Chocolate ice cream. There's not really much that hasn't already been said about the stuff and really, I'm pretty sure I don't need to say anything more to convince you of it's goodness eh? Haha, thought not... When it's hot outside like it has been (stay safe Victoria and Adelaide, my fellow heat-wave-ers) I like to make icy treats to keep us cool. And while a honey-sweetened popsicle usually does the trick, this week with all the stress that school holidays and two feuding children can bring, lets just say I was feeling in the mood for something a little bit more decadent than the offerings of late!
It's pretty straight forward to swap coconut milk in place of regular milk and cream in any given ice cream recipe, but there's a few things I've learnt over the years that help to make things even more enjoyable. 1. Choose the tin of coconut milk with the highest fat content you can find (the word 'diet' is not in my vocabulary). It's the fat that makes it creamy and yum. 2. Unless you're allergic to eggs or vegan, use them. The texture a proper anglaise base gives is damn near perfect. And 3. Bump up the flavours to mask the somewhat eggy flavour that comes through when using coconut milk instead of dairy. Chocolate works, as does spice. Here I've used them both! Of course, for those who don't do eggs- this is also a great ice cream to try or check out this post for link to loads of vegan popsicles.
P.s In case you missed it on facebook/twitter or instagram, I'm featured in the February edition of Delicious. magazine, alongside a bunch of my favourite vegetarian/whole-foods based bloggers. I'm humbled and beyond excited! It's available in both Australia and NZ, yay!
dairy-free dark chocolate cinnamon ice cream
As always, make sure you check the label on your tin of coconut milk. It should read coconut and water. That's it. I used Aroy D coconut milk (made in Thailand), which I pick up from my local Asian grocer. Go full fat too, it's the fat which gives the creaminess to this ice cream without the use of dairy. I use Whittaker's 50% dark chocolate, which is dairy-free.
600ml coconut milk (full fat, the higher the better!)
100g dark chocolate (dairy-free), chopped into small chunks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
4 large free-range egg yolks
1/2 cup (100g) unrefined raw sugar (blended*)
a good pinch fine sea salt
Place the coconut milk, chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring slowly up to near boiling point, stirring constantly to melt the chocolate (you can use a whisk to give it a good mix if the chocolate is having a hard time combining to form a smooth, even sauce).
In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and a good pinch of fine sea salt until thick and pale. When the chocolate milk has nearly come up to boiling point, pour it over the yolks while whisking constantly. Quickly rinse out the saucepan and pour the whole lot back in. Turn the heat down to medium and return the saucepan to the heat. Cook, whilst stirring constantly for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of your wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and strain the chocolate custard through a fine sieve set over a clean bowl. Set aside until cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. Or if you have loads of ice you can always speed up this process by placing the bowl of custard into another larger bowl filled with ice and stirring until cold. When the mixture is cool, cover and place into the fridge to chill for a few hours or overnight.
Churn the ice cream for 20-25 minutes before transferring to a lidded container and freezing for a further 2-3 hours until set to your liking. Will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge. Leave out on the bench for 10-15 minutes to soften before eating if it's set too hard.
*If you don't own a ice cream churn, simply place the custard mixture into a shallow dish (a loaf tin is perfect) and freeze for 1 hour, until the edges are starting to freeze. Beat with a hand mixer or whisk, return to the freezer and repeat this a further 2-3 times before returning to the freezer for 2 hours. This won't give the exact same results as a churn would, but still delicious nonetheless.
*I blitz unrefined raw sugar in my blender until it's powder-like, which makes it dissolve easier.