Make this vegan Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream in 7 minutes. It’s soft-serve heaven! The rich chocolate flavor balances the sweet dark cherries. With no added fat or weird ingredients, this is our new favorite week-night dessert. Feeling chilly? Heat it up for a magnificent hot chocolate. Holiday entertaining tip: keep the ingredients on hand to delight guests with dietary restrictions. Make a double-batch or more and run it through your ice-cream maker, as shown above. But be warned that everyone will want some!
Update: I ran out of vanilla so I tried almond extract instead. Oh baby oh! The almond intensifies the cherry flavor. I also ran it through an ice-cream maker, which took an extra 20 minutes of occasional cranking but was so worth it. This is now on my list of top dinner-party recipes. See notes for make-ahead tips.
Active time: 7 minutes as soft serve or 27 minutes scoop-able. Total time: 7 or 27 minutes. Serves 2 and doubles well. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, oil free, dairy free.
Cost: $2.58 a serving using organic ingredients or $5.17 for the whole recipe. (You could stretch it to 3 servings, but frankly I never do.)
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked (optional)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
10 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (the usual kind in the US, not Dutch processed)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Soak raw cashews if you haven’t already. Don’t be alarmed! Soaking raw cashews just takes a minute. I usually quick-soak them in the microwave before dinner so they can cool and soften while we eat.
- Put water, drained cashews, and other ingredients in a high-speed blender and cover securely with lid. Blend on low for a few seconds until the blender contents start to turn, then blend on high for a minute until smooth.
- Serve in small bowls at once for the best consistency. Go fancy with a teacup for special occasions. We usually use clear Pyrex custard cups, which are the perfect size for many desserts. It it gets too soft before you serve it, just call it “pudding” and smile. Freeze any extra and let thaw for 10 minutes before serving.
- For a firmer, scoop-able ice cream, run the soft serve through an ice-cream maker. It’s more trouble but worth it for dinner parties and special occasions. The recipe doubles and quadruples well. You can blend the mixture the day before and chill it for faster and smooth freezing during the party.
- For Cherry Hot Chocolate, pour the blended mixture into microwave-safe mugs and zap them until warm or heat in it a pan over medium heat.
- A regular blender will not make the cashews smooth enough for this recipe. Just leave them out. The results are still very good: not as creamy, but thriftier and lower in calories! If your blender resists the frozen cherries, just let them thaw until they are not so hard.