You will be hooked on this Cherry Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream! It has a natural cherry flavor from juicy Bing cherries, as well as generous amounts of crispy chocolate flakes and cherry pieces mixed into a delicious dairy-free vanilla ice cream base. So rich, creamy, and delicious - definitely better than any store-bought vegan ice cream you will try!
1) Make sure your ice cream maker bowl is frozen cold. 2) Make sure your soy milk is at room temperature - remove it from the fridge if it's not in a shelf stable container.
Prepare the ice cream ingredients:
Cut your fresh or frozen cherries into quarters - this doesn't have to be exact.
Place the chopped cherries into a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons sugar and heat over medium heat until the cherries release juice and the sugar melts - about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat-safe glass jar, and chill in the fridge or freezer until cold.
Combine the ⅓ cup chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and melt in the microwave in 30-second increments, or until melted. Mix until smooth, and then spread on parchment paper and allow to cool and harden (place in the freezer if necessary). Once cooled, break the chocolate into chunks/pieces.
Pour the room temperature soy milk into a blender, start blending, and very slowly pour in the melted coconut oil. Taking 1-2 minutes to pour the coconut milk in is key so that it incorporates with the soy milk.
Now add the 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum. Blend for a few seconds until it's well incorporated. Then either transfer the contents to a gallon-sized zip lock bag and refrigerate, or place the blender jar into the fridge. Allow to cool to fridge temperature completely, preferably overnight.
Make the ice cream in the ice cream maker:
Once the ice cream has cooled, transfer it to the ice cream maker bowl and turn it on. Let it do its thing for about 30 minutes, and once you see a pretty firm texture, add the cherries, juice, and the chocolate pieces. Let it mix everything for a few minutes. At this point you can store it in the freezer, or transfer to other containers, such as loaf pans, for easy scooping.
TIPS FOR MAKING ICE CREAM
→ Refined coconut oil: please make sure to use refined coconut oil, because the unrefined one quite a strong coconut smell and flavor!→ Soy milk: for best results, use soy milk that has only two ingredients: soy beans and water. No additives, no thickeners, no flavors, no sugar. If you're using sweetened soy milk or vanilla soy milk, consider reducing the sugar or the vanilla extract in this recipe. I like Westsoy, and it is available on Amazon if you can't find it in stores.→ Fine sea salt: make sure to use fine sea salt (such as this), or regular table salt, unless you like little bits of salt for that sweet n salty effect.→ Xantham gum: do not skip this! It helps make the texture of the ice cream smooth and thickens it a little. It also helps make sure that the ingredients don't separate, making for really smooth ice cream. Just a tiny bit of xanthan gum goes a long way!→ You can skip the step where you make the thin chocolate bark/flakes and simply use chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chunks, however the thin flaky chocolate bark feels so nice in the ice cream!→ Plan ahead! This recipe does require the ice cream mixture, the cherry mixture, and the chocolate to get cold in the fridge before you can add it to the ice cream maker. Anywhere it says to cool something until it's fridge temperature, make sure you do so.→ Keep your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer so it's ready to use any time!→ You can swap out any berries you like instead of cherries! Try it with fresh or frozen blueberries, huckleberries, or mixed berries.