Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ice Cream, The Gateway Dessert

ASKING ME TO imagine happiness before ice cream is like asking me to imagine consciousness before coffee. Put the two together and you'll have created a taste of heaven. When Nick was gifted an ice cream machine and I a stand mixer last Christmas, I knew the kitchen gods were smiling down upon us. 

The combination of desserts dancing in my head have been astronomicalcreamy scoops of gelato tucked into fluffy brioche buns, chocolate pound cake ice cream sandwiches, and cool watermelon bombes for summer.

Nevertheless, we thought it best to stick to perfecting one flavor at a time, at least initially. I must say that Nick did an amazing job with this recipe! The secret to the coffee ice cream is the Kahlúa and coconut milk. Kahlúa is a coffee-flavored liqueur but does not end up being very strong when used to flavor ice cream. You can also use Bailey's Irish Cream, which tastes lighter than Kahlua, but is not vegan because it contains dairy (if you're not opposed to dairy, go for it, because it is the bomb dot com.)

I used coconut milk in lieu of heavy cream for vegan ice cream aficionados (dieters be warned: the saturated fat content is alarmingly high even though it's vegan), but the difference in taste is unnoticeable, even to the sophisticated palate. Coconut milk is my preferred alternative for use with very strong flavors that will mask the flavor of coconut; milder flavors like vanilla and pistachio don't work so well.

 photo by Nick Holley

  • 13.5 oz full fat coconut milk 
  • 1 1/4 cup plain soy milk 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 3 heaping tablespoons instant coffee 
  • 1/4 cup Kahlúa or Bailey's Irish Cream

I wish I could jokingly say "please eat responsibly," but the taste of alcohol is virtually unnoticeable in this sweet treat. Regardless, it's probably not something you'd want to give your young ones, especially since it contains caffeine as well.

Happy Summer,