Raspberry Swirled Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

With the feeling of spring in the air, I've been craving more summer sweets. Fruits, light desserts, and cold treats are topping the list. Even though the weather has not been very cooperative in my neck of the woods lately, I've decided I will try to bring my own spring to my kitchen (wearing my winter coat and all). In the lastest of my desperate pleas to will actual spring into finding me, I thought I might be able lure it in with delicious foods.

After all this effort (and all the pink and yellow delights gracing the pages of this blog), I think I've finally done it.

About time.

One of the side effects of all this spring baking is a serious (and possibly life threating) lack of chocolate. For nearly a month I haven't shared any chocolate recipes with you. Not one. That must be some kind of record and I'm not sure its one I should be proud of. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I'm no longer living up to my name.

So this week, in order to fix this grave mistake, I challenged myself to make a spring dessert with chocolate just to prove that it can indeed be done. And it can. In this decadent dessert, raspberries, coconut, chocolate, and ice cream come together to make a sweet treat you're certainly not going to want to miss.

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This Raspberry Swirled Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream has complex flavors that meld just beautifully together. The base of the ice cream is not a custard, but rather a combination of coconut milk, cream, and sweetened condensed milk. While this does yield a subtle coconut flavor to the final product, the raspberry swirl overwhelms this flavor in most spoonfuls. Nevertheless, raspberry and coconut are good friends and you will not mind the match. The chocolate chunks are there simply because I believe chocolate makes everything better (and in this ice cream, it truly does), but you could omit this ingredient if you just wanted a fruity treat.

Raspberry Swirled Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Yields 1 quart

1 1/2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks

In a medium saucepan, boil the raspberries, sugar, and water for 10-12 minutes, or until the raspberries release all their juices and the mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and refrigerate the syrup until cold.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Put the cream mixture in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacture's instructions.

Fold in the chocolate chunks. Very carefully drizzle the cooled raspberry syrup into the ice cream and fold just a few times. This will swirl the raspberry sauce into the ice cream. Do not overmix or you will not achieve the swirled effect!

Freeze the ice cream for at least 2-3 hours to solidfy before indulging. Enjoy!