Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

I have fond memories of the Cherry Festival – my small hometown’s annual carnival – from when I was very young and naïve (which I just might still be, but that’s another story).

Cherry Festival

I remember soaring high through the sky on the Ferris wheel with my dad, who convinced me that the height wouldn’t be scary with him by my side and would be worth going on first so we could check out the rest of the carnival grounds from a high vantage point.

I remember going on the Graviton with my older sister time after time, until feeling so dizzy that we had to stop and go back to normal gravity. That one was scary the first time, as it was like a huge spaceship and our parents didn’t go on it with us, but I went because my all-knowing sister convinced me it was fun. After that it was exhilarating and sickening at the same time.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

I fondly remember the swings, my absolute favorite. I adored flying through the air with the wind in my hair and my feet dangling above the people below. Sometimes I would pretend to kick them, but mostly, I would just close my eyes and dream wonderful things.

I remember the first and last time someone ever convinced me to go on the zipper – the one that spun upside down. I didn’t fit in the seat and slid up and down, hitting my head, every time the rickety ride spun upside down. Someone else puked. I almost puked. The ground was practically holy to me once I got off the ride. Never again.

Roasted Cherries

I remember the huge slide and racing down next to my friends on potato sacks. We would do this over and over because due to the typically short lines we could race up the steps and race down the slides and race up the steps and race down the slide, over and over again.

I remember the first time I ever went on the tiny dragon roller coaster for kids, which seemed huge at the time. I was convinced that the dragon carts were going to climb off the tracks and carry me away to my demise.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

I remember spending too much money in order to win a goldfish that would die a week later.

I remember cotton candy and lemon shakeups and funnel cakes. And I remember cherries. Lots of cherry flavored and inspired foods.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

But as I grew up, the cherry festival became less of an experience and more of a nostalgic thought. I realized the rides were overpriced and less than thrilling, if not nauseating. I also remembered the fish would die in a week, and that the game was a huge scam anyway. Sometime in the midst of childhood and adolescence, the festival lost its magic.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

However, this year my mom convinced me to sign up for the cherry cookery contest, and again I got excited about our towns cherry fest. And this time it was all about ice cream. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with making ice cream lately, and dreamt up this lovely concoction for the contest. It’s a bit time consuming with having four different components that come together to make only one quart, but the result is very worth it.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

Makes about 1 quart

Roasted Cherries:

2 cups fresh whole cherries, washed and pitted

1 Tablespoon orange juice

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 Teaspoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all in an 8 inch round or square baking dish. Roast at 400 for 30-35 minutes, stirring cherries every ten minutes. Let cool.

Cherry Syrup:

½ cup cherries, washed and pitted

¼ cup water

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cornstarch

Chop cherries into quarters. Combine water and cornstarch in small saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Add sugar and cherries and cook over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally and slightly mashing cherries, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain out syrup and discard cherry pieces. Set cherry syrup aside to cool.

Chocolate Ganache:

¼ cup heavy cream

1.5 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Microwave or heat cream on stovetop until it comes to a boil. Immediately after it boils remove from heat and add chocolate to cream. Let sit 5 minutes without stirring, then stir until chocolate completely incorporates into cream.

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon whole milk

1 Tablespoon plus 1 Teaspoon cornstarch

3 ounces cream cheese

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ¼ cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

Mix 1 Tablespoon milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Put cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl and set aside

Combine 2 cups milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and allow to boil for four to five minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in cornstarch and milk mixture, then allow to boil for a minute longer or until mixture is slightly thickened.

Add about ½ cup of the hot cream mixture to the bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth. Gradually add remaining cream mixture to bowl while whisking to incorporate all

Chill the ice cream base completely, then pour into the frozen canister of an ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturers instructions. (It should take about 30 minutes until the ice cream is thick and creamy).

To Assemble Ice Cream:

After the cream is frozen, swirl the cherry syrup into the ice cream by hand. Do not fully incorporate.

Layer the ice cream into a storage container: Put about ¼ of the ice cream into the bottom, drizzle on a ¼ of the ganache, add ¼ of the roasted cherries, and repeat, ending with a drizzle of ganache and cherries on the top. Freeze until firm and serve.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

Much love,

B

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Molly Cupcakes – Rich Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

I have a dear friend named Molly. Molly turned 20 in August, so I made her cupcakes.

“Chocolate!” she said.

So I made chocolate. Super, delectable, melt in your mouth chocolate. You see my friends, Molly is very much worth it.

I couldn’t just make a simple chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream (although, that would be wonderful too). You see, Molly has this crazy personality, so simple definitely would not work.

Instead, we start with a suuuuper incredibly moist chocolate cake. And then we fill the center with coffee flavored ganache for a nice little surprise when you take that first bite. After it’s filled, this Molly cupcake gets a huge dollop of whipped chocolate ganache. More ganache, that’s right. (Do you know what ganache is? Pronounced gah-NAHSH, this simple yet perfect thing is made from chocolate and cream, and can be used for glaze, frosting, filling, or eaten by the spoonful. It’s rich and smooth and velvety.) After the ganache, chocolate shavings are a must. Then, green (Molly’s color) pearl sprinkles and cute toothpick signs complete Molly cupcakes.

It’s impossible to put Molly’s character into words. I want to say spunky and peculiar, lovely, animated, and curious, to say the least. There will never be a dull moment with this girl around. And did I mention that she is oh so incredibly talented? She is.

Molly Cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 18

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup strong, hot black coffee

1 cup milk (I used 2%, but whole works perfectly too)

1 teaspoon white vinegar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In bowl of electric mixer, combine all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until very well incorporated, about 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter is supposed to be very thin.

Pour the batter into prepared cupcake tins until 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs (moist is what we’re going for, so no clean toothpicks!) Let cupcakes cool for about 5-10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Chocolate Ganache

For the filling and the whipped ganache frosting

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 ¼ cup heavy cream

11 ounces unsweetened chocolate

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 10-16 cubes

1 cup sugar

Chop the chocolate into pea sized pieces. Combine chocolate and butter in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Combine sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once mixture boils, immediately pour over chocolate and butter mixture. Let sit for five whole minutes, then whisk well until incorporated (It might take a bit of whisking before it’s completely incorporated).

Set aside 1 cup of the ganache for the filling. The remaining ganache will be for the whipped frosting and needs to be cooled completely. When it has cooled (and is much thicker) the ganache is ready to be whipped. Transfer the ganache to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment. Whip on medium until light brown and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Use immediately to spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. The ganache will firm up more once spread or piped.

Filling:

Mix about 1 cup of prepared ganache with 1 tablespoon strong black coffee. If you want a stronger coffee taste, add very fine instant coffee powder or espresso powder to taste. If no coffee flavor is desired, omit coffee and just use ganache as is for filling.

Assembly:

When cupcakes are completely cooled, fill the centers with some of the ganache. There are a few techniques out there for filling cupcakes, and Annie’s Eats has a good tutorial with photos for three different methods you should check out here. For my cupcakes, I chose to use a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. To do this, insert the tip into the cupcake and squeeze to pipe in a small amount of the ganache.

When the cupcakes are filled, use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped ganache onto the cupcakes (I used a round Wilton 2A tip). Alternatively, spread a big dollop of the whipped ganache on with a spatula. Either way tastes perfectly divine.

Top with chocolate shavings and sprinkles, if desired. Cute little toothpick signs are another fun option!

Love, B

P.S. Molly enjoyed her cupcakes, here’s Instagram proof. . .

Chocolate Cupcakes slightly adapted from Sweetapolita.

Ganache adapted from this post.