It feels like an age since I last posted, and I was planning on putting this post up last week but life (and my seven month old niece who I was babysitting for the week - how does anyone get anything done while looking after a baby?!) got in the way so it's taken me an awfully long time to get this done!
I'm also going to Bloodstock festival (heavy metal) tomorrow so will be away until next week; I'm hoping for a warm, sunny weekend but doubt I'm going to get it so I've got my (black, naturally) wellies packed just in case; I say packed, but currently I just have piles of stuff to take dotted around the house and haven't actually packed anything yet...I am not very prepared!
Anyway, on to the ice cream which I made so long ago now that it is sadly all gone... I had some cherries leftover in the freezer after making black forest meringue nests just begging to be turned into ice cream, and I can't say no to ice cream.
When making fruit flavoured ice cream I always prefer to roast the fruit as it intensifies the flavour and removes some of the extra liquid so you don't end up with icy ice cream (yes that is a bad thing).
I roasted the cherries with a dash of balsamic vinegar, it doesn't make the ice cream taste vinegary, just deepens the flavour of the fruit.
You can use either frozen cherries as I did (so much cheaper and you don't have to faff about with pitting them) or fresh ones, just bear in mind that frozen ones will need to roast for longer than fresh, and the weight I have given in the recipe is the pitted weight - if using fresh you will need to buy extra to account for the pits.
I couldn't resist adding a generous amount of chocolate chunks because what goes better with cherry than chocolate? You could also melt the chocolate and drizzle it into the ice cream when it has almost finished churning to make stracciatella.
The ice cream is smooth, creamy and has a complex yet utterly delicious and addictive flavour and I couldn't get over the beautiful deep pink colour of it - no food colouring here!
Balsamic Roasted Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
- 350 g (12.5 oz) cherries pitted weight, fresh or frozen
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 350 ml (1 + ½ cups) full fat milk
- 150 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 350 ml (1 + ½ cups) double (heavy) cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar or more to taste
- 125 g (4.5 oz) dark chocolate chopped into chunks
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Spread the cherries out in a roasting tin and drizzle over the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Roast for 30-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are soft and the juices syrupy.
- Remove the cherries from the oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes then tip the cherries and their juices into a blender. Blitz until pureed, add the milk and blend again until smooth. Tip into a saucepan and add the sugar.
- Heat the cherry milk mixture until almost boiling, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks in a large, heatproof bowl. Gradually pour the hot cherry mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then pour the mixture back into the pan.
- Place the pan over a medium-low heat and stir constantly until the mixture has thickened a little, it is already fairly thick so it wont get much thicker; do not let it boil.
- Pour the cream and vanilla extract into a large bowl and set a fine mesh sieve over the top. Pour the cherry custard through the sieve into the cream then whisk until smooth, stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cover and chill until completely cold, overnight is best.
- Churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturers directions. About a minute before it has finished churning add the chocolate chunks then transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for a couple of hours until firm before serving.