This is a very interesting, vegan vanilla ice cream created by Mattie on www.veganbaking.net. It is a sophisticated attempt to capture as much of the creaminess and mouth feel of a high butterfat dairy ice cream using only vegan ingredients. Given the reader comments, it looks like he has mostly pulled it off. Also there are links to recipes for other flavors on the site which you will see towards the bottom of the vanilla recipe page.
I plan to be experimenting with and writing a lot about using various ingredients and techniques to improve the texture and freezer life of homemade ice creams here, so I’m always really interested in what success other people are having. This is a particularly relevant topic in relation to creating “healthier” frozen desserts, i.e. lower fat, less sugar or in this case completely vegan.
Some of the things I find interesting about the recipe:
The use of apple cider vinegar to in his words “..add subtle notes of sweet cream..” to the flavor. I have never run across this before.
The use of xantham gum as a natural stabilizer that adds no discernible flavor to the resulting ice cream but helps a great deal with how smooth the texture ends up being. It is sold in Whole Foods and in the baking area of many supermarkets by the way.
The use as corn syrup (NOT high-fructose corn syrup, don’t panic!) for part of the sugar, an excellent way of reducing ice crystals.
The versatility of the recipe, it can be used with any nut-milk or tofu.
The comments are from other vegan home ice cream makers and are uniformly positive.
OK so this isn’t an ice cream recipe, but this vegan chocolate mousse recipe is so neat and so spectacularly simple I couldn’t resist posting it. Hey there is no reason you can’t serve it with ice cream! By itself this has got to be the most nutritionally politically correct dessert yet created. It is Sugar-free, dairy-free, low-fat (well relatively speaking), heck bittersweet chocolate is good for you!
Created by a French molecular gastronomer (I want that on my business card!); here is the whole thing, ready? Take 265 grams / 9.4 ounces of bitter sweet chocolate and 1 cup of water combined over a medium heat, pour into a bowl sitting in an ice bath and whip with a whisk to add air for 3 minutes or until stiff. That is it. Here is Melissa Clark’s video on the New York Times website.
Angela on Oh She Glows describes this recipe as kind of her healthy homage to the Dairy Queen Blizzard. If I was Dairy Queen I would be worried. This has all the taste and gratification of it’s inspiration and then some! Plus it really is much healthier and very low fat. I have been on a bit of a frozen banana ice cream jag this week, but what can I say, it makes a great base for dairy-free, and all the way vegan ice creams; as this recipe is.
Angela’s inspired variation is a very nice, raw chocolate chip cookie dough, that she both blends into the base and forms into delicious little balls that get added to the finished ice cream when served. As you might expect, the ice cream itself has a soft serve consistency and probably should be made and served right away. I’m not sure how well it will hard freeze in your freezer.
Though there is no such thing as an ice cream kids don’t love, this strikes me as one that would go over big time and be healthy to boot.
I have to stop using the expression the simplest ice cream recipe in the world because inevitably the next day I find one even simpler. But this surprisingly tasty, non-dairy, egg-less, no ice cream maker required, two ingredient, banana ice cream has to be getting close to the edge of simplicity. Unless someone has a magic spell for conjuring up a hot fudge sundae out of thin air or for instantly freezing cream, I am going to say this the simplest ice cream recipe in the world! Oh wait you can instantly freezing cream using the liquid nitrogen method, doah! Well if you have a magic spell to share please post it in the comments below.
Bethany Taylor on From My Kitchen to Yours has a serious sweet tooth and you can read how to make this neat little recipe there.
One variation I would try, is to add a little cold heavy cream in the mixing process; not much, maybe a tablespoon or two, just to add some dairy flavor. Greek yogurt, sour cream or non-dairy milks would work also. If this appeals to you add it a little bit at a time so that you don’t end up with soup. If you do, no worries, add even more and its Nutella banana milkshake time!
A last thought, as I indicate in the title, I think kids would love to be involved in making this recipe. The magic of bananas turning into ice cream can’t help but be fun and surprising to them.
Banana Nutella Ice Cream
Primary Ingredients/Quantity: bananas, nutella / 1 cup Mix Prep Time:20 min Freeze Time:20 min Total Time:40 min
Coconut milk is a very creamy, dairy-free alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to animal milk. Those who subscribe to the low-carb lifestyle often prize coconut milk for it’s minimal starch content. A vegan drink, it is also soya-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and nut-free while its fat content is considered to a ‘good fat’, easily metabolised by the body and quickly turned into energy rather than being stored as fat. Coconut milk is also rich in lauric acid, a substance also found in human milk, which researchers have shown have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Unlike other nut or plant milks, the saturated fat content of coconut milk is significant at five grams per serving, so drink it in moderation.
What I really enjoyed about this post by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan on The Kitchn blog, was its sheer joie de vivre or should I say joie d’expérimenter. Set some extreme starting rules and see what you can come up with that stays within them, still resembles ice cream, and of course tastes good. In this case, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar; pretty extreme wouldn’t you agree? Well Sarah came through with a spectacularly simple combination of coconut milk, inherently sweet fruit and vegetable juices, and corn starch. Talk about versatile and tasty. In the post she tries different combinations of beet juice, apples, celery, carrots, pears, ginger; just about anything you would use in your juicer. Read the recipes here:
Not that the recipes need it, especially if eaten right from your ice cream maker, but one direction I might go if experimenting, would be to add ingredients to try to smooth out the texture further and keep it softer when stored in the freezer. Maybe a tablespoon or two of an appropriate liqueur or vodka. Also you have to wonder what you could come up with using a really good juice recipe book as the basis for more flavors to try.
Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Fruit or Vegetable Juice
Primary Ingredients/Quantity: Coconut Milk / 1 pint Mix Prep Time:30 min Freeze Time:20 min Total Time:50 min
One of the best things about making ice cream at home is that of all the many foods you can cook, it is both very forgiving and very open to experimention. Once you learn a small set of basic techniques you can let the mad scientist in you run wild.
Last night I wanted to make some ice cream for dessert. After looking in my refrigerator I saw that I had some half and half, some buttermilk and some Meyer Lemons on hand. Also the idea of a caramel appealed to me at that moment. So I went to iloveicecream.net (what an awesome website! 🙂 ) and found two recipes I could mix and match from to make ice cream from what I had on hand.
I primarily used the Burnt Orange recipe to see how to make a citrus caramel and the Buttermilk recipe to find out that the buttermilk is added in after the custard is heated up on the stove. So here is what I came up with. Note this ended up being a relatively low fat, low sugar recipe.
1 Large Meyer Lemon zested and juiced. Try to have around ¼ - ½ a cup of juice.
½ cup of table sugar
¾ cup of half and half
¾ cup of buttermilk
2 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Combine half the sugar, and the 2 egg yolks and salt in heat proof, medium sized bowl. It needs to be big enough to hold the whole recipe.
Combine zest and half and half in a saucepan and bring almost to a boil. Stir so that mixture doesn't burn. Remove from heat.
Now we are going to make a simple caramel from the juice and sugar. In a heavy bottomed saucepan add half the sugar to the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over a medium low heat. Let the mixture boil until it starts to brown, swirl the mixture occasionally. I found that I had to add a tablespoon of sugar after awhile to kick it over the point of caramelizing. Once its starts to brown it does so quickly, so start stirring with a fork. You want to go for at least an orange brown color, but brown it as deeply as you wish, just keep it moving so that it doesn't burn. When you are finished remove from heat.
Slowly add about ½ cup of the half and half/zest mixture to the caramel, whisking vigorously. Mixture will bubble and steam. when things calm down, add the rest in a thin steady stream, continuing to whisk. I prefer to use a fork for all this whisking as there isn't enough custard to fully engage a whisk. Return the caramel to the stove and cook over a very low heat until everything is well mixed and hot.
Remove mixture from heat and in a series of small trickles pour into the bowl containing the egg yolks, whisking vigorously. The point here is to combine everything slowly enough so that the eggs don't overcook into scrambled eggs. If you are leery of this process you can use a more traditional tempering method.
Pour the combined mixture back into the caramel saucepan and cook over a medium low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. 170 degrees Fahrenheit on a reliable instant read thermometer is good. Do NOT let it come even close to boil.
Pour mixture into a clean bowl and stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.
If you have a freezer/compressor ice cream maker you can pour the mixture into it as soon as you would like and freeze as per the manufacturers instructions. One pint wont take more than 20 minutes or so to freeze.
If you have freezer bowl style maker, refrigerate the mixture until its cold, at least 2 hours, before making. For other pre-chilling methods click here.
So how did it turn out? Well I wont be entering any ice cream competitions with this recipe but it did the job, everyone forced to try it (little persuasion needed), liked it. I found the citrus caramel and buttermilk flavors worked very well together as I had hoped. Mission accomplished.
This ice cream freezes hard after an extended period in the freezer. Microwave for 10 seconds to soften before scooping and serving.
Though I found the recipe plenty sweet for my taste, if you have strong sweet tooth that would be the first thing I would suggest changing. Maybe add a 1/4 to 1/3 cup more sugar. Next I think I would try heavy cream in place of the half and half or maybe add tablespoon of cornstarch to smooth out the texture a bit more.
A good video from finecooking.com on making caramels.