This week's ice cream post was motivated by a few different things. We have had a glorious summer thus far, with beautiful sunny days - and thankfully a bit of much needed rain in the last little while. I have always felt that ice cream pairs well with warm, sunny days and our recent acquisition of a new ice cream maker opened up a whole world of possibilities. We have been following a dairy free, plant based diet for the past 5 years, and I am excited to explore different flavour combinations this summer. We had an ice cream maker attachment for our stand mixer back in St John's, but the stand mixer didn't make the cut when we moved.
We are big fans of Cold Comfort Ice Cream in Fernwood, they offer several delicious dairy free options and I was thrilled to see Chocolate Panda Ice Cream on their menu a few weeks back. As much as I love wandering over there for a special treat on occasion, they shift their recipes around frequently and I couldn't guarantee being able to order the same flavour on our next visit. I was also quite excited at the prospect of coming up with my own DIY tea infused ice cream recipe, as I have never tried this technique before. I have mentioned how much I love Silk Road on many occasions, and their Chocolate Panda tea pairs beautifully with coconut in this recipe.
I was also very inspired to try an ice cream recipe after reading Sondi Bruner's recent Ice Cream Friday posts. Sondi is a Vancouver based freelance writer and Holistic Nutritionist whom I had the pleasure of meeting through Meghan Telpner and the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Her recipes are delicious, and healthy to boot! I can't wait to try her Vegan Dolce de Leche recipe from a few weeks back, and am also keen to try the Fermented Chocolate Ice Cream recipe she posted earlier today.
Here is my take on Cold Comfort's Chocolate Panda Coconut Ice Cream, feel free to play around with the recipe to your heart's content:
Chocolate Panda Tea Infused Coconut Ice Cream
2 cans full fat coconut cream*
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chocolate panda tea blend
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
* I love Earth's Choice organic coconut milk and cream because in addition to being organic, they use BPA free cans and don't contain any additives. Many of the recipes I looked at online and in ice cream books used a combination of coconut and nut milk, so feel free to experiment and see what variations you can come up with!
Whisk coconut cream and maple syrup over medium heat until it reaches a light boil and maple syrup is fully incorporated. Remove from heat, add Chocolate Panda loose leaf tea and vanilla bean powder and let steep for half an hour. Strain the ice cream mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer, and let chill in the fridge overnight.
Remove from the fridge once fully chilled, processing in a blender if any of the mixture has solidified (I found this necessary when using coconut cream, and also found it much easier to pour the ice cream mix into the ice cream maker using the Vitamix container!) Process according to manufacturer instructions (we have a Cuisinart ICE-21C and I found it took about 20 minutes).
You will end up with a soft serve consistency at this point; if this is your texture preference then dig in - otherwise you can transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container (I love these glass containers) and let it solidify further in the freezer.
I suggested using Chocolate Panda as that is one of our all time favourites, but this recipe would work well with London Fog or any other tea you happen to have on hand.
What are some of your favourite dairy free ice cream recipes for the summer?