Ann planned a surprise party for our friend M., whose birthday was today. She enlisted my help--we had it at my house, and I made a few things for it--including a vegan ice cream made with coconut milk and LOTS of chocolate. It utilized a dark chocolate base with semisweet chocolate chunks in it.
Ann was the only vegan at the gathering, but overall the milk-free chocolate ice cream was a bigger hit than the "regular" vanilla ice cream I'd also made! The ladies loved the rich chocolate, and I think the coconut milk adds an extra zing of flavor too.
So, here's the recipe. (I drew heavily on the "Simple Chocolate Ice Cream" recipe in the booklet that came with my Cuisinart ice cream maker.)
Oh, and I didn't plan to blog this, so I don't have any pictures. You'll have to use your imagination.
Double Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream (Vegan)
Yield: Approx. 1 1/2 quarts (Adjust recipe if your ice cream maker is a smaller capacity)
2/3 c Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder, sifted (or run through a blender or food processor--however you prefer to get the lumps out). You can use regular cocoa powder, but it won't be as rich of a chocolate flavor.
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c packed dark brown sugar
Two cans of coconut milk (approx. 25-28 oz, or 750-800 mL)--You may find this in the Asian food aisle
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use Mexican vanilla)
4 oz. vegan chocolate (I use 4 squares Baker's semisweet baking chocolate, which is vegan)
1. If you plan ahead far enough, pre-refrigerate the coconut milk.
2. Whisk together the cocoa powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt.
3. Whisk in the coconut milk and vanilla until the solids are as dissolved as you can get them. Mine wasn't that smooth, but that was okay.
4. Place the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour before freezing/churning it. If you pre-refrigerated the coconut milk, this step is optional.
5. Follow your ice cream maker's instructions to churn/freeze the mixture.
6. While it's churning, cut the chocolate into chunks. Add to the ice cream during the last 3 minutes or so of churning.
6. Eat immediately (soft-serve consistency) or move to another container and freeze. You'll want to remove it from the freezer approximately 15-20 minutes before serving--it gets very hard in the freezer.
The beauty of recipes like this is that you can easily alter them to fit your taste. I noticed the other day that Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies are vegan. So you could chop up some of those and thrown them in, in lieu of the chocolate chunks. Or maybe strawberries, or cherries, or marshmallows and peanuts...? Use your imagination, and enjoy!
And happy birthday, M.!