Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pareve Ice Cream with Cherries and Chocolate Chunks (UPDATE)

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I recently went cherry picking and decided to use some of those cherries to make an ice cream recipe I'd been contemplating for a while. I also promised in that post that I would share my results today. :)
Let me begin by saying that I took a very basic recipe (basic vanilla ice cream + cherries + chocolate chunks) and did it my own way, as usual. The result is, I believe, an acquired taste.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

You see, my original plan was to take a container of Sweetened MimicCreme, add a little vanilla extract, put it in the ice cream maker and then add cherries and chocolate chunks. But then I was thinking about the last time I made ice cream that was JUST MimicCreme, and how it had frozen solid. It was delicious and creamy, but you had to let it soften for a while before you could get at it. So I thought, what can I add to keep it from getting so hard?

My brilliant idea? A tiny dash of white cooking wine that I had in the fridge. Here's the problem with that theory that struck me pretty quickly after I'd added it:
  1. wine actually freezes. I should have used something with a higher alcohol content, like vodka if I'd had any.
  2. white cooking wine is not high quality wine and therefore doesn't add the BEST taste in the world. Not a BAD taste, mind you, just not the best.

The resulting ice cream actually came out less creamy than I would have liked, still froze hard, and has a white wine undertone that, while actually a pretty good flavor combination in general, is not quite what you expect when you dig in. The initial effect can be a little off-putting.

My other mistake is the chocolate I used. I happen to be a big fan of Elite Chocolate, and love to eat it straight. When thinking of what to use for the chocolate chunks, I went straight for their bittersweet dark chocolate. However, I should have upgraded to something higher quality and more bitter, or at least to chocolate chips, because this doesn't seem to have held up well. the pieces aren't hard when you bite in to them, but have a texture closer to pecans in ice cream.

All in all, I think this ice cream is pretty tasty, but it's definitely not for everyone. (The Huz, for instance, found it too repugnant to finish the small teaspoonful he took.) I'd definitely do many things differently if I had it to do all over again (and I might!) but for now it's an intriguing flavor combination that would probably be wonderful for some and disgusting for others.

(UPDATE: Tasting it again, I've determined this is actually quite delicious if you think of it as a cream ice rather than an ice cream. The flavors work much better that way and the texture makes more sense. Also, I need to correct a statement earlier in this post. The Huz was not grossed out by the ice cream, he merely wasn't in the mood to eat it with his cheese sandwich. He actually seems to enjoy it.)

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