There was a news story that broke a few days ago that made me a bit sad. Apparently, excess cherries from the US are being shipped to Canada, flooding the local market and causing prices to drop. Cherry farmers in the Okanagan are receiving just half as much for their fruit compared to previous seasons. With prices so low, farmers cannot afford to harvest the fruit. Cherry pickers in the Okanagan have been laid off… leaving tens of thousands of pounds of beautiful, crispy, sweet cherries unpicked on the trees. Sad faces all around. Support our local farmers! If you are able, pick up some local Okanagan cherries (and other local fruits and veggies) the next time you’re at the market!
I picked up a couple of pounds last weekend with a specific purpose in mind: BLACK FOREST. I love chocolate and cherries!
Black forest cake itself is rather… involved. Last year for my birthday, I was set on making a black forest cake from scratch. Chocolate shortcrust pastry. Chocolate sponge cake. Cherry filling. Freshly whipped cream. Shaved chocolate curls. Project Black Forest was accomplished over two days, the help of my dad (who just happened to have a homemade cake turntable on standby for my use), and caused quite the chocolately mess in the kitchen.
But black forest ice cream is a cinch. Ultra Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream + kirsch + boozy cherry compote = THE MOST AMAZING BLACK FOREST ICE CREAM EVER. And it takes about 20 minutes of prep time! (Hint: use a cherry pitter) If you love chocolate and cherries as much as I do, you must try this recipe!
1 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
3 3/4 cups half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons kirsch
Boozy Cherry Compote (makes about 2 cups)
3 cups of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons kirsch
1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the Ice Cream:
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the cocoa powder and sugar.
- Whisk in the eggs.
- Very slowly, whisk in 2 3/4 cups of the half-and-half. It should start off like a chocolate paste, then end up like thick chocolate syrup.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
- Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining 1 cup of the half-and-half to stop the cooking. Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
- Stir in the kirsch
- Chill overnight in the fridge.
For the Boozy Cherry Compote:
- While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the cherry compote. Combine the cherries, sugar, and water in a non-reactive saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries soften. This should take about 7 minutes.
- Mix the kirsch and cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. Add to the cherries. Cook for another minute, until the compote thickens slightly.
- Cool and chill overnight in the fridge. Don’t worry, the compote will thicken up.
- Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Spread a quarter of the ice cream into a chilled dish. Spoon 1/3 of the compote in random dollops onto the ice cream. Repeat another two times (3 layers of ice cream, 3 layers of compote). Top with the remaining quarter of the ice cream.
- Chill thoroughly in the freezer until firm.
- Garnish with shaved chocolate, if desired.