Does coconut sound familiar to you? to my knowledge , It does for people who live in a tropical country such as South East Asia and some part of Africa. Probably in Hawaii and Caribbean they use coconut a lot too. As for Malaysians, we are grown up with coconut milk , everyday.. ok , I am exaggerating . Not daily but it is “all time available” in the kitchen and we still using it today.
Nowadays, I see Vegans in America and Canada..(I am sure from any other countries too ) use coconut milk a lot for milk alternative in their cooking. This is especially to achieve rich creamy and flavorful dishes as they can get from dairy products/foods.
Ok, I am not a coconut expert so enough about it. What I am about to share you is coconut ice cream that I actually whimped out to even experiment with. Alhamdulillah, I did. I was inspired by a friend , can I just say she is like a sister to me who very much loves ice cream for it’s richness . Let me make it clear, she is not very much into dessert but ice cream.. definitely the only. And recently she can’t tolerate anything dairy for some reason ( let me ask her if she’s ok to say it out loud here, ok I decided not to) . As she mentioned about ice cream made from rice milk, my first impression was not so creamy and more on sorbet-y side.. am I right ? correct me If I am not!
I then raced home and did some research about other milk alternative for ice cream.. something came up in my mind.. what about giving coconut milk a chance! Did some research again, I found a lot for coconut ice cream recipe but for allergy free just seemed impossible. I decided to experiment myself BUT referring from several sources from dairy to vegan. I finally made homemade ice cream that is especially allergy-free ( if you can eat coconut ) and you will never ever miss dairy ice cream.. again!Thanks a bunch to them for their helpful tips about making ice cream , I will try to update the links I referred to InsyaAllah Please stay tuned! And thanks a zillion to her also for the inspiration that leads me to this.
And for those out there , don’t be afraid to try this recipe.
Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
1 ½ Cups coconut milk (See Notes)
½ Tsp. agar-agar powder (See Notes)
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 Cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. apricot preserve ( See Notes)
1 Tbsp. tapioca starch ( See Notes)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tsp. lime juice
1 - In a small pot or sauce pan , combine 1 cup of coconut milk , agar-agar powder and salt. Allow to sit, covered on your countertop.
2 – Cook over medium-low heat until agar-agar is completely dissolved, keep stirring to avoid lumps and burn on the bottom of the pot.
3 – When the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat to low. Stir in white sugar, apricot preserve and continue stirring until the sugar dissolved. At this point, the mixture should be thick ( not too thick) .
4 – If everything (sugar and agar) is completely dissolved, ( the key to determine whether it’s dissolved or not; spoon just a little bit of the mixture with a metal spoon or rubber spatula , when you can still see bits of agar then it’s not ready yet.. keep stirring.)
5 – If everything is all dissolved, remove from the heat and immediately, pour the mixture in a deep shallow bowl. Using a hand blender ( immersion blender) , blend thoroughly to achieve smooth and silky mixture. (this process is to making sure that bits from apricot preserve and agar are perfectly blended.) – if you don’t have immersion blender, regular blender or food processor works well too.
6 – Now, while it’s still warm you can start adding tapioca starch bit by bit. Again use immersion blender / blender/ food processor to bring them all together. Let the the mixture sit at room temperature until it start to firm up and then refrigerate until solid and chilled.
7 – Again, blend again with your blender until smooth and velvety. Slowly pour the remaining coconut milk, coconut oil and lime juice until well mixed. ( See Notes)
8 – Chilled again for 20-30 minutes (for best result chilled overnight) so the ingredients can get to know each other. When it’s ready, pour in ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer instruction. Churn for 20 – 30 minutes, pour in air tight container and allow to freeze for 20 minutes before served.
If you are not using ice cream machine, beat with heavy duty electric mixer for at least 10 minutes on high speed until it fluff up. Place in the freezer for 60 minutes to allow chilling and repeat the same process for 3-4 times. I know it sounds a lot of work but it worth the effort, insyaAllah.
Notes Of The Day:
1 - Please please please use full fat coconut milk, it won’t work if using lite coconut milk.. you will not get that creamy velvety ice cream. Shake the can first before using.
2 - If agar-agar powder isn’t available in your kitchen, use agar flakes BUT the amount used will definitely change, instead of 1/2 Tsp. try 1 1/2 Tsp of agar flakes but I can’t really vouch that.
3 - For tapioca starch, you can sub with cornstarch or xanthan gum since it helps thickening and avoid crystallization for frozen dessert.
4 - In step 7 , you can add your own variation by adding frozen fruits such as banana, raspberry, strawberry and etc. I tried banana and it turned out great.. alhamdulillah.
5 - Oh before I forgot, adding apricot preserve actually enhances the flavor and also helps from crystallization when freezing.