“Oh, I see! That’s how it works,” I thought to myself as I reread the instructions for my new, pop-up popsicle molds for the umpteenth time. Popsicle molds should be simple, and they are, but somehow I hadn’t been comprehending the instructions to put the sticks on top of the molds, once they’d been filled. It took a demonstration for me to realize. How these molds work is that, after you’ve filled them, you put the sticks on top and once they’re frozen, you push it upwards to eat. I like it a lot better than the wooden stick in the centre – I don’t like accidentally biting the stick. I just cringe thinking about it.
My grandmother got them for me, the same day I got the ball whisk and also visited the public market for fresh fruit with the intention of making popsicles. When I was younger, I didn’t understand why popsicles were underlined in red by my spell checker (the auto-suggestion was for it to be capitalized) but now I know that it’s a trademarked word. Funny how this world works, eh?
Most of that fruit was eaten as is. With making these popsicles, I also diced a mango for the first time, just for fun. Thanks, Nigella. Fun fact: mango skins can be eaten! They’re edible. Mangoes have always been peeled in my house and the skin is thrown away. I like the flesh right under the skin, after it’s been peeled, and after tasting the skin of the mango, I realize that what I’ve been tasting is residual from the skin. Eating the mango flesh and skin makes for a whole new eating experience, it adds another layer and dimension to the sweetness of a mango. Now I want to try a green mango, after reading an article about it in Saveur.
When I was still in the early phases of this blog, I reviewed Purely Decadent’s coconut milk ice cream. It wasn’t my best review and I now also realize that I should have used my own picture – not the promotional one from the site (sigh).
Anyways, this entry revisits ice cream made with coconut milk, but, this time, of the homemade variety.
Although this coconut milk ice cream is not SCD legal due to the addition of chocolate, the coconut milk that I use is since it only has water, coconut, and citric acid. All the other ones have xanthum or guar gum, at minimum.
There is a difference, I’ve found, with the consistencies of coconut milk based on if it does or doesn’t have xanthum or guar gum in it. I once made the custard with coconut milk that had gum, and it was much thicker than it normally is when I’ve made it with the coconut milk without the gum. Plus, everyone who ate it, as rich as it normally is (again, with coconut milk without the gum), couldn’t finish the kind made with the coconut milk that had the gum.
The first batch I made of this ice cream was a half recipe, and taking a leaf out of Purely Decadent’s book, I used agave syrup. The ice cream used to be made with cane sugar but now the label lists agave. It does make for a smoother consistency and flavour.
I seriously need to get a proper ice cream scoop, and I think I should have filled the bowl more. (And look, no props! That's real ice cream and it's melting.)
Also, a tip about freezing: the first batch I froze overnight instead of the 2 hours suggested (it was late and around bedtime when I first made it). Next day, it was rock solid! It took hours to thaw in the fridge, and when it was completely thawed it reverted to pudding. So, unless your freezer’s temperature is controlled or something, please try to freeze it at least for only 2 hours.
Having said that, it must be my freezer or something because the sides always freeze first while the middle is still pudding/custard even after 2 hours, so it’s more like 2 1/2 to 3 hours in my case.
The original recipe specifies two 13.5-ounce tins of coconut milk, but the size I had was 14 ounces, so that’s what I used. I don’t think it makes a big difference, however.
4 egg yolks
About 1/3 to 2/3 cup agave syrup, plus more to taste if necessary
2 (14-fluid ounce) tins or 3 cups coconut milk
6 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat egg yolks with a whisk until pale, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in agave syrup and add coconut milk. Add cocoa powder, whisking until all the ingredients are fully mixed.
Transfer to a small or medium-sized pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. To test if done, it should coat the back of a spoon. It will be near a pudding-like consistency and thickness. Pour into a bowl, cooling slightly and add vanilla extract, (at this point, also add any extra agave syrup to taste if necessary) before covering and chilling in the fridge or freezer until cold.
Process in an ice cream maker for about 10 or 15 minutes, or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer into a container with a lid and freeze for 2 hours, or until firm. Serve and enjoy!
I didn’t make a video for this recipe, although I think I should. What’s your opinion? Vote!
Poll will close next Tuesday, March 13th, 2010. Poll closed! Thanks to everyone who participated!
Who’s looking forward to seeing Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland? I am! I’ve been looking forward to seeing it is since last year when the first promotional photos were released. Now, it’s only a matter of two days!
These instant “ice creams” are fruit-based and are dairy-free, the only ingredients are fruits, frozen or fresh or a combination thereof. The key ingredient is frozen banana. The banana must be frozen to act as a base and is what gives the “ice cream” its thick, smooth consistency, otherwise it will just be a smoothie. Whether the other fruit is fresh or frozen doesn’t matter. This is best done with a hand blender in a container. Once made, it’s best that this is eaten immediately! It shouldn’t be stored in the freezer for a prolonged period of time (unless under controlled temperatures), or for at least a very short duration (about 10-15 minutes); otherwise it hardens like regular melted ice cream hardens when refrozen. The sweetness of the “ice cream” is determined by how sweet the fruit is that’s used. You can use just fruit (no additional liquid), or use a small amount of almond, soy, or rice milk, or water. The instant “ice creams” pictured were made with only fruit, without any additional liquid.
Aside from these combinations, you may choose any fruit to go with the frozen banana. Use as much fruit as you like with the frozen banana. For the Red Queen instant “ice cream”, use frozen banana and strawberries; for “Absolutely Alice”, frozen banana and blueberries. A White Queen version could also be made by using just frozen banana.
Serves 1 to 2
Frozen banana chunks (1 banana) Fresh or frozen strawberries, in chunks or slices or fresh or frozen blueberries Almond, soy, or rice milk, or water (optional)
Put the frozen banana and berries in a container that is big and deep enough so that the hand blender doesn’t splatter. Add a small amount, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on amount of fruit, of almond, soy, rice milk, or water, if using. The milk or water should be below the fruit level, otherwise it will just be a milkshake.
Carefully blend the fruit with the hand blender until the banana chunks begin to break down and become a smooth, thick consistency. Blend until all the ingredients have turned into this consistency and there aren’t any lumps or chunks of fruit. It will be very thick.
Unplug hand blender and serve in bowls or small glasses. Eat immediately. Enjoy!