Sweet Cherry & Chocolate Ice Cream Sous Vide

No one seems to know who we need to thank or when Ice cream was invented but the culinary eggheads seem to be able to trace this frosty food back as far as the fourth century B.C., and maybe even earlier.

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

When it finally hit our shores, it was served by more than a few noted Americans. It is documented that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served it to their guests. At that time one could only find early versions of ice cream in private homes but then in 1774, a London caterer named Philip Lenzi announced in a New York newspaper that he would be offering for sale various confections, including the new craze, ice cream.
Although there are a number of different styles of ice cream this Sweet Cherry Chocolate recipe is based on the French style or one made with a rich custard base containing cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar and our flavorings of fresh cherries, vanilla beans and chocolate.

This custard style is delicious to be sure, but can be problematic as you need to gently cook your eggy base without curdling the sensitive yolks. Sous vide to the rescue! Just like our chocolate maple pudding recipe the SV1 makes easy work of what can be an angst filled technique. Once your custard base is cooked it needs to be chilled immediately and no base can be too chilled before churning so I find an overnight stay in the refrigerator accomplishes this goal as well as allow all the flavors to mellow and blend.

Spoonful of Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

If you have an ice cream machine just follow your manufactures directions or if you have a stand mixer and dry ice. Yes, dry ice makes a creamy dense ice cream in literally minutes. So why use dry ice? Well, one of the keys to great ice cream is the forming smallest ice crystals possible during the churning/freezing process. Just about every home machine does a fair job but not a great one. Commercial machines have powerful refrigeration units that carry an equally powerful price.

One caveat to consider if you plan on using dry ice is to make absolutely sure that the dry ice has been pulverized to a fine powder, this way it disperses evenly and quickly but more importantly it makes it impossible to chomp down on a nugget of dry ice that could cause harm. Powdering the dry ice is an absolute necessity as is the 4 hour hardening after churning. This time in the freezer is important to the finished quality of your ice cream but also helps any smaller chunks of dried ice you might have missed to properly melt.

So if you want fast freezing at a bargain price adding finely powdered dry ice is does the trick in just a few minutes, not to mention, it looks wicked cool! 

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream Ingredients


• 12 ounces fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted

• 7 ounces sugar, white

• 14 large egg yolks

• 17 ounces milk, whole

• 3 whole vanilla beans split with the seeds removed and reserved

• 17 ounces heavy cream

• 8 ounces chocolate chips, semi-sweet, coarsely chopped

• 2 pounds dry ice, optional, crushed finely in a bar blender or food processor 

Pitted cherries


1. Preheat the VacMaster SV1 to 185°F/85 °C

2. In the bowl of a bar blender or food processor puree the pitted cherries then add the sugar, egg yolks, scraped vanilla bean seeds and milk blend for a minute or so then finish up with the cream being careful not to over whip the cream.

3. Using a VacMaster Bag Filler and appropriate sized VacMaster bag(s) add the ice cream base and vacuum seal using a VacMaster chamber machine.

4. Keep a careful eye on the mixture level as cream expands during the vacuum process.

5. If the level rises too close to the seal bar, immediately press seal or stop to end the process.

6. Gently place the vacuum sealed bag in the SV1 and cook for one hour.

7. During the cooking carefully and gently agitate at least 8. Twice during the hour to break up the cooking custard and allow even cooking.

9. Carefully remove the bag from the SV1 and immediately place in an ice bath to completely chill the mixture.

10. If time permits refrigerate the bag overnight to completely chill the custard which also allows the flavors to mellow and blend.

11. When ready to churn set up your ice cream machine according to manufactures directions and start.

12. Alternatively place the chilled custard in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and spoon in the optional crushed and powdered dry ice by the spoonful as the machine spins at medium.

13. After the ice cream has been made pack into an air tight container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours.

14. Serve as needed

Mixing ice cream

Mixed ice cream