Cocoa Loco

Drop your butt and run…it’s Sinbad!

The other day Petey said something hilarious—Sinbad level hilarious.

You ready?

He said that there are some people who don’t like chocolate.  I know, right?  ROFL.

When I was a kid, there used to be pseudo-intellectuals that would claim to never watch TV.  But those same folks sure knew who Archie Bunker was, could name all the Brady kids, and knew who’d answer when you dialed BR-549.  They were boob-tube watching fakers.And as for chocolate.  There are two kinds of people: those who love chocolate, and liars.

Although I may occasionally shade the truth to spare feelings, “Oh my gosh!  What a baby!  Look at that face!”.  When it comes to that creamy, dark, tropical treat I’m a bona fide choco-phile.  Right now in my kitchen, not counting the Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder, there are twelve different chocolate items (jeez, written out like that, it does look a little coo coo…).

My point is, I really, really love all things chocolate: milk, dark, or in a serious pinch white chocolate (Which doesn’t actually contain any chocolate solids. True white chocolate only contains cocoa butter; thus its creamy white hue.). Today I have a special recipe.  It’s one that reminds me of a special treat from the mists of my childhood, when disco was king and Jordache jeans roamed the earth.

One summer, we were visiting my mom’s home state of New Jersey, and staying with her brother, and my god father, Uncle Sammy, his wife Candy, and their three kids.  One day, all of us kids were feverishly tap dancing upon the last nerve of every adult present.

We’d left them with but two choices; begin drinking heavily and keep it up for the duration of our visit, or get us kids out of the house to work off some energy, or as my mother so charmingly says, “Go outside and get the stink blowed off yuh”.With five kids from the ages ranging from 12 to four to look after, the grownups chose the alcohol-free option.  We packed up swimsuits, sandwiches, and flip-flops.  Sammy and Candy were taking us to their lake club.  It was set in a pine grove, with lots of shade, sand, and refreshment vendors.

We swam and played until lunch, and then to keep our full bellies out of the water, each kid was given two crisp new dollar bills, to spend as we saw fit. I probably got an icy bottle of coke, and a bag of chips.  I saw the Italian ice man.  I made a beeline to see what flavors they had.  They had the mandatory lemon, strawberry, grape, and orange.  But, they also had another flavor, chocolate.  That was a new one on me.

I ordered it.  It was amazing; like chocolate ice cream, but with no dairy.  It was deeply, darkly, intensely chocolate.  The flavor was rich, but not heavy.  It was a frozen, dark chocolate dream.

Since that day, every time I run into somebody selling Italian ice, I cross my finger and hope they have chocolate.  My dreams have always been dashed until I came upon the Italian ice cart at the state fairgrounds flea market.  They’ve got it, and it’s as delicious as I remembered.These days I don’t have to go all the way to Raleigh for my fix.  I discovered chocolate sorbet.  An ice cream company named Talenti makes one that I always try to have on hand.  It’s a little denser than an ice, but really full of flavor, not too sweet, and dairy-free, so it’s only 150 calories per serving.  It’s perfect when I want…no when I need, a big hit of chocolate.

The sorbetto comes in a plastic jar with a screw-off lid.  I keep my freezer at 0 degrees, but it’s always a spoon-able consistency because I throw the whole shebang into a gallon sized zip top bag.  It was a tip from The Kid.  Don’t know how it works, it just does.  It’s great for all frozen treats, and cuts down on both freezer burn and the potential for picking up weird flavors from fellow freezer denizens.

Occasionally I have a hard time finding the Talenti.  In that emergency situation, I make my own.  If you have an ice cream maker, it’s a breeze.  If you don’t; granita (a confection that’s frozen in a pan, and while freezing frequently scraped with a fork to create a granular texture) is an option.And the next time you meet someone who insists they don’t like chocolate, tell ‘em to stop, drop, and roll, ‘cause somebody’s pants are smoking.

Thanks for your time.

Emergency chocolate sorbet

Makes about 1 quartchocolate sorbet2 ¼ cups water

1 cup sugar

¾ cups Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In large saucepan, whisk together 1 ½ cups water with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to boil whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk for 45 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in chocolate until it’s melted, then stir in vanilla and remaining ¾ cup water. Transfer mixture to blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend for 15 seconds. Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. If mixture has become too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.

Chocolate porn.

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