My darling husband Jay is the kind of guy, like so many, that always wants to help, to fix things. One day, at the post production facility he works at, he saw parts of the film “Forks over Knives” and came home inspired. He mentioned that I might want to think about avoiding milk in the hopes that my allergies might calm down. He’s lovely, really, but he had no idea what he was saying when casually suggesting I give up milk. I’m a pastry chef, and he’s a pastry hound, and giving up milk would really be giving up dairy, and that would be tough. And, if I’m going to do it, by default he is too.
But the idea stuck around in my head and I started playing with the idea that dairy might be causing some issues for me. Substituting for morning coffe is no big deal, but other things were definitely harder. After all, I created a mac and cheese soup! I can’t say that I’m totally successful, but I have noticed some correlations and so I keep trying.
I have used coconut milk extensively, and know exactly how luscious, creamy, fatty and delicious it is. I’ve whipped it, replaced heavy cream for ganache, used it in place of regular milk and so I wondered how it would be if used in an ice cream. I was not disappointed.
Rich and delicious with no eggs in sight, canned coconut milk makes an amazing frozen treat. Air doesn’t incorporate into it in the same was as in standard dairy based ice cream, so it clings to the tongue like a frozen pudding. So luscious and satisfying that my friend Nicole described it as orgasmic. And if you knew her, you’d know she doesn’t throw that around lightly….
Unlike traditional ice cream, it freezes super hard, and melts slowly. Once in the freezer, it will definitely need a quick blast in the microwave, or a rest on the kitchen counter to get back to scooping consistency.
I don’t miss the dairy… not even a little bit.
Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
4 cups (32 oz) full fat canned coconut milk
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Combine 3 cups of coconut milk, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a sauce pan and heat until simmering. Take care, the mixture is thick and prone to spitting.
Mix the other cup of coconut milk with the cornstarch and add this mixture to the simmering pan. Cook this over medium high heat stirring constantly until a few bubbles appear. Its important to cook it a bit to thicken further and cook out the raw cornstarch.
Chill the mixture overnight in the fridge or cool over an ice water bath. When fully chilled, process the base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. It may still be a bit soft after processing in the machine, but go ahead and package and store in the freezer. To bring it back to scoopable texture, soften in the microwave in short bursts of 15 seconds or set out on the counter at room temperature