so far with my ice cream maker, i have made sherbet, gelato and a slushie… no ice cream. so i figured it was about time to give that a try! and still having this bounty of fresh cherries from earlier in the week, i suppose i should try to work them into this ice cream in some way, shape or form. then again, i am a chocolate fiend. so we’ll go with a chocolate cherry ice cream.
this one is a KEEPER, i am telling you. especially the base. you could stop before the addition of the cherries and syrup and have a better chocolate ice cream then i bet you’ve ever bought at the grocery store. in the very near future, i plan to work with the custard base you make for this and make a vanilla bean ice cream (just to start…) and of course i’ll be sure to post that when i figure it out, but for now, enjoy this chocolaty deliciousness (make sure you try a spoonful of the base before you chill it.. i could DRINK the stuff lol)…
another note: i prefer dark chocolate so that is what i’ve used in this recipe, but you could certainly use semi-sweet (or maybe even try milk chocolate) if you prefer. just make sure to buy a good quality chocolate as that will really make the difference in the depth of flavor and richness of this ice cream. you could also use sweet cherries instead of tart if you prefer but i think that the flavor of the tart cherries is more pronounced and is a nice contrast against the chocolate.
dark chocolate cherry ice cream
(based around a recipe i found on www.foodnetwork.com for cherry-chocolate ice cream)
- 1 1/2 cups halved, pitted tart cherries
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark or spiced rum (you could substitute water if you prefer, but you won’t taste the alcohol as it will cook off)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (i used a 72% cocoa)
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- a pinch of kosher or sea salt
- a pinch of instant espresso powder
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3/4 c heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (i use homemade, but that is a lesson for another day)
- after preparing the cherries, put them, 2 tbsp sugar and the rum in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until syrupy stirring frequently (about 20 minutes)
- remove from heat and let cool, then refrigerate until cold at least 2 hours (in the saucepan or in a another bowl if you wish)
- while the cherries are cooking you can get this next step going: heat the milk and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar
- whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl
- gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the eggs to temper them, then whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan
- cook, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and registers 168 on a candy or fry thermometer (about 15 minutes). is is IMPORTANT to cook this patiently over medium-low heat with near constant stirring or you will end up with a lumpy-scrambled-egg mixture and have to start over again (i have learned this the hard way…)
- remove from the heat and add in both chocolates, the butter, salt and espresso powder. set aside and allow chocolate and butter to melt for about 5 minutes
- using an immersion blender, puree until smooth (or transfer to a blender and puree if you don’t own an immersion blender- which i recommend purchasing for it’s many uses in the kitchen…)
- pour into a large bowl and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight. it will set up and jiggle a bit when you move the bowl. if it is still totally liquid after this period of chilling, the custard was most likely not done when you stopped cooking it (i have also made this mistake in the past…).
- churn the chilled chocolate mixture in a prepared ice cream maker (according to your make and model, mine requires freezing the aluminum bowl overnight before making ice cream)
- strain the cherry mixture, reserving the syrup.
- when the ice cream is very thick, add the cherry halves and continue churning until incorporated (i helped mine along a bit with a spatula by occasionally pushing the cherries down into the bowl because mine was quite full at this point)
- transfer to a freezer-safe container
- drizzle in the reserved syrup (you really only need about a tablespoon or two depending on how much cherry flavor you want in the ice cream) and swirl with a spoon or small spatula
- cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. if you freeze much longer you may have to let it sit out a few minutes before scooping (no big deal).
i am quite pleased with my ice cream maker purchase thus far and i recommend it for anyone who loves this summer treat. sitting down with a bowl of homemade ice cream is much more satisfying (at least to me) than scooping out of a store bought container. i am excited to try vanilla and other flavors and of course, homemade hot fudge!
the model i bought can be found on amazon if you are interested. i found mine locally at best buy and they price-matched the amazon model.