Archive for the 'Ice Cream' Category



Cherry Chocolate Amaretto Crunch Ice Cream

It’s been hot here in Bay Area these past few weeks. Let’s be honest, I’ve experienced some terribly hot temperatures on the East Coast and in the Southern United States, and I’ve certainly heard about the hot temperatures that grace many other countries. But I’m a born and raised Bay Area Native, and my blood is definitely accustomed to our coastal cool foggy mornings and blue-sky-but-still-need-a-light-sweatshirt afternoons. Don’t get me wrong; I love to wear my summer dresses and I’m much happier with flip-flops on my feet than a pair of close-toed shoes. But I don’t happen to live in a year-round hot climate, like many non-Californians often think we do (once, when I was in high school and was traveling, I was asked if I “surf to school”…I chose to ignore that, because aside from any logistical nightmares about carrying your homework on your surfboard through white-capped waves, and how to change clothes from your wetsuit to something cute and fashionable to impress all your high school cliques, I’ve never been on a surfboard in my life).

Warmish temperatures is what my summer is made up of. But, we also get a few weeks of hot sun in August, and there is usually a few weeks of intense heat in September just after school starts, taunting students out of the classroom and onto the playground, or older youth to cut class and go sit in the nearby park or drive out to the beach. However, while this is what I’m used to, I’m reveling in our rare summer heat right now, and making as much ice cream as possible while the heat lasts. Because that is the most sane way to cope with it, and it’s a little painful to think about turning the oven on during the afternoon or evening.

My friend Sasha told me that one of her favorite ice cream flavors is chocolate cherry, and I was having dinner at her house, so I decided to make that for her and her housemates! I used the basic chocolate ice cream recipe from The Vegan Scoop as my base, but I added chopped fresh cherries at the end. This was the second ice cream I’ve made with a purely soymilk base, and I was disappointed with the cream’s thinness before freezing. I probably will not be making any more soy ice creams, but in the future I’ll be adapting recipes from this book to use other non-dairy alternatives. I added a few ingredients to thicken it up (extra dark chocolate melted in!) and Amaretto Liqueur and almond extract to give more body and a flavor kick. I also threw in some chocolate chips at the end with the cherries so there was a nice crunch in every bite. I forgot that adding alcohol would make the ice cream freeze a lot slower, and didn’t account for that time difference when prepping the ice cream; We ended up eating slightly melty ice cream, but it tasted delicious even if the texture wasn’t perfect. I re-froze the left overs and when I checked the next morning, the ice cream had a much harder texture…So if you choose to use this recipe, I would make sure to leave it in the freezer overnight before eating.

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Ice Cream Base Ingredients:
1 cup soymilk, divided
2 Tblsp. arrowroot powder
2 cups soy creamer
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup semisweet dark chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix Ins:
1 1/2 cups fresh pitted and chopped cherries
1 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
2 Tblsp. Amaretto Liqueur
1/2 tsp. almond extract

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In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup soymilk with arrowroot powder and set aside.
Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup soymilk, sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips in a saucepan. Stirring frequently over low heat, melt chocolate chips, then bring to a boil. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.
Add vanilla extract.
Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours (or stick in the freezer for 30 minutes to speed up the process…You want it cold, not frozen, so make sure to monitor your mixture if you choose to do this). When thoroughly chilled, mix in your Amaretto and almond extract. Then, freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
In the last few minutes of churning in your ice cream maker, add your chopped cherries and remaining cup of chocolate chips. Freeze overnight, or until hardened, in an airtight container.

PB&J Ice Cream!

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All of you who know me well, know that I love peanut butter. I enjoy all nut butters, but things can get quite dangerous when I’m left alone with peanut butter in particular. I have been known to eat it on/in nearly everything – making peanut sauces for vegetable stir-fries or pasta, mixing into my morning oatmeal, spreading it on rice cakes, baking it into cookies, mixing it with chocolate (or vegan nutella!) and eating it as a dessert, baking it into chocolate peanut butter cakes and cupcakes, mixing it into chocolate ganaches and even adding it to cream cheese frostings, and I’m guilty of even eating it with a spoon straight out of the jar! And of course, I do love my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I grew up eating them as a child, and when I was in college eating in the dining hall and complaining about the food, my father would tell me “If there’s nothing you like, make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich”…While they may not be the healthiest option, I found myself making these a lot. And loving every bite of them. In addition to these PB&J experiences, I babysit for a fabulous family, and their kids eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters!)…Therefore, I have definitely eaten my share of peanut butter and jelly with them. You could say PB&J is my all-time favorite fall-back food, when I have to make a quick lunch or snack, or even just satisfy a nutty craving. Mmm.

I have to give props to my friend Talia for giving me a spontaneous gift of The Vegan Scoop cookbook, and after skimming through every single delicious and creative looking recipe, the first one I had to try was their Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream! Although I’m extremely excited to try most of the flavors in the book, this one was beckoning to me with full force. I made mine with strawberry preserves, which just felt perfect swirled into this childhood favorite food. It was the first soy-based ice cream I’ve tried making – previously I had only made sorbets, and ice creams that were based with coconut milk. While this soy ice cream came out divinely, I am hesitant about eating too much soy, and I’m thinking of ways to adapt the other recipes in this book so I can use almond milk and other heavier non-dairy milks in place of the soy milk and soy creamer. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I also had a silly thought while eating this ice cream; How would it taste on top of bread? My parents once had a Japanese exchange student named Koz staying with them, and he liked to eat ice cream on top of bread (any kind of ice cream, on top of any kind of toasted or untoasted sliced sandwich bread, and I have a vivid memory of him eating vanilla ice cream on top of an onion bagel). He said this was a popular treat in Japan. I always thought it was a little strange, but who am I to make judgements about other peoples’ eating preferences (let’s remember that I’m the one who likes to eat peanut butter plain…). And, since this was peanut butter and jelly ice cream, I thought it might work…So, I tried it! And it was yummy. So Koz definitely gets some major points for this idea! I understand that this is a little silly, but I thought I’d post a picture of it anyway. It is on a plate that my brother designed when he was a wee child!

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Blood Orange Coconut Sherbet

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Sherbet usually has a bit of dairy in it, but making a fruity and creamy coconut milk-based ice cream made a great vegan alternative sherbet. My friend Zoe brought me some lovely oranges fresh from the orange tree in her backyard, and we had a blood orange syrup stashed away in the fridge, and my new ice cream maker, so it all seemed to add up to making a blood orange sherbet. I was so excited to use my new ice cream maker, that I didn’t realize how long the bowl was supposed to be frozen in the freezer previous to adding ingredients, and so the ice cream didn’t firm up as much as it should have. But it made a darn good cold and creamy dessert anyway, perfect for a summer afternoon. Just a little meltier than I had imagined…

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups coconut cream
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup blood orange syrup (already sweetened)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, ground fairly finely (but not to a powder)

Blend all ingredients except the chocolate in a blender. Add to your ice cream maker and make according to it’s instructions (i.e.: Make sure you freeze yours long enough – unless you want a melty but delicious mess like I created). Just before the ice cream is done mixing in the machine, add the ground chocolate chips and make sure they get thoroughly combined. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

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Tara did it again! The powers combined of Jesse’s favorite flavors (and mine too!) plus Tara’s ice cream making genius, there was clearly no going wrong this time. The deep and dark richness of the chocolate was brought out by the coconut milk, which really just lent it’s flavor and texture to the smoothness of the ice cream – you couldn’t taste it directly. It worked very well with the peanut butter, creating a smooth cream that was undeniably out of this world. We also found some Soyatoo Whipped Rice Cream (vegan whipped cream in a can!) at the store, and made a warm caramel sauce, and busted both of those out for ultimate ice cream sundae galore!

Ingredients:
1 cup of coconut cream
1 cup non-dairy milk (we used soy, but any of the richer non-dairy milks could work too, like almond or hemp milk)
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4-1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, depending on your flavor preference
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

Blend all ingredients together. It should have the consistency of a thick smoothie. Taste and make sure you like your combination of chocolate and peanut butter, and adjust accordingly. Add the chopped dark chocolate at the last minute so it doesn’t get blended completely. Then you simply place this mixture in an ice cream maker, and follow your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions. Top liberally with vegan whipped cream and caramel sauce, and you could even throw on some rainbow sprinkles and a cherry if you’ve got them on hand! This would also be great as a milkshake, if you make the ice cream and then blend it with a bit of extra non-dairy milk.

Pineapple Coconut Sorbet

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Mmm! Tara made another kind of ice cream! This time it was a super refreshing, definitely summer-celebratory, creamy, and delicious sorbet. The idea was inspired by two different events. Last week, we went to a wonderful cafe in The Hague that had great smoothies and sandwiches. We went after yoga, so clearly a hydrating and fruity smoothie was needed! I ordered a pineapple coconut smoothie, and it was amazing! Super rich from the coconut milk, with a super sweet yet tangy bite from the pineapple. I was in heaven! So that was the first event…When we got home, we realized that we had a few pineapples left over from our trip to the market the previous week (have I mentioned how amazing and bountiful the market that Jesse and Tara go to is? It is really insane with tons of people all over the place in this outdoor produce/clothing/everything market, and you can get pounds and pounds of vegetables and fruits for very cheap! One of our trips resulted in 35 pounds of produce for only 15 euro! Amazing). So we needed something to do with our left-over pineapple, and making a sorbet using my smoothie ingredients sounded perfect for the hot weather we were having. Tara used her stand-by recipe, but used pureed fresh pineapple instead of the fresh orange juice. This is a very simple recipe, using few ingredients, and so you can taste both the fresh pineapple and the coconut very clearly. We topped ours with chopped roasted cashews. Yum!

Ingredients:
1 cup of coconut cream
1 cup fresh pureed pineapple
3/4 cup superfine sugar

Blend all ingredients together. It should have the consistency of a thick smoothie. Then you simply place this mixture in an ice cream maker, and follow your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions. Remember that there is no setting agent, so this ice cream does melt quickly! Don’t worry though, this recipe makes only about 4 servings, and you won’t be able to stop eating it so there won’t be much to save…

Cocovado Ice Cream

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I’m cheating a little because I had no part of the making of this ice cream, except for the original idea and the tasting of the sweet cream before it was frozen. My brother Jesse made it, combining the rich avocado and coconut cream together with what I thought was the perfect amount of orange juice tying it all together. He thought he would add less orange juice next time in order to taste the avocado better, but I think the citrus adds a lot in complexity to the otherwise simple recipe.

Tara’s review is that the ice cream was incredibly creamy, and would have been perfect sandwiched between two dark chocolate cookies.

A few weeks ago, Tara sent me their basic vegan ice cream recipe, and I was shocked by how delightfully easy it was. They had tried many other recipes with agar agar and arrowroot and cooking the coconut milk, etc., etc., and they liked this the best, because it tasted freshest. She’s right, it is a simple recipe, but I think that’s what makes it taste so good. The taste of every ingredient really stands out. It’s very nice for summertime.

Continue reading ‘Cocovado Ice Cream’

Piña Colada Ice Cream Cupcake

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I made these cupcakes a few weeks ago, but somehow haven’t gotten around to posting them till now…They were AMAZING. My friend Julie gave me the idea to make pineapple upside down cupcakes (way cuter than the traditional larger cake size! Each cupcake had it’s own round pineapple slice topper, and when flipped over, the cone shape of the cupcake is unusual and very appealing).

I sliced each cupcake in half horizontally and put a thick layer of Toasted Coconut ice cream in the middle, like a sandwich. I used a coconut milk-based vegan ice cream that came from Maggie Mudd, which has been my favorite vegan ice cream brand that I’ve found so far (and it’s local!); I also like it because there’s no soy (or dairy, of course) involved and it is still rich and creamy and delicious.

To make it really taste like a Piña Colada, this cupcake definitely needed some rum! So I whipped up a rum-caramel glaze and poured it over the cupcakes. The warm glaze was delicious and complimented the cold ice cream, although it started melting the ice cream right away and so my picture is a bit melty-looking. The combination was great though, and the whole cupcake had a distinctly tropical flavor. To give it more of a cocktail look, we stuck an umbrella-toothpick in the top and a maraschino cherry for good measure.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour (I used 1 cup white and 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar + extra for sprinkling on pineapple
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bottle of maraschino cherries
1 20 oz. can pineapple slices in unsweetened pineapple juice
1 cup pineapple juice reserved from can of slices
1/4 cup rum
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
non-stick spray
*You will also need coconut flavored ice cream, brand of your choice!

Rum Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tblsp. rum (or to taste)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray cupcake pan with non-stick spray, making sure to cover the sides.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and set aside.
In separate bowl, mix pineapple juice, rum, applesauce, and vinegar.
Lay pineapple rounds on the bottom of the pan, one in each cupcake spot (you may have to cut the rounds and place cut edges back together to make smaller circles, to make them fit. At this point, you could also choose to take cherries and stick one in each of the pineapple holes, but we chose to add the cherries after baking. Sprinkle pineapple and cherries evenly with a little bit of brown sugar.
Quickly mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Batter will foam up nicely.
Pour into pan immediately and bake for about 18-22 minutes, or till center is firm and tops spring back when touched lightly. Leave cakes in the pan for 5 minutes to firm up, and then remove before the bottoms caramelize and stick too much to the pan.

When cupcakes have cooled completely, cut them in half horizontally and spread ice cream in between the layers (it helps to have softened the ice cream out of the freezer just a bit before spreading).

To make the sauce, cook all ingredients in a small saucepan till boiling. Cook for only 1-2 minutes after boiling, and then remove from heat. Let it cool slightly, but not too much or it will become too thick (you can always heat it up again quickly and it will thin out). Drizzle over the top of the cupcakes, and place an additional cherry on top. Eat immediately!

icecreamcupcakes2009I’m entering these cupcakes in the Ice Cream Cupcakes contest hosted by Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious! Make sure to check back there in the first week of June for a roundup of ice cream cupcakes. And when it’s time to vote on the best cupcakes, please vote for me! I’ll put up a reminder post here, so you can make sure to go vote when the times comes! Thanks!


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