Strawberries and chocolate ice cream
Strawberry ice cream is said to be one of the world’s most popular flavours. And it is easy to understand why! This time, we will test what happens when we skip the usual mashing and create an ice cream base flavoured with strawberry juice, and use the chopped-up strawberries as tasty add-ins!
Strawberries – yet another ice cream version
Avid readers of this blog have probably noticed that there is no shortage of strawberry ice cream recipes here. But as with all good things in life, there is always room for more!
The basic premise for this recipe is a simple one: instead of simply mashing up the strawberries and creating a purée (which I dare say probably is the most common way of making strawberry ice cream) we will extract the sweet juice of the berries for the base, and then add the actual sliced-up pieces of the strawberries to the ice cream towards the very end.
To delight all fans of chocolate, we will also add a tasty net of melted dark chocolate to our strawberry ice cream.
Some people prefer their ice creams very smooth, but I’m quite fond of some resistance. However, this strawberry ice cream will turn out quite smooth despite the added pieces of strawberry. The reason is simple: we will cut the strawberries into rather small, thin pieces, and ensure that they be properly macerated before they end up in the ice cream.
Maceration? That means that our pieces of strawberries first will be softened up by being mixed with some sugar and set aside for, preferably, about two hours.
Maceration will not only ensure that the berries become sweeter and tastier, but will also bring us the strawberry juice we need for the base!
The juice-liquid will be added to our base. Set aside the remaining pieces of strawberry: we will add them towards the very end!
The foundation: a trusty Philadelphia (American) style-base with fresh dairy
While any base recipe should work fine for this recipe, I have a special fondness for the fresh Philadelphia-style ice cream when it comes to berries. The main elements are straightforward and can typically be picked out straight from your fridge: we won’t be using any eggs, just fresh cream and milk (and sugar). And some vanilla, for added flavour complexity.
Making the base is exceedingly simple: just mix the ingredients together in a bowl, whisk well and pour it all into your ice cream machine (or still-freeze in your freezer, if you don’t have any dedicated ice cream machine around).
When you have mixed the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla – don’t forget to add the strawberry juice-liquid you have collected!
Adding the strawberries
When the base has churned for a while and has firmed up a bit, it is time to add our pieces of strawberries. Remember – if you add them too early, they are bound to sink to the bottom. While it is possible to only add them to the base once the churning has been completed, I like to believe that they have a better chance of staying together if added during the churning.
Adding the chocolate
Chocolate can of course also be added to the ice cream in a number of ways. If you do not want to bother with any melting, simply chop up the chocolate in fine pieces and add them towards the end of the churning just like the pieces of strawberry.
However, I wanted to see what could be done with some melted chocolate. Melting chocolate can also be done in a number of ways – I opted for one of the easiest: less than half a minute in my micro-wave oven had ensured that my dark piece of chocolate had melted so it could be drizzled over the ice cream!
Adding the chocolate to the strawberry ice cream
Now, if you only like strawberry and don’t like chocolate, don’t bother with rest of the recipe.
If you would like to check out the combination of the two, however, read on!
It is very simple – just drizzle the melted chocolate over the ice cream.
If you are really into chocolate – spread half of the ice cream in a freezer-safe tray and drizzle over the chocolate. Then cover up with the rest of the ice cream and drizzle another layer over the top!
The end result: a treat for strawberry lovers
It is surprising how many nice strawberry ice cream recipes there are. I was surprised to find out that even before adding the pieces of strawberry, the base itself (flavoured only with the juice) clearly tasted like strawberry ice cream should. When the delicious pieces were added, the flavour became even more pronounced. As expected, the maceration also ensured that the pieces remained pleasant when frozen into the ice cream: no “ice pebble effect” there, in other words. And chocolate is always nice, particularly when paired with such a pleasant companion as strawberry.
So – widen your horizon, look out over the (mental?) strawberry fields around you and give this recipe a try!
- About 500 gram (1 pint; or about 24 medium-sized) strawberries
- About 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (about ½ lemon's worth)
- 225 ml (slightly less than 1 cup) caster sugar
- 100 ml (0.4 cup) whole milk
- 500 ml (about 2.1 cups) cream
- 1 teaspoon genuine vanilla extract
- About 50 gram good-quality dark chocolate
- Stem and slice the strawberries in thin slices. Cut these slices into finer pieces still.
- Add 100 ml (0.4 cup) of the sugar and the lemon juice to the strawberries and leave to macerate for about 2 hours.
- Once the maceration-period is over, and without mashing the strawberries, drain the liquid from the strawberries. Set aside the strawberries, and the drained juice for now.
- Mix the dairy, the vanilla, and the remaining sugar.
- Add the drained strawberry juice to the dairy-mix and churn in your ice cream machine.
- When the ice cream has firmed up and is close to the finish, add the (drained) strawberry pieces.
- Churn until finished.
- Fill up a freezer-safe container with about half of the ice cream.
- Melt the chocolate (I simply used the microwave, but any method that works is OK) and drizzle over half of it over the ice cream.
- Cover up with the remaning ice cream and drizzle over the remaniing chocolate.
- Let firm up in the freezer before serving, unless you are a great fan of soft-serve!