With my current dairy free journey , I needed something to replace my love for frozen yogurt. With the sun rays getting stronger over the last few days, I knew I had to find an ice cream recipe that was creamy, not too sweet and could be enjoyed alone or with my other favorite bakes, such as Rhubarb cake and apple crumble. As I kept getting directed to coconut milk as an alternative base to yogurt or cream, I was afraid that my end result would be frozen ball of sickly coconut, with the taste like the artificial coconut products that are scented to entice you but rather turn you away.
Well, after a few failed attempts of perfecting a recipe, I finally reached the goal of having two scoops of delicious coconut ice cream to join my slice Rhubarb cake. There are two factors that determine the success; firstly the tinned coconut should be a minimum of 60% coconut (the coconut milk I used had a coconut content of 75%). Surprisingly, ones I have found that contain a high coconut concentrate were supermarket own brands and some cheap Thai brands found in the local Asian stores. Secondly, after warming your mixture make sure you leave it to chill for a minimum of 5 hours! I impatiently skipped this process and highly regretted it, the ice cream will not set, but the ice cream maker will churn the mixture into a frosty slush and if it makes it to the freezer will become a nice block of coconut ice. Therefore I usually leave mine overnight to set before churning.
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Freezing Time: 2 hours
Portions: 12 scoops
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
½ cup agave nectar
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsps cornstarch or arrow root
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split
- Shake the cans of coconut milk before opening. Pour 1 ½ tins of coconut milk into a saucepan, and reserve 1/2 cup of 1 tin coconut milk.
- Mix the corn flour with the ½ tin of coconut and set aside (whisk if you need to remove the lumps).
- Add the agave and salt to the saucepan with the coconut milk. Simmer over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, whilst stirring all of the ingredients until combined.
- Stir in coconut-cornflour mixture into the warm coconut milk base. Add the vanilla extract (or scrape the vanilla bean into the mixture and add the pod as well).
- Continue stirring the mixture over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not to allow the mixture to boil.
- Remove from the heat, (discard the vanilla bean pod) and pour the coconut base into a separate bowl (or jug). Cool on the counter for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap, let the plastic wrap sit on the mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours – the mixture will thicken in this time, to a yogurt consistency.
- Churn the coconut ice cream mixture in your ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions. When thickened to a soft-serve ice cream consistency, spread the ice cream into a large loaf pan (or pie pan) and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours or until the ice cream has firmed up completely.
- Remove from freezer 5- 10 minutes from serving.
Try crushed pistachios or for a sweetened alternative try chopped medjool dates.