Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Vanilla Icecream

This delectable dessert came from a new little purchase I made a couple of weeks ago - yay for Briscoes sales! Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free and free of refined sugar, this wonderful creamy treat tastes indulgent but is wonderfully clean and so so easy to make.

Prior to becoming dairy free, ice-cream was one of my biggest weaknesses. I realized when I was 18 that dairy was not going to be able to be a factor in my life, and made the decision to cut it out. My weak point however was ice-cream - I just couldn't seem to let it go! I would go on and off but a couple of years ago I realized that I had to quit properly. Every now and then I will sneak a spoonful out of my husbands bowl when he indulges, but for the most part I am pretty strong willed as I know that the side effects last a lot longer than the moment of pleasure! Since then, I have been seeking the perfect substitute, and generally just ended up eating sorbet if that icy cold craving came along. The problem with sorbet is that it is just lacking that delicious creaminess that comes with ice-cream. Then I discovered the joys of banana ice-cream! One ingredient, 2 minutes to make and I was sold - an easy, nutritious option that tasted almost liked the real thing and had that all important creamy texture. You can add any number of tasty ingredients as well, so it's super versatile. But, time went by and although I am still totally committed to my precious banana ice-cream, I wanted more! Enter the brilliant Nice Cream which you may have discovered at the supermarket. This wonderful product is ice-cream made with coconut milk instead of dairy - perfect! It is smooth, creamy and tastes amazing. We tend to keep some in the freezer for special occasions. The only drawback it that it is relatively expensive. Not prohibitively so, but pricey enough that you wouldn't want to be indulging too often. So, once again back to the wandering mind coming up with a way to have it all! This is where the Briscoes sale comes in…. ice-cream maker, reduced to $30! Perfect! Sold to one happy little ice-cream addict!

So, to cut a long story short, I had to experiment with my new toy. I decided to start off just with a basic vanilla ice-cream, but watch this space as I will no doubt be experimenting with all sorts of varieties! Although I used an ice-cream machine to churn the ice-cream into the velvety creamy treat that is in the bowl, you could just as easily make it without the machine, however it will take a bit longer and will not necessarily have the same texture.

Vanilla Icecream

(Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar)

1 270ml can (a cup and a bit) of coconut milk or cream (I use the Ayam brand with nothing else added).
1 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice
1 tsp vanilla paste, or 1.5 tsp vanilla essence
2 egg yolks

1. Heat coconut milk with vanilla and honey in a small pot over a low heat. Heat until hot but not boiling
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
3. Once coconut milk mixture is heated, slowly pour it into the bowl with the eggs while whisking continuously.
4. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for a couple of hours until well chilled
5. Put in the ice-cream maker for 15-20 minutes until a smooth creamy consistency is achieved.
6. Serve immediately or put in the freezer if you are not using straight away. If you freeze before you serve, take it out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve it so it is not too hard

Alternatively, if you do not have an ice-cream make, freeze the completed mixture for a couple of hours and either fluff with a fork every couple of hours, or freeze then blend in a blender until a creamy consistent is achieved. If you go with the blender option, it will be best to freezer the ice-cream in ice cube trays or something similar so that you have small pieces to pop in the blender, and remove them from the freezer about 10 minutes before blending. This will reduce the strain on your blender and achieve a better result. You may also need to add a couple of tbsp of extra coconut milk if you are using this method just to create some liquid to make blending more successful.