Monday, February 14, 2011

Vegan Baking Basics: Ice Cream!

The night before we were supposed to have this class, we heard warnings about how terrible the weather was going to be overnight.  We were hearing that it would snow one inch every hour, with a possibility of 12 inches.  Yuck!  I had hoped that when I left my hometown, I left the snow behind.  Not so.  It's come back this winter with a vengeance.  Anyway, when I woke up the following morning, after having packed all my supplies, including my ice cream machine, I could just tell that something was off.  I logged onto mta's website, which was of course down, so I couldn't tell if my train was running.  Then I went on the news channels and just saw pictures upon pictures people had taken of the snow, with no news about the trains.  So, I went the long way to the train and listened to what people were saying.  Sure enough, my train was not working.  So, over half an hour walk to the other nearest underground train.

Two hours later and with a pair of soaking socks and boots, and I arrived to work.  I was sure I would have to cancel the class because I was hearing that everything was running local and if my train still wasn't running by the time the class was over, I would have to walk through an unfamiliar neighborhood in the dark back home.  Ugh.  As it turned out though, by the time I finished at work, everything was running on time.  And, even though the ground was covered in snow and slush, it wasn't that cold outside and the plan was on to still make and eat vegan ice cream!

We made vanilla bean and cookies and cream ice creams:

Cookies and Creme Ice Cream Churning in Ice Cream Machine

The Finished Cookies and Creme Ice Cream!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Churning in the Ice Cream Machine

Yields 1 1/2 Quarts

2 cups raw cashews, soaked
2 cups young coconut flesh
1 cup coconut water
3/4 cup agave
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, deseeded
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1.  Prepare your ice cream machine.  It depends on what kind you have, but I have the Cuisinart where the bowl has to be frozen overnight prior to making the ice cream , so that is what I will be referring to here.
2.  Place all the ingredients except the coconut oil in the blender and process until completely smooth and no lumps remain.  This will take several minutes.  Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time.
3.  Melt the coconut oil on the stove.  Add to the ingredients in the blender.  Quickly incorporate the coconut oil - remember that if it touches ingredients that are colder than it, it will return to its solidified state.  Blend until the coconut oil is dispersed throughout the ingredients. 
4.  Place the mixture in a bowl and place the bowl in the freezer for half an hour to an hour, or until the contents are very cold but not frozen.  Remove and set on the counter.
5.  Remove the frozen ice cream bowl from the freezer and place it on the base of the machine.  Place in the stirring stick.  Add the cold contents from the bowl and put the lid on top of the machine.  Turn the machine on and allow it to work its magic.  It will take between 10-15 minutes to freeze.  It will be somewhat like a soft serve ice cream.
6.  Remove the ice cream from the freezer bowl  and place in a clean bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours to overnight.
7.  Allow the ice cream to sit out for about 5 minutes to soften, then scoop and eat.  You can add peanuts, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, cherries - the possibilities are endless!  It was so good!



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