Sunday, March 03, 2013

Vegan Coffee Butter Almond Ice Cream

I have been reading on equally yummy versions of ice cream that does not require an overdose of eggs, milk and cream, as dictated by the gelato recipe we made the last time. One of the healthy alternatives that made it to my radar was vegan ice cream.  Making vegan ice cream basically means you make ice cream without using milk and eggs. We got some coconut milk and coconut cream and decided to give it a try (for the sake of our cholesterol levels and the risk of diabetes)

We tried it for the Coffee Butter Almond Ice Cream recipe we found. There will always be subtle differences between simple ice cream, gelato, frozen yoghurt etc, but I'm not choosy as long as it satisfies my sweet tooth. This one came out creamy and not too sweet.

VEGAN Coffee Butter Almond Ice Cream
Adapted from the Cusinart Recipe booklet, our minor renditions incorporated to make it vegan

For the almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup slivered almonds, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the ice cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk, chilled (we substituted coconut milk)
1 1/8 cups granulated sugar (we substituted coconut sugar)
3-5 tablespoons instant espresso powder (we used freshly ground local Sagada coffee beans.. the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans gave an extra kick!)
3 cups heavy cream (we used chilled and filtered coconut cream)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To prepare the almonds 
(we skipped this part cause I don't like much butter and salt, so we just went straight to grinding almonds)
1. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet, then add slivered almonds and kosher salt. 
2. Cook over medium-low heat until almonds are toasted and golden, stirring frequently for about 4 - 5 minutes. 
3. Remove from the heat, strain (the butter will have an almond flavor), and chill the nuts.

For the ice cream
1. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk, sugar and espresso powder until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes.
2. Stir in the heavy cream and extracts.
*we wanted the ice cream to be colder when poured into the ice cream maker, so we placed it on a short ice bath (see photo below) 

Ice bath -- there's ice inside the container below the ice cream mix.

3. Turn the ice cream machine on and pour in the mixture, and let mix until thickened, about 25 minutes.
4. Add the chopped nuts to the mixture during the last 5 minutes of freezing.
5. The ice cream should have a soft creamy texture at the end of 30 minutes. (even for coconut based ice cream)

For a firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place int he freezer for about 2 hours.

Eat, slurp and be merry! =)

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