Archive for the 'ice cream' Category

3 Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream

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One week to go.  Still totally excited.

I went to my usual Saturday morning group ride this morning and chatted with a guy who did the long course at Wildflower last year.  I asked (like I ask everyone who has done that race) how bad Nasty Grade is.  Like a few others, he said if I can ride up Diablo, I will be totally fine. Thank god I checked that off the list last weekend.

My total workout this morning was a 1:50 ride (31 miles) and s 20 minute run (2.4 miles).  6 months ago that would have felt like a real workout, but today I feel like I’be barely done anything.  I tested out my new race shorts and they were awesome for the bike and run.  I’m feeling ready to go!

I’ve been sort of wading into veganism, just testing the waters.  We haven’t had cheese in the house in quite awhile and I honestly don’t miss it.  I think Ellie does, but she gets plenty of it at daycare, so she’ll live (and I’m sure we’ll be buying it for her again one of these days).  I was doing great all week, but then a sixth grader brought me a cupcake yesterday (funfetti!) and I was halfway through it before I realized that I was sort of unofficially trying to avoid milk/dairy products.  Oops.

I made this for dessert last night and it kind of reminds me of a Wendy’s Frosty (although I haven’t had one in almost 2 years so I could be way off).   I used carob because it’s slightly sweet on its own, but if you’d rather use cocoa powder, I’d recommend using a few extra dates to sweeten it.  It’s super rich and creamy, but doesn’t have an overwhelming coconut flavor.  It’s also kind of dangerous because I pretty much always have all three ingredients in my pantry!

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Bananas Foster Ice Cream


Bananas Foster always seemed like a good idea, but the first time I had it I was seriously underwhelmed. I think it was a texture issue, because really, how can anything cooked in sugar and alcohol be bad? But for some reason cooked bananas kind of gross me out.

This, however, is a creamy, smooth, vegan frozen treat that is has all the appeal of bananas foster but it’s shockingly easy and amazingly good. It’s made with basic pantry ingredients and is a little healthier and a lot less hassle than making a custard-based ice cream. I used a David Lebovitz recipe, but added a little more rum and used light coconut milk because it’s what I had on hand.

Normally any bananas that enter the house get blended up with spinach for breakfast…

so cooking them in sugar and alcohol was a pretty exciting change!

Recipe:
(adapted from David Lebovitz)

4 large bananas, sliced about 1/2″ thick
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 15-oz can light coconut milk
pinch of sea salt
4 tsp dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir the brown sugar and about 1/2 cup coconut milk together in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts bubbling, add the banana slices. Stir in the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bananas are very soft (about 5 minutes). Turn off the heat and add the rest of the coconut milk, the rum, and the vanilla.

Let the mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree until very smooth. Pour into a wide bowl and set in an ice bath, stirring occasionally until cool (or if you’re not in a hurry, chill in the fridge for a few hours). Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

vegan Pistachio Ice Cream

I know there is a whole lot of controversy surrounding soy. Is it all genetically modified? Will it make your body totally confused because of the estrogen? I don’t have the answers to those questions, but like anything else, it’s probably best not to eat it constantly. However, whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or just trying to explore other food options, it can be a pretty convenient stand in for dairy products.

This was my second foray into the world of vegan ice cream. For the first attempt, I used coconut milk and adored the result. This time around, I used a recipe from Vegan Scoop, which called for soy creamer and soymilk (plus arrowroot, like I used last time. The pistachio flavor was good and I loved the texture, but you can definitely taste the fact that it’s made with soy milk. That doesn’t bother me at all, and I’ve actually kind of come to like that flavor, but if you can’t stand a little subtle taste of soy in the background, you should probably try the coconut milk approach instead.

Recipe:
(adapted from Vegan Scoop)

2 cups soy creamer
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios (chopped)
1 cup soymilk
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

Put the 1/2 cup of pistachios and 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor and pulse until the pistachios are ground into a powder. Add the corn syrup and pulse a few times. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and stir in the remaining sugar, soy creamer, arrowroot powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix well, then pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. About 2 minutes before the ice cream is done, mix in the 2 tbsp pistachios.

Transfer to a plastic container and press plastic wrap onto the surface. Freeze until solid.

Caribbean Coffee Ice Cream

This is vegan ice cream that will completely change your opinion of vegan ice cream. Or at least, it did for me.

For years I thought the “cream” part of ice cream had to be heavy whipping cream or else it just wasn’t worth eating (okay, I did go through a lowfat, low-sugar ice cream phase in college, but it was short because honestly, that stuff is crap.) The secret to this rich, creamy, indulgent yet dairy free ice cream? Coconut milk. Combine that with some strong, freshly brewed coffee and a few tablespoons of rum, and you have a pretty irresistible little dessert.

Is it really Caribbean? I don’t know, but with coconut and rum in it, that seemed like a fitting adjective, and it definitely made me wish I could take a vacation in the islands. Although it was best the day it was made –the coffee flavor kind of drowned out the rum by day 2 — it’s so good, you probably won’t have to worry about it sitting in your freezer for long!

I know there’s a lot of debate about coconut milk and whether it’s healthy because it’s loaded with saturated fat. I’m going to go ahead and play the moderation card on this one, like I do on pretty much all desserts. As long as you’re not drinking a can of full-fat coconut milk every day, I think you’ll be fine.

Arrowroot powder, I’ve read, can help keep vegan ice cream from developing large ice crystals (which are never a good thing). I found some in the bulk spice section of my local natural foods store. I’m sure it’s easy to find online as well.

Recipe:
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1/2 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
pinch salt

Shake the can of coconut milk well, then open and pour into a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, coffee, rum, arrowroot, and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Store in a sealed container in the freezer, with plastic wrap pressed onto the ice cream surface.

Blueberries and Cream Ice Cream

I wanted to bring back a little bit of summer by making blueberry ice cream. I picked up a bag of frozen blueberries at the store decided to try coming up with a recipe on my own. I’m calling it blueberries and cream because you definitely taste the sweet cream flavor along with the blueberries. I left the whole berries in because I just love chunks of fruit in my ice cream.

2 cups blueberries (frozen is fine)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs
2 cups half and half

In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and wash out the pan.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
In the clean pan, heat the half and half just to a simmer, then whisk gradually into the egg mixture. Transfer it all back into the pan and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a spoon.
Stir into the blueberries, then set in an ice bath or refrigerate for a few hours.
When cool, transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.

Maple Bacon Ice Cream

When I first saw candied bacon ice cream, I knew I had to try it. However, reading over the recipe, it seemed like it was missing something. Like maple flavor! I always love it when I have pancakes and bacon on the same plat, and the bacon gets coated with maple syrup.
So, I candied some bacon the way David Lebovitz instructs, then I mixed up some maple ice cream. Mix them together and what do you get? A surprisingly tasty ice cream!
As a side note – I didn’t cut the bacon up into small enough pieces, so some of them were a little chewy in the ice cream. I also think I could have left the bacon in the oven just a little longer to make it more crisp, but I was paranoid about the sugar burning.

For the bacon, go here
For the ice cream:
2 eggs
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
pinch salt

Bring the half and half and maple syrup to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl.
Whisking constantly, pour about half the heated half and half mixture into the eggs, then transfer everything back into the saucepan. Add a pinch of salt.
Continue whisking as you cook the mixture over medium-low. Remove from heat when it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Chill in the refrigerator, or set in an ice bath and cool, stirring occasionally. Once cool, transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.
Just before you are ready to stop the ice cream maker, mix in the bacon.
Transfer the ice cream to a container and put in the freezer to chill completely.

NOTE: After a night in the freezer, the bacon flavor kind of overwhelmed the maple…so I will try only 2 or 3 pieces of bacon, chopped fine, in my next batch.

Mexican Chocolate Sherbert


I wasn’t sure if it was sherbert or sherbet – google told me both were acceptable.  In any case, I have been thinking about making this dessert for awhile.  It only has TWO ingredients, so there is no excuse not to whip up a batch right now.  It’s creamy, chocolatey, and I’m sure would be divine with some cinnamon cookies.

3 cups whole milk
3 tablets Mexican chocolate, chopped (I used Nestle Abuelita, which you can see in the photo – it is readily available at Mexican grocery stores)
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the milk and chocolate until all the chocolate is melted and the liquid is a uniform color.
Pour into a bowl and set in an ice bath, whisking occasionally until cool.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

I am a huge fan of homemade baked goods, and I try to stay away from packaged foods with artificial ingredients.  But there is just something about Oreos I can’t say no to.   Ever since I was young and my sister and I used to peel them apart and lick the filling (then be sorely disappointed by the dry cookie that remained), I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for these cookies.

They are the inspiration for this cake: Two layers of chocolate cake with a layer of cookies and cream ice cream sandwiched in between, covered with vanilla buttercream.

Begin by making the cookies and cream ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp flour
pinch salt
10 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
Put the milk and cream in a large saucepan.
Cut open a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the milk, then drop the pod in to maximize the flavor.
Bring just to a simmer.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and flour in a medium bowl.
Whisk about half of the simmering milk-cream mixture into the eggs.  Mix well, then pour back into the saucepan with the remaining milk.
 
Cook over medium for several minutes, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. 
Pour through a strainer into a large bowl, and set in an ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally.
Line a 9″ cake pan with plastic wrap.

While the ice cream mixture cools in the ice bath, bake your favorite chocolate cake (I used Dorie Greenspan’s Devils Food recipe but you can use whatever you like best) in two 9″ pans.

Cool the layers on a wire rack.
Pour the cooled ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.  
Just before removing the ice cream from the ice cream maker, stir in the crushed Oreos until they are evenly distributed.
Pour into the plastic wrap-lined pan and put in the freezer until firm (an hour or two).
Once the ice cream layer is firm, place one cake layer on a plate, and invert the pan with the ice cream over it.
Peel off the plastic wrap and place the other cake layer on top.
Return the cake-ice cream sandwich to the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Make some frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp shortening
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp meringue powder
2 tsp water

Beat the butter and shortening in a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment.
Beat in the vanilla.
Sift together the powdered sugar and meringue powder and add gradually to the butter.
Mix on medium speed while you add the water, 1/2 tsp at a time, until you have the desired consistency.

Crush about 15 Oreos. (I put them in a large Ziploc bag and pound it with my fists – great stress relief!)
Remove the cake from the freezer and frost, working quickly.
Press the Oreo crumbs onto the sides of the cake, then return it to the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Get the cake out once more, and decorate as desired, then return it to the freezer until ready to serve.

Baklava Ice Cream

My husband loves baklava, and I wanted to make ice cream this weekend, so he came up with the brilliant idea of baklava ice cream.  I started with a honey-cinnamon ice cream, and folded in walnuts, pistachios, and some baked filo sheets.  
Ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
2 eggs
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 sheets filo
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 300 F.
In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, honey, milk, and cinnamon until boiling.  Turn heat down to low while you whisk the eggs and salt together in a large bowl.
Whisking constantly, pour the cream mixture slowly into the egg yolks. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Transfer the mixture back into the sauce pan, and heat over medium-high, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes.  The mixture should not boil, but should thicken.  When it coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a clean bowl.  Press plastic wrap on the surface and chill 2-3 hours until cool.
Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and honey together in a small sauce pan.  Place one filo sheet on a Silpat-lined baking sheet and brush half with the honey-butter mixture.  Fold it over and brush the top.  Then brush that, and place the second sheet on so it lines up.  Brush half the top filo sheet and fold it over.  Finally, brush the top.  You should end up with 4 layers of filo, with honey butter between each layer and on the top.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and cool, then break into bite-sized pieces.
After the ice cream has been frozen in the ice cream maker, transfer it to a plastic air-tight container.  Fold in the nuts and filo pieces and freeze in the freezer.


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