First of all, have your ice cream maker bowl frozen solid. This really needs to be done the day ahead. As mentioned in the blog post, I just wrap mine in a plastic grocery bag (to keep it clean) and keep it in the freezer so I’m ready to go whenever I feel the need for ice cream! Yeah!
Grab your cup and a half of sweet bing cherries. I used frozen. Cut them in quarters and place them in a pot with two tablespoons of sugar on a low heat setting. Basically you want them to get super soft and create wonderful dark red juice. Takes about 15 minutes. Transfer carefully (it’s hot!) to a small jar or other heat safe container. Get it in the fridge (or freezer if you’re in a hurry) to chill.
Take 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of refined coconut oil, and melt these together (I did this in the microwave, heating in 30 second increments until melted). Spread this mixture thinly on parchment paper (to save mess) that has been placed on a small baking tray or other freezer safe surface. Place in the freezer to harden.
Now you are ready to make the ice cream base itself. It is best to start with room temperature ingredients because you want your coconut oil and soy milk to mix. At any rate, add the soy milk to the blender, start blending on a low and then higher speed. Once you get it really going, open the little pour spot on top, and very VERY slowly pour your refined coconut oil in. I’m usually impatient so very slowly usually lasts 90 seconds, but you get the idea. Too fast and it won’t incorporate well.
Let it keep blending while you add the vanilla, salt, sugar, and Xanthan Gum. Once it’s well incorporated turn it off! Yeah, you knew that! ???? Now you need to chill the ice cream liquid. You can be creative with this if you are in a hurry (pour it into a ziplock baggie, place the baggie in an ice water bath) or you can just stick the liquid ice cream in a bowl and put it in the fridge even overnight!! But however you decide to do this, it really needs to be completely chilled before pouring it in the ice cream maker.
Once it’s completely chilled (several hours or overnight) pour the ice cream liquid into the ice cream maker bowl and just let it do it’s thing for about 30 minutes. Once you are seeing a pretty firm texture, add the cherries and juice you previously prepared and break all the thinly spread chocolate into smaller pieces and dump that in too. Let it go on mixing everything for a few more minutes and then you are ready to scoop all your soft serve ice cream into a freezer container.
I usually put mine into loaf pans. You’ll need two regular size loaf pans or one large one. Whisk those off to the freezer and let it get solid. It serves soo nice that way. Watch out, because everyone is going to go crazy over this, and the wonderful thing is you can feel good about it too! You can sub almost any kind of berry in place of the cherries – my other favorite is Huckleberry. If you’re a northerner you’ll know what I’m talking’ about!!! Have fun ya’ll!
***Please note, as I mentioned in the blog post, I use the flavorless Refined Coconut Oil for this recipe. Unrefined coconut oil will add a bit of a coconut flavor but still yummy.***