Summer is almost upon us and that means long hot days full of scorching temperatures.
Ahh, I’m so excited, and while I’m always down to watch you mortals squirm in physical discomfort, I’ll admit that even I find enjoyment in a nice scoop of freezing cold ice scream, and nothing beats my black cherry chocolate chunk.
A word of warning: this recipe takes patience. It’s a long process full of slaving over a hot stove in order to make a thick rich almond custard, letting it chill for 24 hours, and then churning for at least 30 minutes before returning it to the freezer for another 8 hours.
This is no instant gratification recipe…oh no….
To make your own black cherry ice scream you will need:
- 3 Cups heavy cream, divided in half
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split and scraped
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 Tablespoon almond extract
- 1 jar Maraschino cherries
- 1 bar dark chocolate
- Black food coloring
In a large pot, heat 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and sugar. Add in your vanilla pod and seeds. Over low heat, dissolve all the sugar, whisking constantly.
When the pot just begins to simmer, remove from heat, pull out your vanilla bean pod, and add in your black food coloring.
In a separate bowl, whisk your egg yolks until light and thick. Continue whisking as you add in 1/2 of your hot vanilla bean cream mixture.
You want to drizzle this mixture in very slowly. The goal here is to temper your egg yolks, not scramble them.
Once you’ve added in half your mixture to your egg yolks, add that back into your original vanilla cream mixture and stir to combine over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture thickens to a custard-like texture but do not allow to actually simmer. Remove from heat.
Add in the rest of your heavy cream and pour the entire thing into a bowl or container that will fit into your refrigerator.
Press a piece of plastic wrap on the top of your custard. This will help prevent a skin from forming on the custard as it cools.
Place in your fridge and allow to cool for a minimum of 3 hours (I prefer overnight to really let it chill and the vanilla to release all its flavor.)
While that’s chilling, let’s work on those cherries. We want them to be as black as my own little dark heart and unless you’ve managed to find black Maraschino cherries (they do exist!), we’ll have to help these bright red sugar bombs along. Add 1 teaspoon of your black food coloring to your jar of Maraschino cherries and shake to coat. Put the cap back on and put that into the fridge next to your custard.
The next step is to make our tiny skull cherry topper because everybody knows no ice scream cone is complete without a cherry on top!
To make the candy skulls you will need:
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1/3 Cup light (clear) corn syrup
- 1/2 Cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry flavor
- 1/2 teaspoon white food coloring
- Red food coloring
- Small heat proof silicone skull mold (I got mine here)
- Cherry stems
Combine your corn syrup, sugar and water in a pot over the stove. Bring up the heat to medium and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Once your liquid is clear, stop stirring and raise the temperature to medium-high.
Allow to cook (without stirring) until the temperature reaches 300F/148C – the hard crack stage. Depending on your stove, this should take anywhere from 8-12 minutes, so be patient.
Once your sugar reaches 300F/148C, remove from heat and add in your flavoring and your white food coloring. The white will help make the final product more opaque and less crystal clear. Add in your red a drop at a time until you are happy with how it looks.
Pour your mixture into your molds and allow to cool fully.
Once cool, remove from your molds.
To attach your stem, heat a knife over an open flame and gently press against the top of your candy skulls just long enough to soften the candy and allow you to press in a cherry stem.
Now, go away. No really. For at least 3 hours. Go watch a movie or invade a small country or something.
Once the appropriate amount of time has passed, it’s time to actually make your ice cream.
Start by first prepping your cherries and your chocolate bar. Drain your cherries, saving the liquid.
Remove the stems and then cut each of your cherries into quarters. Chop up 1/3 of your dark chocolate bar into small chunks.
Take 1/4 cup of your Maraschino cherry juice and add it to your custard base. Add in your chocolate chunks and your cherries. Now is also a good time to add in any additional black food color if you would like.
Transfer the custard base to your ice cream maker. Following the manufacturer’s directions, churn that inky black goodness and watch it transform from a slurry to silky smooth soft serve ice scream.
To transform it into a firm, scoopable ice scream, you’re going to need to put it in an airtight container and return it to the freezer to firm up for another 4-8 hours.
Hey, I warned you this would take some time. Be patient!
Finally, scoop up your hard earned, long awaited black cherry ice scream, top with one of your hand molded candy skull cherries, and enjoy!
Now, while I have your attention, why not use that skull mold for another fun cherry project! Check out my Ossuary Cherry No-Bake Pie!
Like what you see? Want to see more? Help me keep making my disgusting creations by visiting my Patreon page.
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