Makes 1 generous quart

2¼ cups (18 ounces/510 grams) unsweetened almond milk

2 teaspoons cornstarch

¾ cup (6 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar, preferably the unrefined muscovado

⅔ cup (2⅓ ounces/67 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 tablespoon light agave nectar

½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra for salting the almonds

4 ounces (113 grams) dairy-free bittersweet chocolate (60-70 percent cacao), finely chopped

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅔ cup (2⅝ ounces/75 grams) raw almonds, chopped

Make thickener: In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the almond milk with the cornstarch. Whisk to dissolve and set aside.

Cook sorbet base: In a large (4-quart) saucepan, whisk together the remaining 2 cups almond milk, sugar, cocoa powder, agave nectar, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Boil for 1 minute.

Thicken the mix: Whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Continue whisking one minute more, until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped chocolate and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.

Strain, chill, churn: Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the sorbet base through the sieve. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Whisk vigorously to smooth

out any lumps. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Prepare almonds: Place a dry, medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and sauté until pale golden in spots and fragrant, 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle with fine sea salt. Cool completely.

Mix in nuts: When the sorbet is finished churning, fold in the cooled almonds.

Freeze to firm: Pack into an airtight container and freeze until firm. Let soften for about 15 minutes before serving.

Source: Adapted from Shauna Sever’s “Real Sweet: More Than 80 Crave-worthy Treats Made With Natural Sugar” (William Morrow Books, 2015).

This recipe originally appeared at


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