If you haven’t heard of the food blog event Eat to the Beat, hosted by Elly of Elly Says Opa!, you’re missing out.  It’s a fantastically creative event where bloggers post a dish related to music in any way.  (By the way, the deadline is Saturday so you still have a few days to make something musical!)  Each round, I have so many ideas for potential entries that I can barely decide on one.  This time, I was in the kitchen thinking about which entry would be best when suddenly I realized what I was making – Cherry Garcia ice cream.  DUH!  It was literally right in front of me.  Haha!  Now I have never been a Grateful Dead fan, nor do I know many of their songs, so that was a slight issue.  But I do have one story related to this.  One night a few years ago, I was out at a bar celebrating my birthday with some friends.  It was low-key and we were just sitting having drinks while a musician sang and played covers on his guitar.  Then we realized, man, that guy looks a LOT like Jerry Garcia!  So we requested the Grateful Dead song “Scarlet Begonias”…and the guy didn’t know it!  We were surprised, considering he looked like he could have written it.  And then my friends sang “Scarlet Begonias” at the table since the performer couldn’t deliver.  And that’s about the only story I have related to the Grateful Dead ;)


Now, a bit about the ice cream!  It’s no surprise, any ice cream combining cherry and chocolate is going to be delicious – and it is!  I have only had the store-bought version once maybe so I can’t comment on how similar this is, but it is definitely tasty.  I doubled the amount of cherries called for and I think next time I would consider increasing it even more.  Also, to really bring out the cherry flavor, I think a bit of the syrup from a jar of maraschino cherries mixed in to the batter could be great.  I’ll try that next time as well.  A lot of the recipes in the Ben & Jerry ice cream book call for eggs in the batter but they are not cooked as with French-style ice creams.  B&J say the eggs act as an emulsifying agent and help improve the ice cream’s whipping ability.  The eggs don’t bother me at all, but if they bother you, just substitute an egg-free vanilla or sweet cream base, or try to find pasteurized eggs (some grocery stores carry them).


Recipe Rewind: tried and true favorites I’ve made recently
American Sandwich Bread

Cherry Garcia Ice Cream
1/4 cup shaved bittersweet chocolate
1/2-1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quartered (I used sweet cherries)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the shaved chocolate and the cherries in separate bowls.  Cover and refrigerate to chill.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Continue whisking and add the sugar, a little at a time.  Keep whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.  Add in the cream, milk, and vanilla, and whisk to blend.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  After the ice cream stiffens, transfer the mixture to an airtight storage container and fold in shaved chocolate and cherries until well incorporated.  Store in the freezer until ready to eat.

Source: adapted from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Dessert Book by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Workman Publishing Company, 1987.