Red Wine Roasted Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream, Pt. 1

I feel like food bloggers never just like certain flavors or enjoy certain dishes; they’re inspired by them. So, I guess I’m inspired by ice cream, which is a ridiculous thing to say, because everyone likes ice cream, or some variation of it. The only person I can think of who doesn’t like ice cream is Adam from Girls, and he’s both fictional and the worst, except when he was the best in the beginning half of season three before he was the worst again. Don’t you dare speak poorly of ice cream, Adam! You’re the sweet mucus, damnit!

Anyways, ice cream is one of my favorite things to make because it is an impossibly easy process with endless creative possibilities. Cranberry goat cheese? Yerp, please. Pumpkin ale (I used a chocolate stout in this one for Thanksgiving and was like, oh yeah I totally knew this wasn’t just one serving, let me get this entire pie and quart of ice cream off my lap)? Into it. Tamarind? I mean if I have to I guess I’ll eat it just this once I SUPPOSE. An ice cream maker is the only thing I asked for for my birthday this year, and it was probably the best gift I’ve ever received. When I move into an apartment by myself, all I am going to have in my kitchen is an ice cream maker, three coffee mugs, an Aeropress, and an immersion blender. Everyday will be Cutthroat Kitchen.

The only butt-pain about making ice cream is that it takes some forethought, so pay attention, non-planners of the world. First, the bowl needs to be chilled overnight. I just keep mine in the freezer at all times in case, you know, there’s an ice cream emergency or something, which is a real thing that could happen. Second, most recipes will only call for the base to be chilled for an hour or two, but the longer you can leave it in the refrigerator, the less soupy your final product will be. Unless, you know, you’re into that sort of thing. No judgement.

Also, if you’re like me, it takes you at least a day or two to decide on your recipe and then actually pull yourself together enough to go to the grocery store. I tried to go pick up ingredients last night, but got to my car and realized it was out of gas when it literally wouldn’t start, so today’s errand run included a Wawa stop with a gas canister in tow. Once, twice, three times a functioning adult.

Thus, the two-part blog post. As we speak, the bowl and base are both doing their thang in their respective kitchen appliance compartments. The anticipation is killing me.

I based this red wine roasted cherry chocolate ice cream on a similar recipe from We All Scream, the most crazy pants ice cream site this side of the World Wide Web. I had a nuclear energy and politics professor (dorkiest thing I’ve said all day or maybe ever) who would describe people and things as “getting crazy with the Cheez Whiz,” which is the perfect way to describe these recipes. It takes a certain kind of someone to make a durian or grilled potato ice cream, you know? I subbed chocolate ice cream for coconut ice cream, and roasted the cherries in red wine instead of bourbon. The red wine kind of formed a giant pinot foam soufflé, which seems like an okay thing to have happened? So far nothing in my life has been made worse by red wine?

Also, dutch processed cocoa is highly recommended for this recipe, which sounds like a ridiculous made up thing but I promise it’s well worth it. Dutch processed cocoa powder is just natural cocoa powder that’s been washed with an alkalinizing agent, neutralizing cocoa powder’s acidity for a much more mild flavor. While we’re on the food chemistry train (kind of), I’m a dumb dumb and didn’t buy enough heavy cream, so the cream mixture ended up being about 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup half and half, and 1/2 cup whole milk. There was also nonfat half and half in the fridge, but I was not trying to mess with that. Low-fat ice cream can take a long walk off a very short cliff.

Red Wine Roasted Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

(makes 1 1/2 quarts)

Roasted Cherries (adapted from We All Scream)

40-50 cherries, pitted and halved
2-3 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp red wine (I used whatever kind of in the Platypus in the pantry, pretty sure it was a pinot)

Preheat oven to 450º F. Spread cherries evenly in baking dish, tossing with sugar and wine. Drink the rest of the wine because it’s already open? Bake for about 30 minutes, or until reduced. Don’t be alarmed by the red wine soufflé occurring, apparently that is normal. Transfer to not-hot container, and chill in refrigerator.

Chocolate Ice Cream (from Cuisinart)

¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup granulated sugar
¹∕³ cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch salt
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars and salt. Add the milk and beat to combine until the cocoa, sugars and salt are dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate as long as you can hold out, preferably overnight, but 3-4 hours will do. Dream little ice cream dreams. Await part two.

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