Friday, July 13, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

One of the things I love most about summer is keeping my freezer well stocked with homemade ice cream. At the end of a long, hot day, I love nothing more than to sit down to a delicious chocolaty refreshing treat and this totally hits the spot.

I love the base for this ice cream. It's one of the smoothest, most chocolaty I've ever made. I think using the bittersweet chocolate is amazing here, although if you prefer a lighter, sweeter chocolate flavor, I would go with a dark or semi-sweet chocolate.

Cherries are in season right now and are on sale everywhere. I couldn't resist pairing them with the chocolate ice cream. The rum extract adds a little dimension and nicely compliments the other flavors. If you have rum on hand, feel free to swap out the water when cooking the cherries and omit the rum extract.

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
1 1/3 cups halved pitted cherries (about 13 ounces whole cherries)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. rum extract (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Put the cherries, 2 tablespoons sugar and the water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add rum extract and let cool, then refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Gradually whisk about 1/2 of the warm milk mixture into the eggs, then whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats a spoon and registers 168 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; add the bittersweet chocolate and the butter and set aside until the chocolate melts, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Churn the chilled chocolate mixture in an ice cream maker. Strain the cherry mixture, reserving the syrup. When the ice cream is very thick, add the cherries and continue churning until incorporated. Transfer to a freezer-safe container. Drizzle in the reserved cherry syrup and swirl with a spoon. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

SOURCE: Food Network

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