Chocolate & Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream


25 Jul Chocolate & Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Sweet cherries -

Next time I go to the Farmers’ Market, stuff wax in my ears and lash me to the shopping cart. Cherries are the Sirens of the fruit world and I can’t resist them unaided.

Last week, I ventured forth on a mission to buy easy-to-hull strawberries or slice-and-go nectarines. And there, perched amidst the puny currants and stubble-haired raspberries were the temptress cherries. Their cheeks shone in the sunlight. Their upright stems dared me to pluck one as I wandered past. Although they had no voice, I heard their call clearly —  and fell for their treacherous charms.

Unlike the sailors of Greek mythology, I was not dashed upon the rocks. However, just like Ulysses, I was driven temporarily insane. I bought not one, but two baskets.

Once home, my head cleared. Pleased with my purchase I began to pit the cherries. The pits landed at the bottom of my stainless steel bowl with a satisfying “ping.” But these beauties are not as innocent as they look. Within minutes, my kitchen looked like a reenactment from Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding. Unable to face pitting a single pint, let alone the two I had been tricked into buying, I ate one cherry. Two. Three.

When their sweet, cherry goodness hit my tongue the temporary insanity returned, and I fell under their spell yet again.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Crackles -

But Sirens are also Muses of the Lower World. The bright red fruit inspired me. I would make an irresistable dessert with tiny bits of siren-cherries floating in a sea of vanilla ice cream.

And what’s a seascape without driftwood? Enter the chocolate flotsom.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Crackles -

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Crackles emerged from the chaos.

Pitting cherries. Piping chocolate. Churning ice cream. Why not just drive to Ben & Jerry’s?

Because this fruit can make you do crazy things. Delicious, time-consuming, soul-satisfying things — providing you’re the kind of person who can hear cherries sing. And you know I am.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Crackles -


Cherry & Chocolate Crackle Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1½ quarts
Cherry vanilla is a classic ice cream flavour. This ice cream has an extra dose of vanilla, sweet cherries and cruncky shards of chocolate crackle. Of course, you can omit the chocolate. If you do, I want your share.
  • 1 large vanilla bean
  • 2 cups heavy cream (35%)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups pitted & quartered sweet cherries
  • 4oz dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  1. Infuse the cream: Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds. Place the pod, seeds, cream and milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and heat the mixture until bubbles form around the edge of the pot. Don't let the mixture boil. Turn off the heat, cover, let steep for 20 minutes, then remove the vanilla pod and rewarm the mixture over medium heat.
  2. Make the custard: In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar and vanilla bean paste together until smooth. Pouring in a slow, steady stream, whisk 1 ladle of hot cream mixture into the yolks. Add a second ladle of hot cream, whisking all the time. Whisk the warmed yolks into the pot of cream and cook over medium-high until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve. Allow the custard to cool. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until cold.
  3. Freeze the cherry pieces: Spread the cherry pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan lined with parchment. Don't let the pieces overlap. Cover and place in the freezer until you're ready to churn the ice cream.
  4. Make the chocolate crackle: Line a pan with parchment and set aside. Melt the chocolate either in a heat proof pan over simmering water or in the microwave in 30-second bursts. Using a parchment cone or a small plastic sandwich bag with the corner snipped, pipe ¼-inch wide lines of melted chocolate onto the parchment. Refrigerate until hardened and then snap the chocolate into 1- to 2-inch lengths.
  5. Churn the ice cream: About 20 minutes before you're ready to churn the ice cream, place the custard in the freezer to get extra cold. Don't allow it to freeze. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions. About 10 minutes before the ice cream is finished, churn in the cherries. When they are churned in, add the chocolate crackle pieces. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and chill until firm.
Don't throw that steeped vanilla pod out. Let it dry and then use it to make vanilla sugar.


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  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 16:37h, 26 July Reply

    Wow!! I loved this post, funny way to start my day, and even though I was already eating it made my mouth water. This looks so good, and I didn’t want to finish my rather boring, very high fibre meal. I wanted THIS.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:28h, 27 July Reply

      There is fibre in cherries. Does that count? If so, we could consider this breakfast food :-)

  • Jill Silverman Hough
    Posted at 23:09h, 26 July Reply

    Great minds thinking alike! I photographed ice cream and ice cream scoopers on Carrara marble just a couple of weeks ago, and I also have a recipe for cherry ice cream with chocolate on my site. I can’t hear cherries, but I ice cream, in pretty much any form, definitely calls to me. :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:35h, 27 July Reply

      Really? How cool. I used marble to slow down the melting process, but it wasn’t Carrara. Truth is, the slab I used for the photo was stolen from my mom’s garden. Shhhh. She doesn’t know — yet :-)

      I’ll have to check out your cherry ice cream with chocolate. I’m actually thinking of doing a full-on cherry ice cream. I guess I’ll see if had the same take when I pop over in a few minutes. I can hear some cherry chatter in the background as I type …

      • Jill Silverman Hough
        Posted at 16:27h, 29 July Reply

        Truth be told, I’m not sure that my marble is Carrara either–it’s a relic from my grandmother’s kitchen. Mum’s the word with mum!

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 01:07h, 31 July Reply

          Your secret is safe with me!

  • Monique Bartley
    Posted at 07:02h, 27 July Reply

    This post has my name written all over it! Seriously cherry ice cream is my FAVORITE! Any time my mom would buy it, it would be gone within days. I would always start devouring it by first eating all the cherries. Ugh. I want this so badly!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:37h, 27 July Reply

      Oh, Monique, I wish I could give you a great big scoop. Too bad we can’t send real objects over the Internet.

      Thinking it through a bit more, ice cream would likely melt en route and muck up the electronics, so I guess it’s all for the best. On the upside, you can order an ice cream maker online :-)

  • jenny
    Posted at 11:22h, 27 July Reply

    I’ve seen a similar flavor combination in Neopolitan Ice Cream with cherries. It really comes down to taste. I may think it does.Another person may think it sounds too busy with the Cherry and Strawberry flavors jockeying for position.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:39h, 27 July Reply

      I haven’t seen Neapolitan ice cream in years! It used to be my favourite as a kid — more for the stripes than the flavours.

      No one bats an eye when you mix raspberries and blueberries, so why not cherries and strawberries? I’ve never tried that combination, but it fruits tend to blend so nicely I’m sure it wouldnt’ be too busy. Only one way to find out…

  • A Canadian Foodie
    Posted at 14:29h, 27 July Reply

    Hilarious. Strong writing – which I appreciate and enjoy, and great recipe. “Strawberries, cherries, and an angel kissing Spring… my Summer wine is really made from all these things…” I cannot pick one… but whichever is in season, I have to gorge on. Just picked the best strawberries I have ever eaten in my life, yesterday.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:42h, 27 July Reply

      Strawberries or cherries? Don’t make me choose. Fortunately, we don’t need to make this an either or situation. Plus now that the apricots, plums and peaches are rolling in — as the blueberries and raspberries continue to vie for space on the Farmers’ Market table — I think a fruit cocktail is in order!

      I’m dead jealous of your strawberry. I hope you savoured the moment as long as you could.

      Thanks for the kind words and enthusiasm!

  • Erin | The Emerging Foodie
    Posted at 02:59h, 28 July Reply

    Yummmm! Chocolate + cherry = such a great combination!! This looks lovely.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 23:34h, 28 July Reply

      Thanks. It’s almost like those two flavours were meant for each other.

  • Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking
    Posted at 04:00h, 31 July Reply

    That ice cream is dedication. It looks beyond amazing and I, too, cannot resist the call of the cherries. It’s trouble. Part of the trouble is that I eat too many in one sitting every single time.

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