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Vegan coffee ice-cream I actually like

Posted in Food & Entertaining

In her old age, my mother has developed a sweet tooth I strain to keep up with. She especially loves ice-cream, which I like but hardly ever crave. After stocking up with some store-bought varieties, I decided I would make her some, possibly healthier than the milk-cream-sugar-egg combination.

My forays into vegan ice-cream eating have always been unsuccessful, although I should try one of the myriad stores that are popping up everywhere in Los Angeles. The last time I got curious, and walked into a vegan ice-cream store, I ended up throwing the whole cone after a couple of licks. Not even close to the real thing.

After reading up, it seemed clear that coconut milk or coconut cream had to be involved to supplement the fat of dairy. It was also obvious that to cover up the coconut taste strong flavors would be best suited: anything delicate, like peach, would have been lost. What wasn’t apparent was the use of a liquid sweetener to make the end result creamier – most recipes suggested corn syrup but I went with a mixture of cane sugar and agave syrup the first time, and sugar and honey the second.

I tried both coffee and chocolate and I did love the coffee best (as a disclaimer, I rarely like chocolate ice-cream). The end result is not as creamy as proper ice-cream but it is pretty damn close and, while not forsaking real gelato any time soon, I am entering this variation into my regular repertoire.

RECIPE – Yields 1 Quart

2 C cashew milk

1 can full-fat coconut milk (or, even better, coconut cream)

1/3 C sugar

1/3 C agave syrup (or honey)

Pinch of salt

1 ts vanilla extract

1 T vodka (entirely optional)

1/2 C coffee beans, coarsely ground

  • Combine all ingredients except coffee and vodka in a pot and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot. Add the coffee, mix with a spoon and let steep for an hour.
  • Strain the mixture and add vanilla and vodka, if using. Chill in the fridge for a few hours.
  • Spin the ice-cream into an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (in my case, I let it spin for 40 minutes – 45 turned out a bit too long, resulting in a harder ice-cream once frozen).


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  1. Non sono vegana, ma mi attirano molte ricette che lo sono, come questa. Il gelato con uova, latte e panna ├Ę decisamente troppo per me

    August 13, 2017
    • Be’, quello buono lo mangio volentieri ma sembra sempre piu’ difficile, anche in Italia, trovare il gelato davvero artigianale. E dire che e’ cosi semplice farlo.

      August 16, 2017
  2. This sounds nice! I’m not full vegan but I am avoiding dairy like the plague, and coconut ice cream doesn’t always do the job. Are there any alternatives to an ice cream maker? I don’t have one of those (but I do have a Thermomix, would that do?)

    August 10, 2017
    • If you want ice-cream you need an ice-cream maker. But how about granita? So easy and it doesn’t require anything other than a fork. Will post next week.

      August 10, 2017
      • Saw the new recipe today! Are you sure a Thermomix can’t make ice-cream? And here I was claiming it could make anything…

        August 17, 2017
        • I stand corrected. I researched the Thermomix (which we don’t have here) and yes, you can make ice-cream (although, as far as I can understand, it doesn’t quite churn it – I am not quite clear how it gets there. Do try and let me know)

          August 18, 2017
          • You don’t have them in the US? They’re huge in Australia and Europe! I wonder if the merengue-making implement can churn the ice cream… I’ll have to try…

            August 21, 2017
  3. I am lactose intolerant, and still cannot stay away from the proper italian ice cream. I found out that if I don’t indulge in it more than once a week, things are ok with me. I cannot try the usual vegan ice creams as they tend to have soy milk in it, and I am allergic to it. The only vegan ice cream I would happily eat until I burst is a dark chocolate one made by an artisan ice cream parlor in Munich, which I tried last year. Now, these guys make awesome ice cream, vegan or not. Their full fat creamy salty peanut is to die for…anyway, no idea what is their recipe, but it is absolutely fantastic and creamy. Sadly, people are not as much into dark chocolate, so their first attempt was the last as well. I may try to bribe them and get their recipe to try at home, but in the meantime yours sounds like a good alternative (and my other half, a coffee and vodka fan, will surely appreciate). Thanks for sharing ­čÖé

    August 10, 2017
    • Frankly, a good Italian gelato on occasion is worth the discomfort of lactose intolerance! Please share the name of the vegan ice cream parlour in Munich – would love to try if I am there.

      August 10, 2017
      • It’s called Gelato Naturale, Adlzreiterstra├če 1, 80337 M├╝nchen, just off Goetheplatz U-Bahn stop. Beware though: they are closed on Saturdays, and they close between the beginning of October until April. Let me know when you manage to try their ice cream, and what you make of it.

        August 15, 2017
        • Thank you. I am bookmarking this. I am planning to be in Europe next May/June so I will definitely swing by if my travels take me to Munich (which they might).

          August 16, 2017

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