Last week, the weather forecasters promised us that there was a heatwave heading our way and in response to this welcome “summer-where-are-you?” turnaround, I decided to celebrate by making ice cream. Second time around (the first batch was as solid as a rock!) it was voted a spectacular success. With a taste and texture to rival Haagen Daz or Green & Black’s, this sophisticated, silky-smooth, chocolatey ice cream has no added sugar and doesn’t need an ice cream machine to make it. It tastes so good, I’m thinking of setting up in business!
Most no-churn ice creams rely on just two ingredients - straight-out-of-a-tin sweetened condensed milk and double cream. Unfortunately, as fine and dandy as it may sound to just open-up a tin and whip up some cream to make ice cream, a little more stove-top effort is required for the health conscious who don’t eat sugar. Actually, it’s more time than effort that’s needed here. The base for Primal Plate’s version of no-churn ice cream is simply made from organic full-fat coconut milk and Sukrin Gold - a natural, healthy, almost zero-calorie, sugar-free sweetener - gently simmered together for 45-60 minutes until it bubbles down into sweetened condensed milk. Easy or what?
Choosing the flavourings for my ice cream was a no-brainer. Just the sight of dark, sweet, juicy English cherries at the height of their seasonal deliciousness (just 4 weeks every July and August) is enough to tempt me to binge on more of them than I can reasonably afford. However, taking this pleasure one step beyond bliss is the winning flavour combination of cherries and chocolate brought together in a delectable ice cream.
Better still, dark chocolate and cherries are ranked No.1 and No.3 respectively on the Top Ten Paleo Super Foods which means that not only does this decadent ice cream taste divine, it is really good for you too. Anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, cardio protective…the list of health benefits for cherries and cacao goes on. So if you love ice cream, dark chocolate or, like me, cherries, now is the time to indulge yourself completely guilt-free with this low-carb, no added sugar, cooling chocolate and cherry iced cream sensation.
Although temperatures in the East Midlands never really did hit the high spots this week, this No-Churn Double Chocolate & Cherry Ice Cream most certainly did. Whether you’re stepping out into the sunshine to enjoy a refreshing scoop or two, or you want to create a fabulous 5-star dessert for your next summer soiree, I think you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more pleasing.
No-Churn Double Chocolate & Cherry Ice Cream (Serves 6)
300ml organic double cream
50g Sukrin Gold
30g organic raw cacao powder, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6-10 drops organic clear liquid stevia
50g dark chocolate (at least 70% - I used Callibaut 72% Satongo chocolate chips)
225g dark cherries
Extra to serve:
Whole cherries, washed
Dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated
In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and Sukrin Gold to a light boil. Simmer on a low heat for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally (be careful, the mixture has a tendency to bubble-up and splatter when stirred!) or until it has reduced in volume by half. Do not cover the pan.
Mix in the raw cacao powder and vanilla extract and whisk together until all is combined and smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl, cover and let it cool down to room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
Meanwhile, wash and pit the cherries and cut them into small pieces. And, if you’re not using chocolate chips, roughly chop the chocolate into small pieces with a serrated knife.
Add the double cream (straight from the refrigerator) to the bowl of cooled condensed milk.
Whip the cream and condensed milk together until slightly thickened and the mixture falls in ribbons from the whisk. N.B. The mixture just needs to hold its shape rather than stand in stiff peaks.
Add the chocolate chips and cherry pieces to the whisked cream then very gently stir everything together with rubber spatula until evenly combined.
Pour into a plastic freezer container, smooth off the top then press a piece of waxed paper (or cling film) directly onto the surface to stop ice crystals from forming. Cover with a lid and and place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours.
It’s easier to cut the cherries into pieces if you have them facing skin side up on your chopping board.
To soften the ice cream before serving, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Always start scooping ice cream from the outer edge where it is softest. This stops ice crystals forming on the outer edges when it’s refrozen. Before returning to the freezer, replace the waxed paper and container lid.
Full-fat ice cream will become more solid the longer you freeze it. For the best texture and taste, eat within 2 weeks.
Carbohydrate 16g Protein 5.5g - per serving