Until this Cherry Garcia Ice Cream found its way into my life, I had no idea vegan ice cream could taste so good. No lie. It has the most unbelievably creamy texture that can hold its own against any dairy-based ice cream.
You'll notice that I didn't call this Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream or Paleo Cherry Garcia Ice Cream. The thing is that this is just damn good ice cream. And ya, it does just so happen to be vegan and paleo, but who cares? This is all about crazy good ice cream, not about the labels.
A few months ago I met up with the lovely Kristy Gardner from She Eats. I had hired her to re-design The Endless Meal, and after we had learned we share a mutual love of bourbon, it became clear we had to meet in person. She showed up with a jar of these bourbon soaked cherries for me, 'cause she's just awesome like that.♡♡♡
Creativity is a funny thing. So often when I have an idea for a new and totally awesome recipe I'll go online and Google it only to find out that a bazillion other people came up with the idea first. Nothing like jumping on the train long after it's left the station.
That was the story with this Boozy Cherry Garcia Ice Cream; only it was me being super forgetful and thinking that the idea was mine and mine alone.
The truth is that I first liked a picture of Traci, from Vanilla and Bean, pouring bourbon over some local cherries. Then I commented that Kristy gave me a jar of boozy cherries. Then I went onto like 2 Bourbon Soaked Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream pics Traci posted to Instagram. And then finally I decided that it was my brilliant idea to put boozy cherries in ice cream. Ha!
It's incredible how I can fool even myself. Ugh.
If you're new to the world of vegan ice cream, let me let you in on a little secret ingredient: cashews. If you want your ice cream to have the same creamy texture of dairy-based ice cream, but without any of dairy, you want to reach for a bag of raw cashews. There's no other alternative that works as well.
You'll want to soak the cashew for at least 4 hours, so they're super soft and blend easily. From there you can flavour it any way you like. For this recipe, I added bourbon, cherries, and some vanilla.
You'll notice that there is coconut oil in the recipe too. That's there to make the ice cream extra creamy. Just like with regular ice cream, the higher the fat content, the creamier it is.
If you make this Boozy Cherry Garcia Ice Cream, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos!
- 2 cups cashews, soaked in water for 4-24 hours
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup honey (or sub maple syrup for strict vegan)
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon soaking liquid from the cherries
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate shavings
- ½ cup quartered boozy cherries
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add the cashews and all the remaining ingredients to a blender or food processor EXCEPT the chocolate and cherries and blend on high until smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until completely cold.
- Once the cream is cold process it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions. Once the ice cream resembles soft serve stir through the chocolate and cherries. Scoop the ice cream into a freezer-proof container and press parchment or wax paper directly onto the surface of the ice cream. Freeze until solid.