Monday, July 13, 2009

Dark Cherries & Dark Chocolate ... Mysterious, No?!

Well no, not really. I could keep goading you, and dropping naughty phrases like "I had a churning desire for his touch" or "He was one cool customer" or even "I could melt in his embrace". And while I'm following that train of thought, even naughtier phrases come to mind, including my particular favorites that involve the words "cream" and "lick" - but I digress! I know I know, we're all adults, and we can handle ourselves. But you see, all I need to do is tell you that July is actually National Ice-Cream Month, and the mystery is solved! All my babbling makes sense!

Sometimes, ladies, just sometimes, a simple machine hits your sweet spot like nothing else can. Erm, I'm referring to the humble ice-cream maker, of course! ... *big, innocent eyes*. Folks, I'd like to introduce you all to my new ice-cream maker. I've never owned one of these babies. Ever. Neither has my mom. Or her mom. And I don't think they had ice-cream makers before that anyway. So I suppose you could say that this is the beginning of a beautiful, new relationship. One that I have zero experience with - I hope I handle it well. Thanks to this new machine, I now have more power than I used to in my kitchen. But with great power comes great responsibility! Or some such drivel.
Fiesty looking creature, don't you think?!

I've been wanting one of these for almost a year now. Ever since I became hooked on to David Lebovitz's enviable blog (he is living my dream life). I believe it was the post about him making a salted butter caramel ice-cream that cinched the deal for me. It hit me then, that if such wonders could come out of an ice-cream maker, then one day I too would be moaning with ecstacy over these home-made wonders - not available in your neighborhood Baskin Robbins!

But I'm a wus, dear readers. No, don't try to convince me otherwise! I'm a wus and I know it. I could clearly see that the most tempting ice-cream recipes were all egg-based. And I got scared. I had visions of curdled cream and scrambled eggs in my ice-cream. I may have underestimated myself. But whatever the issue, I decided that my first home-made ice-cream would be the eggless kind. So after a fair amount of scouring the web, my deepest, darkest desires were awakened by this recipe for Cherry Ice-cream With Chocolate Chips over at Simply Recipes. I took the easy route, I know, but if you see the pic Elise has up on her site, you'll understand why I could not resist! Plus, cherries were in season, easily available, and delicious to begin with - so how bad could they be as an ice-cream?

Oh-So-Desirable Dark Cherry & Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream (original recipe here)
Serves 6 (1 quart)

Click here for printable recipe

1 1/2 cups pitted dark cherries
3/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon juice
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

1. I don't have a cherry pitter, so used a paring knife to do the messy job. Don't worry about this part - doesn't take more than 10 mins.

2. Put cherries, milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar and salt into a saucepan. Heat on medium till steamy, then turn the heat down to low and let it sit that way for 15 mins. Remove from heat and let it cool for another 15-20 mins. Then pour into a blender and puree completely (careful of the hot liquid - make sure your blender lid is on tight!).

3. Once pureed*, put the mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining cream. Stir. Then refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

4. Before putting the mixture into the ice-cream maker, stir in the lemon juice. The churn according to your machine's instructions.

5. Two mins before your ice-cream stops churning, add the chopped chocolate pieces. Keep the chocolate frozen till ready to use (or else it will melt into the ice-cream). Once the ice-cream stops churning, it will be pretty soft. So put in an airtight container and freeze for at least an hour.

*At this point you could strain the puree to get rid of the cherry skins, and I think I'll do that next time. Because I believe it would result in a smoother consistency and keep its flavor for a few extra days in the freezer.

Verdict: I was pretty happy with the flavor of this ice-cream. Combining it with the dark chocolate was amazing! I served it to guests, and people went back for seconds, so that's always a good sign. What I didn't like about it was the texture. Simply not creamy enough. I think if I had added some alcohol, it would have helped, but that's not an option for me. Also, it's best eaten in about 2 days of making it, because the texture becomes icier the longer you keep it, plus it loses its sweetness as the days go by (this may have something to do with the cherry skins). It is good ice-cream, and I'll make it again - but I think I'll try the egg-based ones next.


Cathy said...

Muneeba - love the naughty side ;) Yep, definitely go with the egg-based ice creams. I know they aren't as healthy for you, but the creaminess is 100 times better. The only time I make a non-based one is for my best friend who is highly allergic to eggs. Apparently there were ice cream makers back in the day....something about salt, buckets and hours of hand stirring.

Sweetie Pie said...

Oh! I hope you have as much fun with yours as I do with mine. Mine is just like yours except that it isn't fiesty and red. I'm jealous! :-)

I love cherries, and I'm sure I would have gone back for seconds too!

Pooja said...

Wow looks perfect! The last time I had cherry icecream was at Baskin Robbins and have been craving for it ever since! Dark chocolate with cherry is simply a feast. I dont have an iceream maker and this has tempted me enough :)

Parita said...

Oh my dark cherries and chocolate sounds delicious combination!! i wish i had an ice cream maker..sigh..

unconfidential cook said...

Boy, does this look good!!! I got on a Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia kick a long time ago, and forgot how good it was. Homemade?!?!? What could be better (and btw it's great with hot fudge).

Varsha Vipins said...

oh u naughty naughty..:D:D..n congrats on the new gadget..:)..loved that icecream..coincidentally I have breyer's cherry vanilla right now..leme go have a scoop..:)

Maria said...

I love cherry ice cream and I have to agree that egg based is my favorite. The creamier the better!

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

I can just imagine the flavour the cherry would impart to the icecream-and to add some dark chocolate is like the icing on this ice cream!!

Foodiewife said...

You are on a roll! Congrats on owning an ice cream machine. They are so much fun. I bought The Perfect Scoop, and am trying to decide which flavor to make. The egg custard type isn't hard at all. I did it, with strawberry, and it turned out just fine. If you can teach me how to make blintzes (which you did) then trust me when I saw it's easy-- and so worth it. Yes, chocolate and cherry-- divine!

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

MMMMMM,...your special ice cream looks awesomely yummie!

Unknown said...

very very yummy Ice Cream a water is coming in my mouth ..................after seeing this first i am going to buy a Ice Machine after that i will.............. try thanx for such a nice post.............

Donna-FFW said...

Boy, does this ever look delicious!! I am envious of your new ice cream machine.. I so have to get one..Lucky stiff!

NKP said...

Congrats on your new toy! You will have years of fun.
The ice cream looks great.
You are right though, the custard based ones are creamier.
Don't forget frozen yogurts, sherbets and sorbets! All great concoctions that don't need the eggs. (Alcohol does help with them not freezing too hard. I would email David and ask about a substitute)

Kerstin said...

Now that looks like the perfect decadent ice cream! Chocolate and cherries together are just so good!

Unknown said...

I am proudly addicted to cherries this summer, thank you for yet another yummy treat to try using cherries! Awesome pics by the way...making me very hungry.

Resh said...

sublime combo and i heart new equipment :)

Yasmeen said...

Cool!I scream for the Ice-cream,I've been whipping quite a few,its the only month I could enjoy the frozen treat in Cleveland.
Glad to know you moved and adjusted so well with the new place.My kiddo's unfortunate wrist fracture,has postponed our move to next month.