous recipes (online ;-) from sources both trusted and not.

All call for cocoa powder (which I would expect) as well as chopped bittersweet chocolate to be melted into the hot sugar base (which I did not) and to wiz it before freezing.

Most had great reviews and despite looking very hard at the pix, I could see no specks ( they would allow that).

Several things stood out about the BA recipe.

No whizzing and no egg white.

Where did you get the egg white hoodoo and how does it work?

Lastly there were no comments on this recipe...not one.

If I were looking for a recipe and came across one that looked sooo good but was published in 2003 and no one had a word (good or bad) to say..(c'mon this is BA!!)... I would just let sleeping dogs lay and keep going.

About the broken sorbet.... chocolate can be a temperamental mistress.

Not only is she hard to work with around water but she doesn't tolerate heat so well.

Your recipe includes both.

Joined Dec 21, 2005
Thanks all for the comments. Here is the recipe I used, adapted from the one in Bon Appetit. Although the recipe does not mention it (my bad), we did include an egg white in the processing as we do with nearly all our sorbets. For those who wince at the idea of a chocolate-orange sorbet, Baskin-Robbins used to have a delicious chocolate-orange sherbet, and I've always loved chocolate coated candied orange peels.

I might add that the mixture was smooth (by taste) before chilling. I failed to check it after chilling on its way into the ice cream maker. I believe we first encountered the use of egg white in sorbet from Pierre Franey, but I would have to look that up to be sure.  


2/3 cup sugar

Finely grated zest of two oranges

4 cups water

1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals

1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Process sugar with orange zest until fully incorporated.

Bring orange-infused sugar, water, and coffee crystals to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Mix in orange juice concentrate. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add chocolate, whisking until smooth. Chill uncovered 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Process sorbet mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to container. Cover; freeze at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.

Adapted from recipes in Bon Appetit and Sunset Magazine
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
I love chocolate and orange together as well.

Have never made sorbet and the ones I looked at did not mention the albumen for emulsion so will take your word for it lol.

If it were me I would count the BA recipe as broken and hunt down a "tried and true" for the next time /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  as the idea of this profile sounds too good to give up.

Joined May 24, 2017
Replacing part of the sugar with corn syrup or honey is a good way to help with smoothness. Just remember to go easy on the liquids. Also, I have found that removing the ice cream or sorbet from the freezer bowl, while it is still soft enough to remove easily, and storing it in another container works well.
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