This month’s Progressive Eats is one I’ve looked forward to from the moment the chill was gone and we knew summer was actually, finally here. How I LOVE homemade ice cream. My friend Barbara from the blog Barbara Bakes made the call for us to have an Ice Cream Social this month and I’m in Heaven…so much ice cream and hopefully plenty of time! I had this crazy idea to make a banana split cake but as the day drew closer finding the time to make a cake and the three ice cream components was not going to happen. Still I wanted to make something special and these Black Forest Ice Cream Sundaes fit the bill.
I simply love chocolate and cherry together so how could I go wrong with Black Forest Ice Cream Sundaes; a rich ice cream simply loaded with fresh Bing cherries, Stracciatella (Italian pronunciation strattjaˈtella), topped with some more chocolate and finished with light as air whipped cream and a fresh cherry. And when I say loaded? None of that business we find with commercial ice cream, hunting for the good sections. This has cherries and chocolate EVERYWHERE!
Stracciatella you say; what the heck is that? Well, it’s just the most divine way of incorporating chocolate into ice cream EVER. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate chip ice cream. Those hard as a rock little nubs never seemed to do it for me. But one day several years ago when I was perusing the counter of a local ice cream shop with my girls, I notice two ice creams of particular interest. Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon (OH YES!) and a perfectly gorgeous Vanilla Bean with ribbons of chocolate throughout called Vanilla Bean Stracciatella. I was lucky the owner was the man behind the counter and he explained that the Vanilla Bean Stracciatella was made by churning Vanilla Bean gelato until done and then drizzling a stream of melted chocolate into it that hardens on contact with the cold ice cream and becomes the shards that are liberally scattered throughout.
Stracciatella literally translated from Italian is ‘shards’ or ‘rags’ and you have to admit that it’s an exotic name for ice cream. I seriously doubt I would have found the same appeal for Vanilla Bean Rags, right? It not only looks divine but the fact is that the chocolate actually melts in your mouth; something I never found chocolate chips to do. I’m certainly using a bit of poetic license today as this is not Vanilla Bean or gelato but the shards are the same and I do this any time chocolate chips are called for in ice cream.
It’s not just about the chocolate though; I took a few minutes to roast the cherries and those minutes make all the difference in the world. The roasting intensifies the sweetness of the fruit and softens it a bit; they release some of their juices that are then combined with the base resulting in a subtle cherry flavor in the ice cream too. So good. The ONLY way to add cherries to ice cream if you ask me!
Combined together as they are in a Black Forest Cake and you’ve got my latest and newest favorite and we sure did love these Black Forest Sundaes. Cool, creamy ice cream and the punch of two of my favorite things; chocolate and cherry. Pretty perfect.
Know how much I love cherries? No? OK, to be fair I don’t wax poetic but I should. I love making my own maraschino cherries, cherry liqueur, cherry pies, cherry jam, cherry pastry, and more. My current business card has a background of this photo of a Cherry Crostata I made a few years ago. Maybe it’s their short season, maybe it’s just simply their sweet, intense flavor, maybe I just love the color but whatever I just love them. So much so that I’m redoing my logo and yes it will have a cherry in it. What else do I love so much that I use for both foods and cocktails?
Well, nothing actually. I like limes…but it’s not the same LOVE I have for cherries! I pay for that love though; they can sometimes be the total pits! I don’t know if I could enjoy the results without this handy dandy little tool; it has made cherry pitting so much easier. They roll one at a time into a little station where you then plunge through them pushing the pit into a collection box and having the now pitted cherry roll into a waiting bowl; with a new cherry rolling into the ‘pitter’ area. That being said, I watch them closely; no one wants to bite into a cherry pit but this contraption does a great job, making the effort so much quicker that I can get through a pound in minutes. Kids love to do it too!
By the way, I have the ice cream ready and just bought a new box of sugar cones. Who’s coming over?
Black Forest Ice Cream Sundaes
For the Roasted Cherries
- 3/4 pound (about 1 cup) fresh sweet cherries, pitted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Almond Extract
- 1 Tbsp Kirsch (optional)
For the Stracciatella
- 2 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 ounces milk chocolate
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Whipping Cream
- Cherries for Garnish
To Roast the Cherries:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Toss cherries with 1 Tbsp of sugar. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until cherries have softened and start to release their juice.Remove cherries from the oven and allow to cool slightly; draining them to collect the juices; set the juice aside.
- Chop the cherries into large pieces and refrigerate until cold.
To Make the Ice Cream:
- Whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, Kirsh and cherry juice. And 3/4 cup of sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate at least 1 hour until the mixture is well chilled..
- Freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream manufacturer's instructions. When the mixture has firmed up and looks ready, add in the cherries and let churn another minute or two until ice cream has thickened up again.
To Make the Stracciatella:
- Melt the chocolates and butter in a microwave on low power for 30 second increments, stirring in between sessions until melted and smooth.
- Transfer to a pastry or Ziploc bag and seal; pressing out as much air as possible; keeping warm until ready to use. I just put the bag in to a glass of hot water to keep it warm.
To Finish the Ice Cream:
- When the ice cream has churned and the consistency is a bit firmer than soft serve, remove the chocolate mixture from the warm water and snip the tip of the bag about an eighth of an inch; no more than a quarter of an inch. Drizzle the chocolate into the ice cream as it is churning (save a bit for the top and for sundaes) and allow it to distribute throughout. Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container and drizzle with more of the chocolate sauce. Let freeze for at least 2 hours before serving; preferably overnight..
To Make the Sundae (optional):
- Put two scoops of ice cream into a dish, top with a bit of the reserved chocolate sauce and finish with whipped cream and a cherry.
Ice Cream Social
- Waffle Bowls from Barbara Bakes
- Black Forest Ice Cream Sundaes from Creative Culinary
- Bourbon Caramel Sauce for Ice Cream Sundaes from The Heritage Cook
- Vegan Banana Split Popsicles from Stetted
- Raspberry Ice Cream from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Copycat Baseball Nut Ice Cream from girlichef
- Blackberries and Cream Ice Cream from Miss in the Kitchen
- Cassata Ice Cream Cake from Spice Roots
- Roasted Apricot Ice Cream Bar from Willow Bird Baking
- Plum, Blackberry and Sage Frozen Yogurt from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Blueberry Plum Sorbet from Healthy Delicious
- Mocha Ice Cream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
PIN ‘Black Forest Ice Cream Sundaes’
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is an Ice Cream Social and is hosted by Barbara Schieving who blogs at Barbara Bakes. With summer in full swing, now is the time to get outside and enjoy some ice cream with friends and family!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.