Turtle Mountain is hubby and my most favorite vegan ice cream company. Whenever we go to the US, we fill our freezer and our tummies with Purely Decadents and So Deliciouses to the point of bursting! If they branched out to India, we'd be their biggest (pun intended :oP) customers. Hubby wrote in and told them this. Sadly they don't plan to come here in the near future. :( Something about logistics and maintaining optimum temperatures while shipping overseas blah blah blah. Excuses, excuses! We can find all kinds of international puscreams on the shelves here so I don't see why veganlicious TM can't come too. Humph! But enough of the ranting, because making something happen is waaaay more rewarding than sitting around pining for it.
I have tapped into my vegan ice cream ninja powers and there's going to be no vegan ice cream that I will be left desiring for. Whether it's an existing flavor from a brand that isn't available to me or a new combination that suddenly clicks in my head, it's going to get created in my kitchen. So there!
I started by making an ice cream inspired by one of Turtle Mountain's *best* offerings... Cherry Nirvana. It's hubby's absolute favorite and when I grabbed a can of dark cherries in syrup to make Black Forest Pastries, I decided to save some and attempt Cherry Nirvana. The result wasn't the exact same as the original of course, but it was pretty close and extremely delicious.
Cherry Nirvana Vegan Ice Cream
2 C thawed but cold unwhipped non-dairy whipping cream (Rich's is the commonly available vegan one in Bangalore but there are other brands too and this time I used something called Value Star which I found at Metro)
2 C chilled soymilk
1/2 C sugar (or more if you like)
drop of almond essence
1/2 C dark cherries along with the syrup
1/2 C dark chocolate chunks (I broke into chunks Trader Joe's Almonds in Dark Chocolate Pound Plus bar which a very kind friend brought back for me from the US, but any other vegan plain dark chocolate bar can be used too)
Blend the first five ingredients together. Add the cherries in syrup and pulse a few times so there are cherry pieces floating around.
Chill in the fridge for a a few hours.
If you have an ice cream maker:
Pour into your ice cream maker and process.
In the last few minutes, add the chocolate chunks.
Transfer to airtight container and freeze for another hour at least before serving.
If you don't have an ice cream maker:
Whip the thoroughly chilled mixture with a wire whisk for a few minutes.
Mix in the dark chocolate chunks.
Pour into an airtight container and pop it into the freezer.
After half an hour, take it out, whip it with a spatula or fork and freeze it again.
Continue doing this every half an hour for about 2-3 hours until you reach the desired ice cream consistency.
Note: Whether you use an ice cream maker or not, after a day of freezing the ice cream, you will need to thaw it for a few minutes each time to be able to scoop it into neat, round servings.