Simple sorbets are a perfect accompaniment to cakes, pies, and fruit. You need to have an ice-cream maker. It's convenient to freeze sorbet in individual 1 oz. portions in flexible ice cube trays or silicone flexible mini-baking pans.
Yield: 32 ounces sorbet
Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan, slowly, over moderate heat. When it begins to melt, continue to cook, stirring occatrionally with a fork, until it is a deep caramel color. Be careful not to burn the caramel. Add water and continue to cook over moderate to low heat, stirring constantly. The caramel will harden, steam, but then dissolve while stirring.
Add the cocoa and salt, stirring to dissolve. Transfer the hot liquid to a bowl to cool. Stir occasionally, and when the mixture is room temperature, add the vanilla. Chill in a covered container for several hours until very cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Transfer to a single airtight container and freeze, or make individual portions in flexible ice cube trays or silicone mini-baking pans.