I first knew about cherries being in season when my Sis told me that cherries were going for a really cheap price at the supermarket. That very weekend, I got to work by picking up about 1.6 kilos worth of cherries. Nom nom nom. Cherries are delish aren't they? And a few days later, I popped by the supermarkets twice again to pick up another .6 kilos and 1.2 kilos bags of cherries. Talk about hoarding!
Roasted brandied cherries
I had to make use of the fresh fruit in season - so look out for plenty of upcoming cherry treats. First up is a roasted brandied cherries chocolate ice cream.
I decided to make a cherry ice cream, but not any ordinary cherry ice cream, but one with roasted brandied cherries. Have I got you yet? While searching for recipes, I came across this page that suggested roasting cherries first before adding them into the ice cream base. Normally, diced fruit chunks tend to become frozen fruit chunks after freezing. The recipe said that by roasting the cherries first, the fruit will not turn into frozen fruit chunks. Who likes to bite into a piece of frozen fruit in ice cream? Not me. I was intrigued.
May I just say that this recipe for roasted brandied cherries is just brilliant? It is simply to die for. And true to its promise, the fruit did stay soft and moist in the ice cream. I recommend chopping the cherries in large bits to savour delicious chunky fruits in the ice cream.
Roasted brandied cherries chocolate ice cream sandwiches
Oh and something incredulous happened while I was roasting those brandied cherries. I followed the recipe without much problem. Right up till the stage where I added the brandy to the tray of roasted cherries and popped it back into the oven. After less than a minute of bubbling...KABOWBOOM!
Flames (blue and orange) burst and "whooshed" with an audible sound right in front of my eyes (my face was plastered next to the oven as I was curious to what was happening within the oven doors). Stunned, I could only lurch back in surprise. And then quickly turned off the oven just in case something else (I don't know what was I expecting, perhaps an explosion?) should happen.
It really was startling to say the least. I wonder what caused it - could it be because I used a baking paper to roast the cherries, and the paper was fluttering about in the oven with the brandy frolicking madly and all that activity just led to a kabowboom? I'll not know for sure, but please be cautious if you should decided to roast brandied cherries please.
And this wasn't the biggest problem for me - my ice cream maker has been behaving pretty wonky since we moved to the new place. Or rather, whenever we make full batches of ice cream. Not too sure if the amount of ice cream to be churned affects how it operates, but a full batch doesn't seem to freeze as well as a half batch. I ended up gaving up on the stupid machine and started hand churn the ice cream - the overall ice cream texture was a little icy due to the water condensation from the ice cream bowl that dripped into the batter after a prolonged (uneffective) period of "churning" that did no help to freeze the ice cream at all. Sniff.
But it's okay! I had chocolate cookies on hand to save the day! Ice cream sandwiches! A simply delicious and ultimate fudgy chocolate cookie sandwiching a cherry chocolate ice cream. A super yums and perfectly portioned treat just right for cooling one down after a spicy meal, such as curry. (:
Look out for these cookies in the next post!
Roasted brandied cherries chocolate ice cream
Roasted brandied cherries (adapted from Dana at The Kitchn)
3 tbsp sugar
dash of fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup brandy
Preheat oven to 230°C. Place the remaining cherries in a small roasting pan and sprinkle on the sugar. Place in the oven and roast until the cherries start to release their juices and the sugar melts and begins to caramelize. This will take about 10 minutes but watch the cherries very carefully, as the sugar may start to burn.
Remove from the oven, pour the brandy over and return for another 5 minutes and roast until the juices start to bubble up.
(*Be careful and watch out if your oven is to behave like mine...)
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Pit and quarter the cherries and set aside.
Cherry ice cream base (adapted from Kare at The Hazel Bloom)2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
4 egg yolks
2 cups cherry halves
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dark chocolate
Pit and halve the cherries. Sprinkle lemon juice over the cherry halves and toss lightly.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until the mixture is frothy.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and whipping cream over low heat, until the mixture is very warm – when it forms bubbles around the sides, it’s about ready.
Very slowly pour the hot cream/milk mixture into the beaten eggs, whipping briskly the entire time.
Return the milk/cream/eggs/sugar mixture to the saucepan and, stirring constantly over medium-low heat, heat until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon – about 10 minutes (sometimes takes as long as 15, but watch carefully and remove from the heat as soon as it’s thick).
Remove from the heat.
Stir in the cherry halves.
Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes or so. Stir in the vanilla.
And then puree using an immersion blender. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve and let it cool completely overnight in the refrigerator.
Once it’s cooled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer instructions.
When the ice cream is almost done, melt the chocolate and pour it into the ice cream in a thin stream and add the diced roasted brandied cherries.