Chocolate euphoria

Chase away the blues with a sorbet from the gods.

Susan Filson

Whenever I'm feeling a little blue, I crave something chocolate. I've often wondered why that is, and the other day I did a little research. Did you know that chocolate — particularly dark chocolate — has mood-enhancing qualities? It contains small amounts of phenylethylamine, a mood-regulating chemical naturally found in the brain. Chocolate has also been shown to boost serotonin levels — our brain's own natural antidepressant — as well as endorphin levels. Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced in the brain which serve to reduce feelings of stress and pain, and can actually induce feelings of euphoria and well-being. So I guess you could say that chocolate is essential to your mental health, which works for me! Pass the bonbons, and keep 'em coming!

If a few bites of chocolate can help chase away the blues, then a whole bowl of this divine and decadent Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet is certain to skyrocket you straight to nirvana. With no milk, cream or eggs to muddle things up, this sorbet is pure, unadulterated chocolate love. And, if that doesn't make you happy, I don't know what will.

I'm telling you, people, this chocolate sorbet is the stuff dreams are made of. It's sinful — absolutely sinful! It's smooth, rich and intensely chocolatey, with a lush, velvety texture that kind of lives on your tongue for a minute or two after melting. I swear I can actually feel those endorphins bubbling up and rushing through my body just thinking about it.

Forget the runner's high. A chocolate high is much more fun and requires no more exertion than moving your spoon from the bowl up to your mouth. This indescribably delicious chocolate sorbet will not only chase away your blues, it will make you forget that they ever existed. I promise!

Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups water

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Whisk 1 1/2 cups of the water together with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large saucepan. Keep whisking as you bring to a boil. Continue boiling and whisking for about 45 seconds.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Then stir in the vanilla extract and the remaining 3/4 cup (180 ml) water.

3. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refirgerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the mixture becomes too thick to pour, give it a few more vigorous whisks to thin it out.

4. Store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve, then scoop and serve.