This ice cream is a new entry for Food Nirvana. Think of it as a frozen dessert that captures the taste of chocolate covered cherries in a very nice ice cream. Of late I've been experimenting with variations of chocolate chip ice cream and this was an obvious one to try. So I did and I'm very pleased with the results. You will be too.
I decided to try making this ice cream because I buy very large jars of maraschino cherries in a lot of sweetened syrup for use in other recipes. Thus, I already have the cherry taste in both the cherries and the sweet syrup, along with the nice red coloring that becomes a nice pink with this ice cream. That means making a basic vanilla ice cream and adding the cherries and syrup leaves only one item to consider ... the chocolate.
Fortunately, we have many choices for high cacao content chocolate in better supermarkets. What goes well with this ice cream is a 100% cacao chocolate bar processed as described below to create what is called "freezer" chocolate for making professional level chocolate chips for ice cream that melt in your mouth. My, how nice ... rich and tasty. In short, do not use conventional chocolate of any form directly in the ice cream, including the chocolate chips you use when making cookies, or you will wind up with chocolate pieces having the consistency of crayons!
Ingredients: (Makes 1½ to 2 quarts of ice cream)
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of milk
2 extra large or jumbo eggs
3/4 of a cup of sugar plus one tbsp. of sugar for the chocolate chip mixture
1/2 cup of maraschino cherry syrup
1/2 cup of quartered maraschino cherries
1 tsp. of natural vanilla extract
2 oz. of cut pieces of a 100% cacao chocolate bar (I suggest buying a 4 oz. Ghirardelli® bar)
2 tbsp. of coconut oil
1 tbsp. of honey
0.4 grams of food grade liquid soy lecithin
Buy the soy lecithin from www.modernistpantry.com for $20 for a 175ml bottle, including shipping. Use it as an emulsifying agent to enhance the consistency of the chocolate chips. Be sure you have a precision kitchen scale that will measure accurately down to the tenth of a gram. I bought a reloader scale from Cabela's® for that purpose for $70. You need one for multiple uses with food chemicals, like the preservative sodium benzoate. Buy one.
Use a wooden cutting board to cut half of the 4 oz. 100% cacao chocolate bar into pieces roughly 1/2" square. Save the other half for a later batch of ice cream. Barely melt the chocolate pieces in a small bowl with the coconut oil, honey, soy lecithin and the one tbsp. of sugar in the microwave oven with a 30 second heating cycle on high heat. Whisk the mixture to help melt the chocolate, then repeat the heating cycle but only for 20 seconds. Whisk until the mixture is well combined, then pour it onto a dinner plate and put the plate into the freezer. Put the knife and the cutting board into the freezer also.
After the mixture is frozen hard cut it into pieces about 3/8" square using a large knife and cutting board that have been chilled in the freezer, and return the cut chocolate pieces to the freezer on the cold plate. The idea is you do not want the chips to melt while you are processing the frozen chocolate mixture.
Cut the maraschino cherries into four pieces each until you have 1/2 cup of the pieces. Put the pieces into a shallow bowl and put the bowl into the freezer.
Break the eggs into a five or six quart electric mixer bowl and mix them on medium speed for two minutes. Add the sugar and mix until well blended, around three minutes. Add the vanilla and the cherry juice and continue to mix for one minute.
Add the cream and the milk and mix for two to three minutes on medium speed.
Transfer the mixture to a gelato maker and proceed to make the ice cream. When it is fairly stiff (about twenty-five minutes), add the chopped cherry pieces and the chocolate chips and run the gelato maker for an additional three minutes. Transfer the completed ice cream to a two quart storage container. Put the container into the deep freeze for four hours or more to finish hardening the ice cream.
Serve the ice cream and be delighted.