One of the things I’m particularly loving as I delve more and more in ‘whole-foods’ is learning various processes to make many meals “from scratch”. I’m enjoying foods I was never previously fond of, and loving the fresh flavours!
My latest learning: homemade coconut milk.
Unsurprisingly to many; I combined this with my undying love for ice cream and here is the result…!
Note that the coconut sugar in this recipe can’t be subbed for a liquid sweetener (such as honey or maple syrup) as the heating process of this is what gives the lovely caramel touch. Also do keep in mind that coconut milk doesn’t have the lusciousness of cream and milk so the end result will feel ever so slightly ‘thinner’ on the palate – but still darn delicious! (For those of you who enjoy dairy, you can make a beautifully creamy version of this ice cream using a 2:1 ratio of milk to cream, keeping the other ingredients the same.)
But for this glorious recipe, have fun in the process and enjoy hacking apart those coconuts! (watch out for the shards!! – I speak from bandaged experience)
Dairy-Free Caramel & Chocolate Fleck Ice Cream – makes approx 1.4 L (varies depending on coconut size)
For the coconut milk:
2 whole coconuts
Drill a hole in the coconuts and empty them of their water (pour this into a bowl and set aside).
Break open the coconut and separate the flesh from the shell. Peel the brown skin layer from the white flesh and discard until all you have is the lovely white flesh from both coconuts – be aware that this process can take a while, especially if it’s your first attempt.
Place the coconut flesh, the coconut water you previously drained, plus 1 1/2 cups of boiled-then-slightly-cooled-water into your blender. Blitz it at a high speed until the liquid has turned milky white and the coconut flesh has been well ground to a desiccated coconut consistency.
Place a sieve over a large bowl, line it with muslin or cheese cloth (or something similar) then pour the milk through the sieve. Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the coconut in the cloth. The desiccated coconut that remains in the cloth is not needed in the following recipe however you can dry it out in a dehydrator or low-temp oven and/or use it in baking or whichever recipe you have requiring desiccated coconut 🙂
For the ice cream base:
3 tbsp coconut sugar
Coconut milk from 2 coconuts (if you cannot do this then you can use 2 1/2 cans of full-fat coconut milk) – reserve 3 tbsp of this to mix with the tapioca flour
2 heaped tbsp brown rice syrup or pure maple syrup
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp himalayan rock, or sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Place a medium/large sized pot over a medium heat on the stove. Sprinkle the coconut sugar all over the base of the pot. Watch (don’t stir) the sugar as it heats, begins to melt, and turns darker brown in colour (don’t let it turn black!). When the base of the coconut sugar has melted, pour in the coconut milk while whisking (be careful as it will steam a bit!) If some of the coconut sugar has turned into hard shards – don’t worry it will melt into the milk as it heats further!
Add the syrup then allow the mixture to heat until steamy and hot (it doesn’t need to boil)
Meanwhile, mix the reserved 3 tbsp of coconut milk with the tapioca flour in a small bowl until the consistency is smooth. Once the milk & sugar mixture is all steamy, pour in the tapioca mixture. Stir well to ensure it disperses through the milk and you don’t end up with clumpy lumps. Heat for a further 2 minutes while stirring as the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool (I pour mine into a glass bowl then place in a cold water bath in the sink, then refrigerate until cold)
For the chocolate flecks:
Make this up and set aside ready for when you’re churning the ice cream
Once the ice cream mixture is well chilled. Pour it into a ice cream churner and churn per manufacturer instructions. When you’re about 5 minutes out from the end (when it’s looking pretty soft serve like in consistency) pour the chocolate shell sauce in through the top in a steady stream – as it works through the ice cream it will harden and break into little flecks of tastiness!
You can serve in ‘soft serve’ format, otherwise transfer to your chosen container and freeze for at least 3 hours. (When serving, give the ice cream a good 10 minutes on the bench first to soften slightly – homemade ice cream always sets a bit harder than store bought – thanks to no additives 🙂 )