Vanilla ice cream with poached cherries and chocolate sauce

Vanilla ice cream with poached cherries and chocolate sauce

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Cherries, chocolate and vanilla ice cream seem to me to belong together, so I’ve combined them here to make a simple, light-hearted dessert. You could add some sliced banana and toasted chopped nuts for a sundae if you like. The ice cream can be made a day or two ahead, but preferably no longer.

Vanilla ice cream

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450ml double cream
150ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
6 organic free-range egg yolks
120g caster sugar

Poached cherries

Quantity Ingredient
500g cherries
200g caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon pedro ximenez sherry

Chocolate sauce

Quantity Ingredient
125g good-quality dark, bitter chocolate (minimum 68% cocoa solids), grated
125ml double cream
125ml whole milk
1 teaspoon honey

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
handful cherries with stalks, washed

Method

  1. To make the ice cream, pour the cream and milk into a heavy-based pan and place over a low heat. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add them to the creamy milk with the empty pod. Slowly bring to just below the boil, remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl with a whisk until pale. Gently reheat the creamy milk and pour on to the egg yolk mixture, stirring with the whisk as you do so. Return to the pan.
  3. Stir the custard over the lowest possible heat until it thickens. This will take 8–10 minutes (don’t be tempted to increase the heat, or the custard will curdle). As soon as it is thick enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Allow to cool, then churn in an ice-cream maker until thick. Unless using straight away, transfer to a plastic container and store in the freezer.
  4. For the poached cherries, rinse the fruit, remove the stems and place in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, then cover and poach gently for 10 minutes until the cherries are very tender and have released a lot of liquid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cherries to a bowl. Add the sherry to the pan, turn up the heat and boil vigorously for 2 minutes. Pour over the fruit and let cool slightly (while you make the sauce) or leave until cold.
  5. For the chocolate sauce, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  6. To serve, layer the vanilla ice cream, poached cherries and warm chocolate sauce alternately in pretty glasses. Top with a few fresh cherries and serve at once.
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