It’s time to dust off your ice cream maker, don’t you think? Memorial Day is behind us, it’s unofficially summer and it’s been sweltering back East. Even Seattle is kicking off a run of sunny, beautiful, sit-on-the-deck kind of days. Days that demand ice cream. Around here, we don’t let weather dictate our ice cream consumption, but with berries and stone fruit starting to come in, it was a perfect opportunity to make a batch of Molly Moon’s Cherry Chocolate Chunk ice cream.
Since our trip down to SF, I’ve been all about cherries. We brought some home from the Ferry Building Farmers Market since they hadn’t showed up at our market yet. We enjoyed them in a simple salad with a port balsamic vinaigrette. Then I remembered Molly’s cherry chocolate chunk. And now, thinking about it, a mashup may be in order for the next batch…port balsamic cherry chocolate chunk, anyone?
Like a lot of shops these days, Molly’s does a salted caramel. Without doing a side-by-side taste test, I can’t tell you if it’s the best salted caramel, but I can tell you I’ve been known to have a scoop for breakfast on Saturday morning during farmers market season. ‘Nuff said, eh?
We don’t get to the scoop shops as often as I’d like (probably for the best), but the Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream book is super handy for whipping up a batch at home. Molly’s ice creams are American (or Philly-style) – no eggs — so they’re even simpler to make than a custard base. Use good dairy, good cherries and (wait for it) good chocolate, and you’ll have a fabulous scoop of ice cream.
My bright idea to whip up some ice cream almost went off the rails when I realized I hadn’t put the KitchenAid tub in the freezer. Our gelato machine saved my bacon – no pre-freezing required. Once you begin to churn the ice cream, you’ll start to see it take on a pink tinge from the cherries. The chocolate chunks go in at the last minute. I used a mix of Valrhona 85 percent and TCHO 70 percent cacao.
One tip, chill the finished product in a metal loaf pan. Yes, it takes up more room in the freezer, but it’s easier to get a nice scoop. One last thing, you can do a vegan version with coconut milk. I’ve had it at the shop, but haven’t yet tried it at home. The combo of coconut chocolate and cherries, well, you can imagine. It’s awesome in its own way.