Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yes you can!

Let me say this: the most difficult thing about taking dairy out of my diet is giving up ice cream. And it's summer so it's doubly difficult! What have I gotten myself into? Well, fortunately, I have discovered that you can make a lovely custard-based ice cream with coconut milk. The result is incredible!

I was on dessert duty for a family birthday party and I thought I would surprise everyone with some dairy-free-sugar-free-chocolate-peanut-butter-cup cupcakes. I mean, why should I make a lovely dessert and not be able to eat it right? Plus, the birthday girl loves crazy wild food ideas. I searched the web for hours to find a great recipe and came across this recipe for {vegan} dark chocolate peanut butter filled cupcakes

I doubled the recipe (as per the blogger's advice!) and in the first batch I substituted the cup of cane juice for 3/4 cup of honey and in the second batch I used 3/4 cup of brown rice syrup. The whole batch looked a bit wet so I added an extra 1/2 cup of flour and 3 tbsp of cocoa. They baked perfectly! 

For the icing, I already knew what I was going to use. I came across this most delicious chocolate frosting and I put it in a piping bag to make rosettes on top. I doubled the recipe because I didn't know how much I would need by using it in the piping bag. When it chills, it hardens a bit. It's delicious! Don't be afraid of the combination. Most people think of guacamole when they think of avocado but this is far from a garlic and lime taste :) At the party, all the guests were shocked when I revealed the mystery ingredient! I had them all fooled, he he he...

Cupcakes made, I had a large quantity of chocolate avocado icing left over. I decided to try a custard based ice cream with coconut milk. I was divine! Here is my recipe:

Topical Chocolate Ice Cream 

1 can of regular coconut milk (organic preferably, look for a can with the fewest ingredients)
1 can of light coconut milk (as above)
3/4 cup honey (local, yay!)
3 egg yolks (also local, yay!)
1 recipe of the chocolate frosting (I replaced the agave syrup with maple syrup which is local and I already had some in the fridge).

Shake both cans of coconut milk very well. Very very well. Place the can of regular coconut milk in a pot on the stove along with 1/2 the can of light coconut milk. Add the honey. Whisk together and heat on medium until the honey is dissolved and the liquid starts to bubble a bit. Do not let it come to a full boil and stir often to prevent from burning. 

Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk with remaining light coconut milk. When the milk is warm, you will have to temper the egg yolks. Basically whisk your egg mixture while pouring in 1/4 of the warm milk then pour the egg mixture back in the pot whisking as you pour. Heat the mixture and stir almost constantly on medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes. Normally a regular milk custard would thicken enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon but this does not really happen with coconut milk. It does thicken a bit but you will have to trust your gut on this one. 

Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in the chocolate frosting until it is melted. Prepare an ice water bath by filing a large wide bowl with ice and cold water half way. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean glass bowl then place the glass bowl in the ice bath to chill for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the bowl from the water, dry off the bottom and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the custard. Chill the custard overnight in the fridge and churn it in an ice cream machine the next day. It was pretty soft when it came out of the ice cream machine so I placed it in the freezer for about 4 hours and it scooped out very nicely. 

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures! Rest assured it was fantastic!


  1. Do you have your kids eating this stuff too? What do they think of it? It's a lot healthier than the ice cream labels I don't read at the store...

  2. Yes, they're pretty adventurous in trying mommy's kitchen experiments. The certainly loved the ice cream but that's an easy sell :)