Chocolate Ice Cream with Italian Cherries

I know that ice cream doesn't seem like the most obvious dessert during winter (because...brrrr), but I love it. There's just something super lovely and satisfying about digging into a dish of ice cream regardless of what the weather is doing outside.

When it comes to flavors, I'm always up for trying something new, but ultimately always go back to my favorites.

Chief among those? Chocolate!

This simple dark chocolate ice cream is one that I've made a few times up in Vermont when I'm cooking at my friend's retreat center (where I occasionally work as a visiting private chef). Ice cream is one of my go-to desserts when I'm entertaining, because it doesn't require much hands on time and can be made way in advance.

When I'm up there, I'll usually make a few different flavors (this Strawberry Sorbet with Chocolate Chips is another fave) on the first day, then serve them up throughout the weekend.

At home, I love pulling out a pint of ice cream and then dressing it up with something like these INCREDIBLE Italian Amarena Cherries. If you've never tried these before, I encourage you to do so right now.

They're like what maraschino cherries dream they could be--lush, sexy, super fragrant, sweet, with hints of bitter almond. Simply amazing. I love these drizzled over chocolate ice cream with a quick sprinkle of salt on top, but also put them on cake, in cocktails, and then I save the syrup to soak other dried fruit. Even the jar is super cute!

Get the cherries here on Amazon (other stores like Sur la Table also sell them), and then make the ice cream to serve with them. You'll be so glad you did.

BTW, this is NOT sponsored by that cherry company (although those links are affiliate links)--I'm just obsessed with them, and think that you might become obsessed too.

Chocolate Ice Cream with Italian Cherries
Serves 6

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Amarena Fabri Cherries and flaky sea salt (like Maldon), for serving

Combine milk and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture, then slowly mix all of it back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes).

Remove from heat and pour into a blender along with the chocolate chips, butter, cream, and vanilla. Puree until smooth, then refrigerate at least two hours, or until cold.  Pour into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. Pour into a container, cover, and let freeze at least four hours, or until firm.

To serve, scoop into small bowls and top with a few spoonfuls of the Amarena cherries and syrup. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve immediately.

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