Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Cherry is probably my favorite flavor, for things like candy and ice cream. How unfortunate that it's almost impossible to come by, here in Sweden. Real fresh cherries - sure, for a few short weeks in the summer, and usually just sweet cherries rather than tart ones - but artificial cherry flavor? Rarely. And cherry ice cream? Virtually none.

I rush to StikkiNikki every time they announce that cherry is one of their daily gelato flavors. (Well, not every time, but I want to. There was Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, of course... but then there wasn't, anymore. They stopped selling it here. (At least I can't find it anymore.) To tell you the truth though, I was never that fond of it. In theory, I love it - creamy cherry and dark chocolate, what's not to love? - but in reality, I think Ben & Jerry's use way too much crap in their ice cream.

So why not make your own? Homemade Cherry Garcia! I got the idea from Love and Olive Oil who made her's from fresh sweet Rainier cherries - we used to have a tree of those when I was little, but I never thought of making ice cream with them back then. And then I found sweet cherries at the store, but it occurred to me that it'd be even better to roast them first, to really get the maximum cherry flavor.

It's a very simple ice cream base, one that's almost instant, but if you want to make a custard instead - feel free to do so. This was also the first time I used almond milk, and certainly the first time I made it. I'm not sure how easy it is to find at the store, but it's easy enough to whip up at home. I don't know what else to use it for, and I wasn't that fond of it straight up, but it worked perfectly in this ice cream.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
makes 1 litre

125 ml almond milk
375 ml cream
one batch of roasted cherries, see below
170 ml homemade vanilla sugar (or just sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp almond extract
100 g dark chocolate chips

In a food processor, combine almond milk, cream, roasted cherries, vanilla sugar and almond extract. Process until the cherries are finely chopped. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn until almost frozen - add the chocolate for the last minute or so. Transfer to the freeze, and freeze until completely firm.

Roasted cherries: 
300 g sweet cherries, pitted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp corn starch

Mix together, and bake at 200°C for about 20 minutes - watch out, they burn quite easily. Let cool completely before using.

Almond milk: 
200 g almonds
800 ml water

Start by soaking the almonds - I used blanched ones - for at least an hour. Then pour off the soaking water, and combine almonds and the 800 ml of water in a blender. Blend until smooth. Sweeten it a little if you want to - I added about a tablespoon of sugar.

Pass through a sieve, and then through a coffee filter (it took me all night), to get rid of the almonds. Stir well before using.


Alicia Foodycat said...

This looks lovely! I totally agree about Cherry Garcia - I loved the idea but it tastes so synthetic.

Spencer said...

Looks like another great recipe! I would love to try it. It sounds so refreshing.

Maria said...

Swedish grocery store "Willys" sells frozen cherry halves among the rest of the frozen berries and fruit. A great way to eat more cherries.

Anne said...

Maria, so I've heard! I look every time I'm in a willy's but so far, no luck!