Hi, I’m not dead! Just being a baaad blogger. It has been like the nuttiest month ever. I’ve been so busy with work, and in between the work I keep getting sick, and now the babe is sick (poor dude). I even went to the hospital this week to get some tests done, but everything is looking normal so far. Who knows! My theory is that I have an ulcer, but I’m going to have to go see a GI doctor and all that super fun stuff. I can’t wait to get the bills in the mail this month. Slashnot.
Anyway, the good news is I finally perfected this ice cream recipe. I have made it no fewer than 4 times, tweaking it here and there since my husband’s birthday at the beginning of January. I wanted to make it softer, then less sweet, then more coffee-y, and then finally I added the caramel swirl. Because this caramel is the stuff of your vegan dreams. And you’ll have some leftover for using as a topping on pretty much everything. Yay!
My husband is a big coffee ice cream fan, though neither of us drink coffee on a regular basis. Since we went vegan back in November, I wasn’t sure what he would want for his birthday. Normally, it’d be pizza and ice cream, but without cheese and cream, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Except I totally did. Homemade vegan mozzarella, homemade seitan pepperoni, homemade crust. I know I’ve already written about it, but it was my first homemade pizza (Phillip has done it a thousand times), and it was the booomb. And then to follow up, I had this coffee ice cream. I mean, I don’t want to brag, but if there’s a best wife award being handed out…
I even have had the dignity to save him the last serving of this batch of the ice cream. And it has been in the freezer for like a week. Just staring at me. Testing my best-wifeliness. Phillip has a tendency to “save” desserts for a special moment. Whereas my special moment is like… it’s Tuesday night. So now that I’m finally feeling better I can hopefully get back in the kitchen and whip up an alternative dessert for myself!
- ½ cup basic cashew cream
- 4 tablespoons (60 grams) refined coconut oil
- 1 cup (200 grams) vegan granulated sugar*
- 1 tablespoon (20 grams) corn syrup (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
- 1½ cups (200 grams) whole raw cashews, soaked 2-4 hours and drained
- 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- ¾ cup strong coffee, chilled
- ⅓ cup (60 grams) grapeseed oil
- ¼ cup (80 grams) maple syrup
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) vegan granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, for stronger flavor)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Measure out your cashew cream and coconut oil and have them nearby. Add the sugar and corn syrup, if using, to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Move the sugar around with a heat proof spatula or a wooden spoon so that it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan. The sugar will form clumps, then melt into a liquid and begin to brown.
- Once all the sugar crystals have dissolved and the liquid is amber in color (or reaches 350°F on a candy thermometer), add the coconut oil and whisk vigorously until the oil is melted. It won’t quite come together and the oil will float above the sugar, but that’s perfectly fine! Remove the pan from the heat, and slowly pour in the cream, whisking with your other hand. Whisk until everything comes together and stops bubbling. You may need to return the pan to a low heat to melt any sugar that has seized up; just whisk it until it’s smooth.
- Pour the caramel sauce into a bowl to cool. (The more shallow the bowl, the faster it will cool!)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until very smooth and all the cashew pieces are broken down completely. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to fully chill it, as the blender will have heated it up a bit.
- Once the ice cream mixture is chilled, pour it into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer instructions. Meanwhile, chill a loaf pan in the freezer. Once the ice cream reaches a soft-serve consistency, spread about a third of the ice cream into the bottom of your chilled loaf pan. Drizzle a 2-3 tablespoons of caramel sauce on top. Repeat this process with the remaining ice cream and caramel (you will have some caramel sauce remaining). Press a sheet of parchment against the surface of the ice cream. Transfer the loaf pan to the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with the remaining caramel sauce, if you've got a rull bad sweet tooth.
- *I have successfully made this with organic evaporated cane juice that doesn’t use bone char processing. The result is a slightly grittier caramel, unless you process the sugar to a finer consistency before using it. But the caramel is still delicious! I’ll leave it up to you how much work you want to put into that part.