Mexican Chocolate Sorbet

While other types of cinnamon and vanilla will do, des Jardins highly recommends seeking out Mexican vanilla, which has a creamy flavor with warm spice notes, and Mexican cinnamon, or canela, which is sweeter tasting and softer than cassia cinnamon.

Mexican Chocolate Sorbet Recipe
Photo: Aubrie Pick
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins
8 to 10



  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 (5-inch) canela (Mexican cinnamon) sticks

  • 12 ounces 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate bars, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup Dutch-process cocoa (such as Droste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract


  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 large egg white

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground canela

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds (about 7 1/2 ounces)

  • 3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt


Make the sorbet

  1. Cook chiles and canela sticks in a large skillet over medium, turning occasionally, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer chiles to a spice grinder; process until very finely ground, about 30 seconds. Reserve 3/4 teaspoon ground chiles for almonds; set remaining ground chiles and canela sticks aside.

  2. Place chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl; set aside. Whisk together sugar, cocoa, xanthan gum, salt, and remaining ground chiles in a large saucepan. Add 4 cups water and canela sticks. Bring to a boil over medium, whisking occasionally. Boil 1 minute, whisking occasionally. Pour hot mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer over chocolate; discard solids. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract.

  3. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of sorbet base. Let cool at room temperature 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Make the spiced almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together brown sugar, egg white, ground canela, and reserved 3/4 teaspoon ground chiles in a large bowl until well combined. Stir in almonds. Transfer mixture to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake in preheated oven until almonds are dry and toasted, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes. Let almonds cool completely; roughly chop, and set aside.

  2. Transfer chilled sorbet base to freezer bowl of a 11/2-quart electric ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions until sorbet has the texture of soft serve, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  3. Quickly transfer sorbet to a freezer-safe container with lid; press parchment paper directly onto surface. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours. To serve, sprinkle with spiced almonds.

Make Ahead

Almonds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks. Sorbet can be frozen in an airtight container up to 3 months.

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