Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home-Made Ice Cream, Anyone?

At 111 in the shade, fantasies turn to frozen concoctions. 

I crossed a bunch of stuff off my to do list.  Don't you think I deserve a reward?  Something stupendous like home-made ice cream?

Of course, I feel so guilty about eating ice cream, so I am constantly experimenting around with healthier versions.  Preferably sugar-free.  My favorite so far is a grapefruit granache made from fresh grapefruits picked off the tree outside Jean's front door.  Perfection.

Some of my other experiments haven't been so successful.   Too frequently, my fat-free, sugar-free outcome is ice cream frozen so solid that it has to be hacked out of the ice cream maker.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

I like things simple.  But today I risked one of those over-the-top Ben & Jerry type things with potentially too many flavors.  To counter the rich ingredients, I went light on the sweetener. 

First, I need to acknowledge Alison at Wholesome Goodness Blog, whose proportion of liquid to solids, etc, I decided to mimic.  The simplicity of her recipe for Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream gave me courage.

Second, the recipes in David Lebovitz' "The Perfect Scoop" sit unused on Jean's kitchen bookshelf.  I can't make his stuff because the word "diet" is not in his vocabulary.  But his clear explanations about the physics of ice cream-making mean the difference between a batch eaten or tossed.  I lifted Lebovitz' suggestion to add alcohol to the ice cream to keep it from over-freezing.  Upon occasion, I've been forced to take any handy instrument remotely resembling a pick axe to a frozen solid mound of inedible iceberg.  Way too much work.

Finally, I used organic ingredients.  Blue Diamond's Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk.  Trader Joe's Organic 73% Cacao  Super Dark Chocolate (3.5 oz).  Let's Do Organic's Unsweetened Organic Coconut Flakes.  Whole Foods' Organic Stevia. 

Oh wait.  The Kaluah is neither sugar-free nor organic.  So sue me.  When Kaluah offers an organic, sugar-free version, I'll be the first to get on it.

Kaluah Dark Chocolate Chunk Coconut Flake Ice Cream

Wack your organic chocolate bar across the edge of a counter, to break it in half.  Carefully unwrap one end of the bar, pull half the chocolate out, give in to the urge to bite into it, then put the remainder into the fridge for another day.

Tuck the open end of the chocolate wrapper snuggly under the bar to keep chocolate pieces from flying during the next step.  With a mallot or a rolling pin, pummel the chocolate bar into submission, or into lots of smashed chunks of chocolate, whichever occurs first.  Dump the slivers into a small bowl.  Add a handful of the organic coconut flakes to the bowl.  This is obviously a "to taste" recipe.  Set these yummies aside.

In a 32 ounce measuring glass, add 3 tablespoons of Kaluah and 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract.

Fill the measuring glass to 28 ounces with very cold (refrigerated), unsweetened almond milk.  Depending on your brand of Stevia, add the equivilent of four teaspoons.  Use a wisk to stir this mixture really well.

This is it for culinary skill, folks, really.  The rest is pretty much up to your ice cream maker. 

Mine has a container that sits in the freezer at ready, taking up shelf space, awaiting inspiration.  Pour the liquid mixture into your ice cream maker and follow directions. 

As soon as your ice cream maker is going, set your kitchen timer to five minutes.  You're waiting for the ice cream solidify somewhat before adding the chocolate and coconut.  If you add them now, they will sink to the bottom of the mixture. 

Jean and I keep it pretty warm.  At 83 degrees in the house, I had to wait about ten minutes for enough body to test the coconut flakes.  When those didn't sink, I added the heavier chocolate chunks.  They didn't sink either.  Every couple of minutes, I added a bit more until there was none left to add. 

I never know when enough is enough, but eventually I stopped the machine and put the container back in the freezer to freeze up for a couple of hours. 

I tasted my ice cream at the soft serve stage, and it is delicious.  I am still waiting to find out whether the Kaluah will keep the mixture from freezing into a solid lump.  If you're in Phoenix, come on over and sample it with me!

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