Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

by Shawnda on July 12, 2012

in Cherries,Chocolate,Fruit,Ice Cream

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

If you love chocolate, cherries, and ice cream, you are in luck today. If you love skinny jeans and have problems with will power… I’m sorry. But look! I made you ice cream!

Our second recipe to celebrate National Ice Cream month is a dark chocolate ice cream, swirled with fudge ripple and chopped roasted cherries. I had intended to make the ice cream as a sundae, drizzling leftover fudge ripple over top and adding a cherry but the look in my husband’s eyes said, “Please don’t.”

Or maybe it said, “Do it and I’ll have you committed.” The two looks, they’re very similar.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

I stopped looking for a chocolate ice cream recipe the day I stumbled across this one in The Perfect Scoop. It’s everything a chocolate ice cream should be: rich, dark, and insanely chocolatey (I even add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder).

Making this ice cream involves making the ice cream and chilling it for a couple of hours in the fridge; roasting the cherries, chopping them, and then chilling them in the fridge; making the fudge ripple and then chilling it in the fridge. But you only have to make the fudge ripple once all summer. It keeps forever in the fridge.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

A decadent dark chocolate ice cream swirled with chunks of roasted cherries and fudge ripple.


  • For the ice cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 4 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 5 oz good semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the roasted cherries:
  • 1/2 lb cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • For the fudge ripple:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. Warm 1 cup cream with the cocoa powder and whisk thoroughly.
  2. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
  3. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and stir until smooth. Then stir in the remaining cream.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible.
  5. Set a mesh strainer over the bowl.
  6. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the saucepan.
  7. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the yolks together.
  8. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg yolks and then pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
  9. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat , scraping the bottom, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of your spoon.
  10. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth.
  11. Add the vanilla.
  12. Set the bowl in an ice bath (put several cups of ice into the sink and fill with a few inches of water).
  13. Stir every 15 minutes until cool and then chill mixture thoroughly in the fridge (~2 hours).
  14. While the ice cream is chilling, roast the cherries and make the fudge ripple.
  15. Preheat the oven to 425.
  16. Toss cherries with sugar and place in a small baking dish.
  17. Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool slightly before transferring to a small food processor or blender and pulsing to chop the cherries into small pieces.
  18. Transfer the cherries to a covered bowl and refrigerate thoroughly.
  19. To make the fudge ripple, stir together the water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges.
  20. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat.
  21. Stir in vanilla.
  22. Let cool and then store in a jar in the fridge (will keep for several weeks). The fudge ripple must be completely chilled to use.
  23. Pour the chocolate custard into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer directions.
  24. Transfer 1/3 of the ice cream into the storage container.
  25. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of fudge ripple and half of the cherries over top.
  26. Repeat, with the next 1/3 of the ice cream, 2 Tbsp fudge ripple and remaining cherries.
  27. Transfer the last of the ice cream to the bowl, drag a spoon or a knife held upright through the bowl in a figure 8 pattern to lightly swirl.
  28. Cover with a lid, and freeze completely.


Yields: Chocolate ice cream and fudge ripple from The Perfect Scoop

Estimated time: 4 hours


Fresh Peach Margaritas

A few weeks ago, the first Texas peaches hit our grocery store. And just in time. We were working out the logistics for a weekend trip to Fredericksburg to pick peaches. But there they were. 3.1 miles away.

For only 98 cents a pound.

There are times you pay for an experience and then there are times you take care of business with an inexpensive 15-minute run to store.

I chose the latter.

It seemed only fitting that our first peach purchase of the season went to a pitcher of margaritas. I used sweet peaches that were so ripe, they seem to bruise just by touching them. And that first bite sent juice running down onto my shirt.

We made a few versions of peach margaritas, some using blended with fresh fruit and another using a canned nectar. We also played around with the homemade margarita mix and liked a half lemon-half lime so the delicate peach flavors were enhanced with lemon and not totally overwhelmed with the lime. I have this hangup where I don’t like pulp in my drinks but we very much preferred the blended fresh peach margarita to the canned version. And I think you will, too :)
Continue Reading…


Blackberry Cherry Cobbler

It’s cobbler season! Anything you could possibly want to bake under a sweet dumpling crust is in season and super affordable right now. To celebrate, we took two perfectly ripe summer fruits, blackberries and cherries, and baked them into one magnificently bubbly, new-white-sun-dress-staining dessert.

I’m old enough to know better. Now I’m hoping that I’ve sacrificed enough over the years to the OxyClean gods to save it.

Blackberry Cherry Cobbler

Growing up, cobbler and banana pudding were the “cooked” desserts of choice. An iced-down watermelon and ice cream truck fare were the non-cooked favorites. It didn’t hurt that blackberries grew wild along our fence line and took only minutes to gather enough for cobbler when you send four kids out with four bowls.

Mom still prefers to eat her blackberry cobbler topped with a scoop of melty Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, a move that Dad scoffs at to this day: “cobbler isn’t supposed to be cold.”

I’m less discriminating and lack the self control to turn down anything topped with a scoop of ice cream or a drizzle of cream.

Blackberry Cherry Cobbler
Continue Reading…


Homemade Banana Pudding

by Shawnda on June 19, 2012

in Fruit,Pudding

Individual Banana Pudding

There are two things that you can always count on when my family gets together to barbecue: my dad’s baked beans and banana pudding.

Growing up, that pudding came from a box – cook & serve! My parents capitalized on the child labor available to them for the required (what seemed like) hours of stir, stir, stir. Patience wasn’t really our thing.

When I started cooking more things from scratch, banana pudding was one of the few things that I didn’t like better than store-bought. And most from-scratch versions didn’t have anything in the pudding to make it taste like bananas – it was simply vanilla pudding or pastry cream with banana slices. It was good, but not bursting with the flavor, albeit artificial, that made this banana pudding lover happy.

Last spring, we made a Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie for Project Pastry Queen that solved that problem. The pie filling used banana liqueur to convert the ordinary vanilla filling into a real banana cream pie. When I tasted the filling, a light bulb came on.

Individual Banana Pudding

I made a few changes to convert the pie filling into a pudding and then let the repeatedly-empty serving bowl on the dessert table prove a point: Alcohol really can solve your problems :)

Serve it in a medium trifle bowl or if you’re having a party, use disposable clear 8- or 9-oz plastic cups – people love individual desserts and they don’t get so critical of scoop or slice size, leaving you with half a bowl of pudding at the end of the day.

Banana Pudding

Homemade banana pudding infused with banana liqueur and vanilla bean, layered with fresh banana and vanilla wafer cookies.


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
  • 2 firm but ripe bananas
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Vanilla wafer cookies


  1. Place the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of your mixer and whisk on med-high for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture is a light lemony yellow and mostly smooth.
  2. Add the cornstarch, mixing until smooth.
  3. Slowly stream in the milk and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  5. Stir constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, reduce heat and cook another 2 minutes (it might just start to boil).
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla, vanilla bean scrapings, and the banana liqueur.
  7. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  8. In a shallow bowl, mix lemon juice with 3 Tbsp water.
  9. Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch slices and dip into the lemon water. Shake off excess water and set aside. (This prevents the bananas from browning and lets you make the pudding a day ahead).
  10. Layer the pudding with vanilla wafer cookies and sliced bananas in a trifle bowl or individual serving cups (will make ~8 9-oz cups). Leave the cookies whole if you're not going to serve it that day - day-old crushed cookies get too mushy.
  11. Chill for ~2 hours, until completely cold.


Yields: ~8 individual servings

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 1 hour