I was looking for a way to liven up a Sunday afternoon, and then the bowl of cherries caught my eye… plump, shiny and perfectly ripe, we had bought them at the market the day before and although most of them were destined for snacking, it seemed a shame not to mark their passing with their very own recipe. I remembered the various vegan and raw vegan versions of Ben and Jerry’s “Cherry Garcia” (not that I’ve ever tried it, even in pre-vegan days) I’d seen all over the internet so I decided to try it out. Feeling
like a lie-down in the sunny garden a little pushed for time, I used bought vegan dark chocolate, but had I used home made raw chocolate I think it would have been even better. Ready made chocolate tends to turn waxy and loses some of its flavour when frozen. Wanting to cut down on sugar, I used coconut palm sugar (see next month’s “Ingredient of the Month”) and the result was an unexpectedly attractive and delicious caramel colour and flavour. It’s not the cheapest of ingredients, but much healthier than cane sugar, and I would certainly use it again- maybe to create coffee/ mocha/ salted caramel flavours (oooh; imagine caramel icecream rippled with salted date caramel…) When made with coconut milk that’s not heat treated and raw chocolate, this icecream falls into the raw vegan category as well. The following recipe makes just under a litre.
2 cans coconut milk
1 3/4 cups coconut palm sugar (raw, healthy and delicate)
2 tsps natural vanilla essence
1 cup ripe cherries, stoned and halved
1/2 cup dark chocolate (bought or see this raw chocolate recipe)
- Mix the coconut milk, vanilla and coconut sugar together and beat as much air into it as possible with a hand blender (called an immersion blender in the US?)
- Put into the freezer and remove every half hour or so to beat more air in – unless of course you own an icecream maker, which will do it all for you.
- When nearly set, stir in the chocolate and cherries, and return to the freezer until ready to eat.
I think my fantasy job is now to own a vegan ice cream parlour- what flavours would you stock?