With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the chocolate-covered strawberry will make its yearly grand entrance. There is nothing better than a chocolate-covered strawberry. Nothing. I’m pretty sure that before the earth was formed, God said to his archangels, “Make sure that sometime in the history of mankind, the chocolate-covered strawberry gets invented. Because that’s my favorite.”
As we know, strawberries and dark chocolate have both been proven to have myriad health benefits. That means you can indulge without feeling guilty. Just forget about the sugar and the cream. Focus, people, focus! The strawberries and chocolate are the stars of this ice cream, so I think you will have no problem remembering how healthy you are being 🙂
Making this ice cream takes a wee bit of forethought. You can’t just throw the strawberries in there. You have to “macerate” them on the counter first. What the heck is “macerate” you ask? Basically, it means that you mix the cut strawberries with some sugar and lemon juice and let it sit for a couple hours. The juice is drawn out of the strawberries, and the sugar makes its way inside the strawberries. This does two things. It provides you with yummy strawberry juice to flavor your ice cream, and the sugar-infused strawberries are able to stay relatively soft in the ice cream. Sugar is an ice inhibitor, which is nice, because then your strawberries don’t turn into rocks.
After a couple of hours, you should have plenty of nice juice to throw in your ice cream base. Actually, I wouldn’t throw it. Just strain out the strawberries and then slowly pour it into your milk, cream, vanilla, and even more sugar. (We don’t want the ice cream itself to turn into a rock, either! That’s why you gotta have the sugar! For more information on whether or not you can make sugar-free ice cream, read this post).
At this point, you can add a drop or two of red food coloring. Save the strained strawberries a bit longer, and pour the rest into your ice cream maker.
About five minutes before the ice cream is done (has reached a nice soft-serve consistency), add the strawberries.
While the strawberries are churning, melt about 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips on the stove in a saucepan over med-low heat. Or you can melt them in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between each.
As you are transferring your ice cream to an airtight container, drizzle the melted chocolate over each layer. I made 3 or four layers. Here’s what the drizzle looked like on the top layer.
(By the way, do you like that cool ice cream container? You can use my affiliate link to get it from Amazon. Tovolo Glide-A-Scoop Ice Cream Tub).
After drizzling your chocolate, just seal the container and freeze for several hours or overnight. Then if you want, you can use any leftover melted chocolate to make cute hearts. I just put the chocolate into a Ziploc bag, cut the corner, and drew some hearts on waxed paper. After they dry, you can use them to make your ice cream look all fancy and cute.
It’s the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day, or your anniversary, or any time you want the incredible taste of chocolate covered strawberries.
Time Commitment: High, but worth it.
Health Benefits of Ingredients: (Please see the Disclaimer)
Strawberries can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer. They may also aid in the prevention of depression. (See “Strawberries: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks“).
Pure Vanilla activates chemicals in the brain that reduce inflammation and improve mental performance. (See Using Vanilla to Increase Your Mental Performance).
Chocolate has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, prevent memory decline, reduce heart disease, and prevent stroke. (See What are the Health Benefits of Chocolate?)
I recommend the Cuisinart 1.5-qt. Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker.
*If you are intimidated by making ice cream, don’t be! Gone are the days of hand-cranked buckets and salt and ice! Making ice cream couldn’t be easier. Just read this article, Three Reasons Making Ice Cream is Easier Than You Think to get started!
- 1 pint fresh, ripe strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced. (An egg slicer works perfectly for this). Be sure to save any juice released while slicing.
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops red food coloring, optional
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
- Combine the sliced strawberries (and any juices), the lemon juice, and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl. Leave on the counter for two hours. The strawberries will release their juices and absorb some of the sugar. This will lower the freezing point of the strawberries so that they do not turn into rocks in your ice cream!
- In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup whole milk with the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla. Pour in the liquid from the bowl with the strawberries, reserving the strawberries. Mix well.
- Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions.
- When ice cream has reached soft-serve consistency, add the strawberries. Let the ice cream maker run another minute or two to distribute the strawberries throughout the ice cream.
- Transfer to an airtight container in layers, drizzling each layer with the melted chocolate.
- Store in the freezer for several hours or overnight.