Chocolate ice cream recipe very slightly adapted from Alton Brown's Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe.
Salted hot fudge recipe slightly adapted from Doris's Salty Hot Fudge Recipe, by Kim Severson in the New York Times.
Note: This recipe does require an ice cream maker - Makes 1 1/2 Quarts
Whisk together cocoa and 1 cup of half-and-half in a sauce pan over medium heat, until combined. Stir in the rest of the hal- and-half and the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer.
2. Whisk egg yolks until they're slightly lighter in color, and then gradually stir in the sugar. When the cream mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat and temper the eggs and sugar by adding it to them a little at a time until 1/3 has been added. Pour everything in the bowl back into the sauce pan, and stir until well combined. Return the pan to the stove over low heat. Stir frequently until the mixture thickens and reaches 175 degrees F. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Pour the mixture into a large, shallow dish, and allow to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract, and transfer the dish to the refrigerator or freezer, covered loosely with paper towel until it reaches 50 degrees F or below - this usually take around 2 hours. You can leave it overnight, but once it cools to 50 degrees, cover the dish tightly.
4. While the ice cream mix is chilling, make the balsamic cherry sauce. Pit and quarter the cherries, and add to a sauce pan with the sugar. Let cook for 8-10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally until the cherries soften and release a lot of juice. Add the water and balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional five minutes. The mixture will thicken some as it cooks, but should remain fairly thin. Pour into a bowl and chill in the fridge until you are ready to use it. This sauce can be stored in an airtight container for about a week, so you can prepare it ahead of time.
5. Churn the ice cream. Pour the 50-degree mixture into an ice cream maker, and process according to the directions for your machine. Add your tiny pinch of salt just before turning on the ice cream maker. While churning, place a 9-inch loaf pan in the freezer.
6. After about 25-30 minutes, the ice cream should look like soft serve. At this point, turn off the machine and remove the loaf plan from the freezer. Scoop about 1/5 of the ice cream into the pan, and spread it into an even layer. Top with 1/5 of the balsamic cherry sauce, and continue working in layers like this until you're out of ice cream and sauce. Cover the pan with foil and freeze for at least 2-3 hours to let it solidify.
Melt together the butter, and unsweetened chocolate in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add cocoa, sugar, and heavy cream, and stir until the sauce is completely smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in salt and vanilla. Pour over your favorite ice cream.
This sauce will keep for at least a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.