If chocolate milk is the perfect recovery food for endurance sports, well then, ice cream is basically the same thing, right? I used to polish of a pint after a bike race, following my friend Meghan's proclamation "one container, one serving!" These days, I'm not burning thousands of calories in an afternoon, so I'm a bit more conservative with my ice cream consumption. But I have such a weakness for frozen treats...
Lately, I've been playing with recipes for coconut milk ice cream. I don't believe in making foods that are "good for being vegan"–they should be excellent on their own terms. This is. I don't know about the restorative properties of coconut milk, but I might have to take up bike racing again so I can eat this ice cream by the bucketful.
Don't have an ice cream maker?
This recipe also makes great fudge pops. Pour it into ice pop molds; or freeze it in little cups with a spoon as a handle.
Tapioca starch smooths out the ice cream for a thick and creamy mouth-feel by helping to prevent ice crystals. Sugar keeps the ice cream from freezing rock hard, so beware of the temptation to reduce the sugar. Corn syrup also contributes to the silky texture and not-too-sweet taste. I know the stuff has a bad rap, but the corn syrup you buy at a grocery store is not necessarily high-fructose (the kind that is likely bad for you), so check the label. Plain old (not high-fructose) corn syrup is less sweet tasting than sugar.
Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream
- 2 cans coconut milk (not light or low fat)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons corn syrup (not high-fructose)
- pinch salt
- 4 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch (available at Asian grocery stores)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Pour 1 1/2 cans of coconut milk into a saucepan, and the remaining 1/2 can into a large mixing bowl. Set the mixing bowl aside. Add the sugar, corn syrup, salt and chocolate to the saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the tapioca starch into the 1/2 cup of coconut milk in the mixing bowl. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of the warmed coconut milk, then gradually mix in the rest.
3. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until it thickens. When it coats a spoon, and a finger swiped across the back of the spoon leaves a trail, your pudding is ready to become ice cream.
4. Chill the mixture before churning. If you are patient, you can put it in the refrigerator overight, if you are impatient, you can cool it immediately in an ice bath. Fill a big bowl with lots of ice and enough water that the ice moves around easily. Return the pudding to the mixing bowl, and nestle it in the ice water. Whisk the mixture over the ice bath until it feels cool to the touch.
5. Churn the pudding in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Eat immediately as soft serve, or freeze for a few hour to make a firm ice cream.
if you would like to omit the corn syrup, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup . Tapioca starch can be found in Asian grocery stores: a common brand comes in a little white bag with green writing and elephants on it.