The song: “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways (lyrics)
The foodstuff: Vanilla, I Scream ice cream topped with Bing-Bang-Boom Cherry Sauce from The Tipsy Vegan
The connection: Boozy vegan ice cream, smothered in boozy vegan cherry sauce – ’nuff said!
Okay, so maybe it’s gotten a bit chilly for ice cream. Sweater season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is but a month away. But I’m a wild girl! I do what I want. Like eating ice cream. For breakfast! On Christmas morning! Not really, I usually have oatmeal. It’s good for the insides. But I could if I wanted to!
Besides, when I spotted the recipe for Bing-Bang-Boom Cherry Sauce in The Tipsy Vegan, I knew straight away that it’d be the perfect complement to “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways. It’s right there in the name, yo! Bing-Bang-Boom and Bomb! Served with the Vanilla, I Scream ice cream because why not?
This cherry sauce is da bomb; it’d better be, seeing as it took me the better part of the afternoon to make it! Most of that time was spent cooking down the sauce on the stove top – an easy enough task – but the pitting of the cherries? Ugh, so tedious! If ever I make this sauce again, it will only be because I found pitted bing cherries in the freezer section. My nails are stained red (though it looks like they’re filthy with dirt – yuck!) and the little creases of skin where my fingertips meet the nails are sore, brutalized as they were by stubborn cherry pits.
But hey, my mouth is happy – and that’s really what it’s all about, right?
The cherry sauce is really rather simple – just a pound of cherries, some sugar, a bit of lemon juice and peel, and some corn starch to thicken things up. Oh, and a third a cup of brandy for the booze! Delicious as a dessert topping (think: ice cream, angel food cake, sweet bread), it’d make one hell of a pie filling, too.
And you’ll have enough leftovers for a pie, be it a hand pie or a full on cherry pie pie. This recipe makes a ridiculous amount of sauce! (Unless I vastly overestimated the number of cherries in a pound; always a possibility.) I added a few cups to a quart of frozen bananas to make cherry banana ice cream (recipe below!), and still had so much extra sauce that I ended up freezing some for later use. Um, not that I’m complaining, mind you.
Less impressive is the Vanilla, I Scream ice cream. Schlimm uses a combination of silken tofu and coconut cream as the base, with vanilla beans and vanilla-infused vodka providing the seasoning. Unfortunately, I could still taste the blah blandness of the tofu underneath it all. I’ve tried silken tofu ice cream before, with great results – so I’m not opposed to the idea. This recipe in particular just wasn’t the best I’ve tried. Probably a few tablespoons of cocoa powder could fix that right up.
On the plus side, it came out rich and creamy, despite whatever doubts I had. I’m used to making ice cream batter on the stove, with the help of a thickening agent such as arrowroot powder. This one uses the blender, and no thickening agent. Even though the batter looked a bit on the thin side, it thickened up nicely in the ice cream machine. Weirdly, it contracted during freezing – usually the batter expands; fill the ice cream machine up past a certain point, and you risk an ice cream eruption! – resulting in less ice cream than we expected.
Pro tip: if you have a quart-sized machine, you can easily increase the recipe by a quarter without running into any trouble, space-wise. (The original recipe calls for 8 ounces of silken tofu, which is silly since most bricks weigh in at ~ 12 ounces. What am I gonna do with an odd four ounces of silken tofu, hmmm?)
Or, if you’re still worried, process it in two batches!
Cherry Banana Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)
4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 cups cherry sauce, chilled
1/4 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chocolate bark
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed
1. Put the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!
Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.
Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.
2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.
3. Add the the (chilled) cherry sauce and chocolate chips or bark and process until mixed. Sample the batter and add extra sugar, cherry sauce, and/or chocolate chips/bark to taste.
4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).
A scoop of Vanilla, I Scream ice cream atop a bowl of my apple pie insides.
With extra brown sugar for the win!