Lowfat Mocha Sherbet


Imagine a world where it’s January.  You’ve just spent the previous month or two celebrating all the carb-happy holidays that make life worth living– Thanksgiving with that ooey gooey macaroni and cheese, stringing tendrils of loveliness each time you took a bite.  That Christmas holiday ham, glistening with sugar and the spicy kiss of the season.  The cheesecake.  OHHHHHhhhh the cheesecake. *rubs belly and grimaces.

Now my friends, it’s cold, sterile January, the time when your scales leap back in horror when you try to step on them.  You go on the arduous diet with the rest of America, chewing grumpily at lettuce leaves and wondering why Bugs Bunny always looked so darned happy munching on his perpetual carrot.  You sigh and realize that it’s so much easier to gain weight than to lose it.  You crave sweets.  You crave desserts.  You crave CHOCOLATE.

Lowfat Mocha Sorbet is a dieter’s dream.  It combines two of my favorite flavors– coffee and chocolate, and spins them into a low fat delight that is kind of like a mocha Popsicle in dreamy, creamy form.  You can change up the sugar content, as well, if you don’t like your coffee as sweet.  But mama likes ’em sweet, my friends, and after all, I’m not a robot.  *looks warily over shoulder and adds more sugar*

What are we waiting for?  Let’s do this!

Lowfat Mocha Sherbet

(lightly adapted from David Lebovitz’ The Perfect Scoop)


2.5 cups strong coffee

1 cup white sugar

4 tbsp. cocoa powder

Pinch salt

3/4 cup milk


Simmer coffee, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together until sugar is completely dissolved.  Add milk and remove from heat.  Chill in the refrigerator and prepare in ice cream machine according to manufacturer directions.

Now let’s take a look at the process in pictures 🙂

This recipe is so deliciously easy that (shhh) you can use the leftover bit of coffee (that has gotten cold in the pot because you never got a chance to drink it) and turn it into a showstopping, low fat dessert.  I mean, talk about making lemonade from lemons.  Er . . . coffee sherbet out of coffee.

If you are making coffee from scratch and it’s already hot, your “sugar dissolving step” won’t take long at all.  But if you are starting with cold coffee, you need to heat it back up so that you can dissolve your sugar, salt, and cocoa completely in the liquid.  If you don’t dissolve the sugar your sherbet will be grainy (eww).  Unless you are a corncob, I don’t think you want to be grainy. You may quote me.

I dissolve the sugar first, because once you add the cocoa the mixture gets murky and it’s harder to tell if all the sugar is dissolved.  Keep whisking for a few minutes and soon it will be a nice chocolatey liquid.

Lowfat Mocha Sherbet

Now, a word about ice cream.  Changing the ingredients of ice cream does not just change the taste– it can change the texture as well.  So you can substitute splenda for the sugar, and skim milk for the whole milk, but it will change the consistency of the ice cream.  Your concoction will still be delicious, but you may have a harder ice cream (similar to Halo top), and you may have to let it sit out on the counter a little bit to thaw before you are able to scoop it easily.

But this is January, and you’re on a diet that you don’t want to be on, and if letting your ice cream sit out for 5 minutes is the price you pay for divine, chocolatey goodness that is also devastatingly low calorie, then go your way.  Be happy.  Be free.

Lowfat Mocha Sherbet

Stir in your milk (or skim milk, or almond milk, or coconut milk, or cream, or . . . ) into your coffee/cocoa base.  Let your sherbet base chill in the refrigerator (or in the garage, if it’s January and your garage has turned into a temporary walk-in refrigerator) until it’s cool.

Lowfat Mocha Sherbet

When your coffee base has cooled down, pour it into the canister of your ice cream machine (this is the one I have— and it’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!) and freeze until it’s soft, creamy, and dreamy.  One thing about homemade ice cream– it doesn’t have preservatives so it helps to have your ice cream containers in the freezer beforehand so that the ice cream doesn’t melt when you transfer it out of the ice cream machine to the container when it’s done.

Lowfat Mocha Sherbet

And then all that’s left to do is grab a spoon and DIG IN!  Enjoy each mouthful of chocolate, coffee loveliness.  Realize that you just made this divinely delicious concoction out of the leftovers of a weary morning.

You ice cream goddess, you.  Talk about seeing the glass half full. Um . . . speaking of half gone, may I have more please?

You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.

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