Sunday, January 18, 2009
Vegan Mocha Ice Cream
Mocha is the wonderful marriage of chocolate and coffee, and this, my all-time favorite dessert, is the honeymoon I created for it.
I've seen several cream bases for vegan ice cream - cashews, soy, coconut, vegetable oil, and alcohol (it works by lowering the freezing point). Coconut cream is my favorite. It has a good flavor, a good texture, and keeps everything smooth.
Coconut cream is also the basis for the ice cream in Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's Veganomicon, my favorite cookbook. Their ice cream recipes are out of this world.
The measures of ingredients are those I use for a Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker I was lucky enough to find on closeout for under $15 awhile back. It requires freezing the bowl at least 24 hours ahead of time, so I just keep it in the freezer 24/7. If you have a 2-quart ice cream maker, you can probably just make up the difference with more soymilk. You'll also need a blender. Any cheap one will do.
1 c coconut cream *
12-ounce Silken tofu (e.g. Mori-Nu firm)
12 oz. chocolate soy milk
2 T cocoa powder
1 1/3 c sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1 -2 double shots (2 to 3 oz. each) of espresso, regular (preferably) or decaf **
* If you don't see unsweetened coconut cream for sale, then just refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight. The next day the cream will have risen to the top and slightly hardened so you can scoop it out with a spoon if you are VERY GENTLE when you remove it from the refrigerator and take off the top.
** IMPORTANT - By "espresso", I mean REAL espresso, not simply strong coffee produced by a small pot on your stove that is sometimes incorrectly called espresso. Also, it is not the strong coffee produced by a steam machine selling for about $50. It has to be an actual, minimum 9-bar pressure, pump driven espresso. If you don't have an espresso machine, go to a coffee shop and get a double-shot of espresso to go. It doesn't have to stay hot because, well, we're making ice cream for crying out loud! I use one double shot for a mild, underlying coffee flavor, but you can use two to make it stronger.
Blend all ingredients. The lowest speed is fine, but let it mix awhile because it's thick. Pour it into your ice cream maker as per the instructions for your machine.
After a day or so in the freezer, it may get very hard. Just microwave the whole batch for 30 seconds or so and it will soften up for scooping, although, like any ice cream, it will form ice crystals the more you do that.
Like any homemade ice cream, the best time to eat it is a few hours after the batch has gone into the freezer. By that time, it hasn't solidified completely, but it's also not the loose consistency it has right out of the machine.
VEGAN MOCHA ICE CREAM RATING - 10!