Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

This recipe is based on one from Jeni Bauer’s cookbook, Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream. I cut the ingredients in half for what turned out to be a little less than a pint of ice cream. To be honest I wasn’t going to post about it because I was disappointed with how it came out. I thought it tasted too fatty and that the flavor of peanut butter completely overwhelmed everything else. Though I am a big fan of nut ice creams, peanuts are probably my least favorite nut.

The good news is that it turned out to make a fantastic milkshake. I used unsweetened soy milk and a little (1/4 teaspoon or so) vanilla extract, but I am sure any “milk” would work well. The soy milk cut the fat and brought out the toasted coconut flavor. I found it to be quite addicting. If you are a milkshake person I can recommend this ice cream highly. The other reason I’m posting this, is that I made a critical ingredient substitution based on what I had on hand, that I think is the primary reason for it coming out a little fatty. I used canned unsweetened coconut creme instead of the coconut milk the recipe calls for, so blame the chef not the recipe.

Even though Jeni references Pad Thai as her inspiration, I think of this as an ice cream version of a Thai peanut satay sauce. One change I did make was to add some untoasted shredded coconut, in addition to the toasted, in order to bring up the coconut flavor. You can play with the proportions of the peanut butter to coconut milk to change the flavor balance even more if you wish. They both are pretty high in fat, so I don’t think it would drastically alter the texture of the resulting ice cream whatever balance you chose. As usual I used less sugar, 1/2 cup instead of the called for 2/3 cup. So peanut fans and milk shake aficionados, here is the recipe as I made it, except that I am showing Jeni’s ingredient quantities, as halving them didn’t make quite enough.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 8
 
My version of Jeni Bauer's Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream
Ingredients
  • 1/1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup peanut butter, preferably fresh
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (not light)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
Instructions
Prep
Toasted Coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Turn and stir every minute or two so that the coconut browns evenly.
  4. Bake for about 7 minutes. You really need to watch this carefully, at least once a minute, because it will go from nicely browned to unusable very quickly.
Cornstarch Slurry
  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl until well combined.
Cream Cheese/Peanut Butter
  1. If you have a blender, add to it the cream cheese, peanut butter, salt and cayenne pepper. You don't need to combine them yet. If you don't wish to use a blender, whisk together ingredients in a medium heat proof bowl. Set aside.
Ice Bath
  1. Prepare an ice bath of ice cubes and water in a medium size bowl.
Cook
  1. Combine remaining milk, cream, coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a 4 quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil on medium heat and boil for 4 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and gradually mix in the corn starch slurry. You will probably have to mix up the slurry again before adding it.
  3. Put the mixture back on the burner and cook until thickened, about a minute or so.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the blender or bowl you have the cream cheese mix in and combine until smooth.
  5. Mix in the toasted and untoasted shredded coconut. If using a blender, just pulse a few time to combine.
Chill
  1. Pour the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag and immerse in the ice bath for 30 minutes. Add more ice to keep cold if you need to.
Freeze
  1. Pour the ice cream into your ice cream maker and freeze.
  2. Store in a freezer proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed down to the surface of the ice cream to remove air bubbles. Store for about 4 hours before serving.

Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream

Cardamom has been one of my favorite spices lately and I have been trying it in all kinds of foods. I decided it would be fun to use it as a strong second flavor in a chocolate ice cream. Then I remembered a fantastic chocolate chip cookie I ate at a little coffee shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn last year. It not only contained cardamom but also some chili pepper which gave it some heat The combination worked beautifully.

My recipe is based on Jeni Bauer’s Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World. In addition to freshly ground cardamom seed, I added ground chipotle pepper which adds a smoky heat to the flavor. The major change to the recipe, besides the additional spices, is that I don’t add any sugar to the chocolate syrup, so in my version it is more of a ganache. Also the original recipe has a full cup of sugar in it, mine only a half cup.

This recipe makes about a 2/3 quart of ice cream.

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Total time: 
 
Ingredients
Chocolate Ganache
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup coffee (I used espresso)
  • 1½ ounces bittersweet chocolate (55%+ cacao)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (other ground chili peppers can be substituted)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/12 (3 tablespoons) cream cheese (Organic Valley or better if possible).
Ice Cream Base
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • 1 1 gallon Ziploc bag
  • Ice Bath
  • Freezer proof storage container/s pre-chilled in your freezer.
Instructions
Make the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Prepare bittersweet chocolate by finely grating it. A serrated steak or bread knife is good for this.
  2. Prepare cocoa powder by sifting it.
  3. Brew the coffee or espresso and add it while hot to a small saucepan on low heat.
  4. Mix in the chili powder, salt and a big pinch of the cardamom.
  5. Add ¼ cup of the heavy cream.
  6. Add cream cheese.
  7. When mixture is well combined and warm whisk in the cocoa powder. I use a fork rather than a whisk.
  8. When mixture is well combined, add the bittersweet chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the Ice Cream Base
  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and cardamom in a 4 quart, heavy bottomed, saucepan.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil for 4 minutes.
  4. Remix the corn starch slurry and whisk it into the milk mixture.
  5. Lower the heat and cook for a minute, stirring with a heatproof spatula until thickened.
  6. When you can coat the spatula with the mixture, run a finger through it and leave a clear trail that doesn't immediately fill back in, the mix is ready. Remove from heat.
  7. Add the chocolate sauce to the mixture, whisking to incorporate. It the syrup is difficult to remove from the pan stir some of the hot milk mixture into it first.
  8. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Chill the Mix
  1. Prepare an Ice bath in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the mix into the Ziploc bag.
  3. Gently lower the bag into the ice bath, removing the air in the bag until you get near the top and can seal it.
  4. Spread the mix into a thin layer around the bag and keep it submerged until the mixture is cold. About 30 minutes.
  5. For other pre-chilling alternatives click here.
Freeze the Mix.
  1. Pour the mix into your ice cream maker. It is easiest to cut off a corner of the bag and pour it from there rather than through the top.
  2. Freeze as per manufacturers instructions.
Harden the Ice Cream
  1. Scoop ice cream into the pre-chilled storage container/s.
  2. Press down a piece of cling film over the ice cream to remove any air (optional).
  3. Seal and store in your freezer for at least a few hours before serving.

 

Notes and Variations

I am pleased to report that my girlfriend and primary customer, was blown away by this ice cream when made as recorded in the recipe. Never one to leave well enough alone however, these are some of things I will probably experiment with next time.

  • I think I will try cutting back the spice amounts to 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. I would like to get the slight burn left by the pepper in the finish down a little. Also though I like the very strong cardamom flavor, but I’m curious about what will happen with the balance tipped more towards the chocolate and coffee.
  • I’m tempted to add some finely grated chocolate, maybe 1/4 cup, into the mix towards the end of churning.
  • I purposely did not strain out the crushed cardamom seeds before chilling because I wanted that occasional blast of spice. You may not want this.
  • Using 1/2 cup of sugar rather than the called for 1 cup did not noticeably hurt the texture of the ice cream and resulted in just the right amount of sweetness to my taste.

Updates

1/19/2013

Now that I have made this a few times, here are some more notes.

As I am currently making it, this is a drastically dense, dark chocolate ice cream. It is more an Ice Fudge than an Ice Cream.

I have cut the spices back to what I suggested above 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black cardamom seeds and 1/8 teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper. Additionally I am using (from Whole Foods) Organic Valley cream cheese, milk and heavy cream, and Dagoba unsweetened chocolate for baking. Cocoa powder is Penzey’s Spices Natural High Fat Cocoa.

Now for the bad part. As I have currently laid out the steps, this is without a doubt the messiest ice cream recipe I have yet to make. Your kitchen will look like a chocolate bomb went off in it. The chocolate sauce is very, very thick and combining it with the dairy mix is not pretty. The resulting combined mix is like a very thick pudding that does not want to go into or come out the pre-chilling Ziploc bag willingly. Lastly it since it is so rich in fats, clean up takes lots of soap and water.

I am going to try a few things differently next time. First I’m not going to make a separate chocolate sauce. After cooking and thickening the dairy/cornstarch mix I am going to add the chocolate sauce ingredients directly to it, one at a time and gradually incorporate them over a very low heat. I will add the cream cheese, then the baking chocolate, then the cocoa.

I think Im going to either add more milk or use 2%.  Not that the current fudginess isnt interesting or tasty, but it is a bit to much of a good thing.  If you want to serve something that is sure to get a reaction from your friends, make it as is.

For this one recipe I am not going to use a Ziploc bag for prechilling. Either I will put the pot right into the Ice bath directly or use flat rectangular Pyrex dish, not sure yet. I think given how much heat this thick mix retains it is important to pre-chill it. On the other hand there is so much fat in it, maybe it isn’t needed at all. With a compressor ice cream maker it might make the most sense to just let it cool down on off the stove for 10 minutes and then go right into your machine.