A Magical Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe For The Times

Photo by Miss Grass courtesy of Van Leeuwen

At this point in the Great Quarantine of 2020, we’ve all mastered at least a few new things. Making sourdough from scratch. Baking banana bread. Blueberry muffins. A bunch of dishes with different beans. It’s been fun, but now it’s summer and it’s hot. And let’s be honest: having the oven on kinda sucks.

But our buds at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream know what’s up. Sensing our collective need for a new delicious treat to master, they shared their fav recipe for homemade chocolate sorbet, and guess what? Not only is it dangerously addictive, but it’s also easy af.

Making ice cream at home can be a lengthy process, but this recipe is super simple and quick,” explains the Brooklyn-based company’s co-founder and CEO, Ben Van Leeuwen.

“When we first made this at Van Leeuwen, we couldn't believe how good it was,” he says. And, it’s even vegan and gluten-free: “The truth is, we don’t usually love sorbet, but this one is in a league of its own: Super simple and loved by vegans and omnivores alike. ”

He says its the ideal treat for hot summer nights because it pretty much goes with everything—including fresh berries and macadamia nuts: “delicious and good for your brain.” And he should know; not only does he and his team pride themselves on keeping Van Leeuwen’s ingredients super high quality and all-natural (no fillers or preservatives!) but he also just so happens to be into that sort of thing personally: “I take turmeric, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C daily, and I drink lots of homemade ginger juice.” He’s also occasionally dabbles in another one of our other favorite supplements: CBD. (“It’s a great addition to cookies and ice cream!”)

To that end, we’ve included directions for infusing this chocolate sorbet with cannabis—if you’re so inclined. Because, let's face it: ice cream and weed do have at least one super magical thing in common: the power to completely and instantly change your vibe. Ben puts it this way: “I love ice cream because no matter what it always turns my day around.” We couldn’t agree more.

Weed-Infused Ice Cream: Van Leeuwens Chocolate Sorbet

Makes about 1 quart

You’ll need:

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (274 grams) cane sugar or cannabis-infused sugar (instructions below)

4 1/2 ounces (127 grams) 99% dark chocolate (if you can’t find a 99%, just go with the darkest you can get and pull back the sugar in the recipe a little)

3/4 cup (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) sea salt


  1. In a medium sauce pot set over low heat, combine the sugar with 2 cups water until the sugar is fully coated. Stir in chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt until combined. Continue to stir until the liquid is uniform and both the chocolate and cocoa powder have fully melted and the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Cover and chill the sorbet base until fully cold, about 3 hours. Pour sorbet base into an ice cream maker* and freeze. Churn sorbet until it resembles Italian ice. Transfer sorbet into storage container and freeze to harden, or enjoy right away! bag method if you don't have an ice cream maker.>

Cannabis Sugar

You'll need: 1/2 oz. (14 grams) cannabis flowers, coarsely chopped 2 cups (400 grams) white sugar 2 1/2 cups (600ml) chilled drinkable alcohol, like vodka or tequila

Method: First, decarb the weed. Pre-heat oven to 250 F. Place coarsely chopped cannabis in a shallow pan, like a pie plate. Cover tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, remove, and allow to cool completely. Transfer the decarboxylated flower into a tall, sealable jar. Pour the alcohol into the jar so that the cannabis is completely covered. Put the lid on the jar and swirl gently to agitate. Place the jar in the freezer for 10 minutes, gently swirling to mix every 2 minutes. Remove jar from the freezer and strain (a coffee filter works well) into a clean pan. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. In a well circulated room, place the pan on an electric griddle8 or heating pad with the temperature set to low until all alcohol has evaporated. When sugar is dry, use a mortar and pestle, a blender, or your hands to break up lumps.