Rich chocolate cherry gelato with crunchy almonds and a white chocolate stracciatella,
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It’s Ice Cream Tuesday
and I’m so excited to bring you today’s Tuesday, Chocolate Cherry Almond Gelato with White Chocolate Stracciatella actually on a Tuesday! I developed this ice cream (technically gelato) with my friend Kimberly from Hungry Goddess in mind. She is a blogging and social media dynamo and an entrepreneur, and you can find her at Hungry Goddess, Goddess Alive Radio, Shakti Womyn and her recently revived Hungry Goddess Eats Radio which she co-hosts with Sara Teixido. I was on an earlier iteration of her Podcast for Kimberly’s Thanksgiving 2013 episode and had a great time. During a recent facebook messaging session, Kimberly told me that she’d revived her podcast and asked if I’d like to be on. Well, duh. Yes!
I was initially supposed to be on a few weeks ago, but life happens, as it is wont to do, and we had to reschedule. The good news is that I offered to make an ice cream based on Kimberly’s favorite flavors to share on the show. And Hungry Goddess Ice Cream was born. The idea of it anyway.
Kimberly is mad–mad, I tell you!–about chocolate and cherries, so I just needed to add a few embellishments to make the frozen combination truly goddess-worthy.
I’m not sure that everyone is interested in how I conceptualize my ice creams, so if you’re not, it won’t hurt my feelings if you want to skip down to the recipe. For those of you who are interested in my process, this part is for you.
Initially, I was going to make the same base as I made for my Toblerone Gelato since the honey and almond notes in the Toblerone would play nicely with the cherries. Then, as I wandered the candy aisle at my local Lowe’s Foods, I found a dark chocolate bar that had dried cherries and almonds in it, and I immediately put the Toblerone bars back on the shelf. The Toblerone Gelato calls for melting 3 3.5oz Toblerone bars into the base, but since I rather like milk chocolate with cherries, I split the difference and used one of the chocolate cherry bars, one milk chocolate bar (a lovely, creamy organic one from Green & Black’s) and some semi-sweet chocolate chips. The base is all whole milk, so no cream or half and half. It gets its richness from the metric ton of chocolate in it and its creaminess from corn starch. In fact, the chilled base sets up in the fridge just like chocolate pudding, and there is no rule that says you can’t serve it that way.
I also added some cherry jam to the base, so initially there were some chunks from the almonds and dried cherries in the chocolate bar and from the cherry bits in the jam. I let everything steep for about thirty minutes and then strained the base. I don’t like to churn a base that isn’t completely smooth because I think it makes the churn have to work harder.
Once the base was at soft serve consistency, I mixed in about 3/4 of another chopped cherry chocolate almond bar and drizzled in the stracciatella. Two ingredients: excellent quality white chocolate (I used a Green & Black’s positively brimming with Madagascar vanilla seeds. Gorgeous) and a tiny bit of neutral oil. Easy.
Since I’m a Crazy Person
I made my own cherry amaretto jam even though I had also purchased a perfectly delicious cherry jam from Bonne Maman. Feel free to use store bought, but if you’re feeling kicky, I’ll show you how to make the jam in the recipe below.
The crisscrosses of white chocolate you see on top of the ice cream serve two purposes. One is purely to decorate the top. It does look pretty, I think. The second is to add a bit more stracciatella to the mix on the off chance you’re like me and like a ton of mix ins.
One more note before the recipe, okay? I hope you tune in to Hungry Goddess Eats Radio tomorrow (Wednesday, July 8) to listen to the podcast. We’ll be talking summer pie and ice cream, including the podcast unveiling of Hungry Goddess Ice Cream.
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Chocolate Cherry Almond Gelato with White Chocolate Stracciatella (Hungry Goddess Ice Cream)
For the Chocolate Cherry Base
- 10.5 oz chocolate chopped, (I used 3.5 oz chocolate cherry bar, 3.5 oz milk chocolate and 3.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 3 oz cherry jam, (purchased or homemade)
- 2 oz softened cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon Amaretto or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 24 oz whole milk
- 3 oz granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, (I used Hershey's)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 to 1 3.5 oz bar of chocolate, chopped into bits and frozen, for the mix in (I used a chocolate cherry bar)
For the Stracciatella
- 2 oz excellent quality white chocolate
- 2 teaspoons neutral vegetable oil
For the Cherry Amaretto Jam (if making)
- 8 oz frozen Bing cherries, (you can use fresh in season, of course)
- 4 oz granulated sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- heavy pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon Amaretto or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
To Make the Base
- In a large bowl, combine chopped chocolate, jam, cream cheese, vanilla and Amaretto or almond extract. Set aside convenient to the stove.
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the milk, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk over medium to medium high heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Let boil for 15 seconds.
- Pour the cooked base into the bowl with the chocolate. Allow to sit a couple of minutes and stir until the chocolate has melted.
- If using bars with nuts/fruit in them, steep for thirty minutes and then strain the mixture into another bowl, pressing down on the solids. Otherwise, strain straight away.
- Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the gelato base and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (40F). You can also do this in an ice bath to speed up the process.
- Churn the base according to your manufacturer's instructions.
For the Stracciatella
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 15 second bursts on medium power. Stir together with the oil until thoroughly combined. Allow to cool to just-barely-warm and liquid before using.
For the Cherry Jam
- Place the frozen berries, the sugar, lemon juice and salt into a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
- Allow to sit until the cherries have thawed and release some of their juices, about an hour.
- Heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
- Turn the heat down to just high enough to maintain the simmer (medium-low on my stove) and, stirring occasionally, cook the cherries until the mixture reaches 221F.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Amaretto or extract. Allow to cool then cover and chill before using.
To Finish the Ice Cream
- Once the ice cream has reached soft serve consistency, add in the frozen chopped chocolate. Then drizzle in as much of the stracciatella as you like in a thin stream.
- Layer 1/3 of the churned base in your container. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of jam and spread it out as well as you can.
- Layer in another third of the base, top with another 2-3 Tablespoons of jam and finish with the last bit of base.
- Run a knife back and forth up and down through the base and jam to swirl it together a bit more and smooth the top.
- Add some decorative stracciatella drizzles or not and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- Feed the Hungry Goddess in you. Enjoy!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read today. I know you will enjoy the gelato, especially if you are a chocolate-cherry fan.
And don’t forget to tune in to Hungry Goddess Eats Radio tomorrow, July 8 at noon Eastern Time (or listen after the fact). You can also tweet questions or join the conversation on twitter by using #HGEATS in your tweets! Hope to hear from you there!
Have a lovely day.
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