I love ice cream. It’s my go to treat on nights when I allow myself dessert. Well, sometimes I’ll mix it up with something else, but 99% of the time, it will still resemble ice cream in that it will have a creamy texture. I’m one of those people whose downfall is creamy and rich, whether it’s something sweet or something savory. Creamy is my friend. But Ben & Jerry are even better friends. Have any of you tried their new “Core” flavors? I tried the salted caramel one (of course) and I have to admit it, I was rather disappointed. It was….boring. The best part was the little chunks of Blondie but even that wasn’t enough to make it worth the calories.
I DO however, love many of their other flavors. My favorite will always be Phish Food. It used to be that running a close second was Cherry Garcia, but now for strangely personal reasons, I don’t eat it anymore. It brings back memories I prefer to forget because they make me mentally queasy; one of those “omg, did I really get involved with someone that disgusting” memories. Yep… from an ice cream lol. I’m strange that way. Doesn’t take much; a smell, a flavor, a sound and I’m transported to other times, some good, some bad.
But I still love the flavor combo, that creamy texture, the cherries, the chocolate and that slight almondy background. I eat other brands of ice cream with it and have *gasp* even found brands that are better than Ben & Jerry’s. But I also love a dessert I began making about 9 years ago that has the same flavor profile. I usually call it “Cherry Garcia Wanna-Be” mousse. But for the sake of brevity, Cherry Garcia Pudding works also lol.
This is a cinch to make. The most time consuming part is chopping the chocolate and cherries and that’s still pretty quick if you have a decent knife. You can have this knocked out and chilling inside of 20 minutes. Then you just let it chill and serve it. This is oh so good. Creamy and rich with all those lovely flavors meshing into puddingish (yes, that too is now a word) perfection.
You know the drill…. git to cooking 🙂
Cherry Garcia Pudding
- 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 16 ounce jar Maraschino Cherries, drained, syrup reserved, cherries coarsely chopped (redrain and pat dry the cherries after chopping as they will let off more liquid)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I love the almond flavor so I tend to use more)
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1 8 ounce container Cool Whip (you can sub sweetened whipped cream, but this is one of those rare cases where the flavor and texture of cool whip works)
- In a large bowl, on low speed, beat together the sweetened condensed milk, 3 tablespoons of the maraschino cherry juice (You don’t need any more of it, but it makes an awesome cherry coke, thus why I said to reserve all of it 😛 ), the lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond extract
- Gently fold in the cool whip and whipped cream, then the chopped chocolate and chopped cherries.
- Cover, then put the mixture into the fridge and chill until thickened, at least 3 hours.
- Pour the filling into individual glasses. You can then lightly cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until ready to serve or serve now. Garnish with some extra cherries and chopped chocolate.
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