Mocha Toffee Crunch Vegan Ice Cream

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Happy summer! It’s past Solstice now, and alternates here between pouring rain and hot hot sunshine. Which is OK – Edmonton in the summertime is pretty nice. I must be adapting to the heat this year, as only a few times so far have I felt like I would melt if I didn’t watermelon or a popsicle or ice cream into me ASAP.

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If you only and up making ice cream rarely this summer, this flavour is definitely a good choice: cool chocolate perked up by a touch of coffee flavour, contrasting with bits of crunchy toffee.

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I’ve included a toffee recipe that results in a candy that may seem rather oily, as that acts as the candy’s “raincoat” and prevents it from softening or getting soggy when mixed in to the ice cream. It’s a nice mix of contrasts and a lovely treat on a hot (or cold!) day.

Mocha Toffee IceCream-1

Mocha Toffee Crunch Vegan Ice Cream

By Agent Minty.

Ingredients: 

Ice cream base:

  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1c white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk

Toffee Bits:

  • 1/3 cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 3 Tbsp Earth Balance or other hard margarine
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup
  • 1.5 tsp water

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together corn starch, brown sugar, cocoa, 1 cup white sugar, salt, and 2/3 cup of the almond milk in a large saucepan. Heat on medium.
  2. Mix the instant coffee with about 3 Tbs of the remaining almond milk. Add to mixture in saucepan.
  3. Keep stirring mixture until sugar is dissolved and it starts to simmer. Turn down heat to medium-low.
  4. Keep stirring while slowly adding remaining almond milk, then coconut milk.
  5. Cook mixture until slightly thickened and glossy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, and cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. after cooled slightly, refrigerate for at least three hours.
  7. Toast almonds in a ~350F oven for 2-5 minutes, until lightly golden, then remove to cool, and chop finely.
  8. Melt Earth Balance and oil in a small saucepan, then add sugar, syrup, water, and salt.
  9. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with aluminum foil and tossing chopped almonds onto an area approximately 12×12 inches.
  10. Stir syrup on medium heat until sugar starts to dissolve, then add a candy thermometer and cook, undisturbed, until the syrup reaches Hard Crack stage (300-309 Fahrenheit).
  11.  Give candy one quick stir with a spatula, then pour over the almonds on the cookie sheet. Use the spatula to sweep any extra almonds onto the toffee area. You will get a thin puddle of candy smaller than the cookie sheet itself.
  12. Allow the toffee to cool for at least one hour before breaking into slivers.
  13. Freeze ice cream base according to instructions for your ice cream machine. Add in toffee bits for the last minute of mixing.
  14. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze overnight before serving.
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Triple Cookie-Splosion Ice Cream

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Wow, it’s been hot around here. Sleeping with no sheets and wet hair to cool down, going through a litre of water on bike rides, running through the garden hose’s spray like a little kid kind of days.

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You know how they say not to grocery shop hungry? Well, you also shouldn’t bike home on a hot day past an Oreo McFlurry billboard. Two days in a row. Or you’ll start getting ideas. This delicious monster came about from my fantasizing while finishing my ride home.

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The ice cream base is your classic nostalgia white vanilla cream, but the three cookie types – oreos, peanut butter cookie dough, and spekuloos – balance it nicely and add enough crunch and chew to it. The spekuloos do double duty by also adding a mild bit of nutmeg-ish spice. Spekuloos are a Dutch crunchy store-bought cookie, also called windmill, Lotus, or Biscoff cookies. If you can’t find any, use store-bought gingersnaps. It’s important to use ones that are a bit “greasy”, as a low-fat or digestive cookie would go soggy in the ice cream.

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Unlike my previous recipe, this ice cream is not instantaneous – the cooked mixture needs to cool completely before freezing, and then the churned mixture should be frozen for several hours before scooping. However, it scoops beautifully straight out of the freezer, and has a wonderfully soft texture. It’s well worth the wait.

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Triple Cookie-Splosion Ice Cream

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

Ice cream base:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup almond milk, divided
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 Tbsp of alcohol (I chose half vodka and half amaretto)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cookie parts:

  • 3 large spekuloos cookies
  • 4 oreo cookies
  • 2 Tbsp margarine
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • pinch of salt, two pinches if peanut butter is unsalted.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped-up chocolate chips

Instructions:

Make ice cream base:

  1. Whisk together sugar, salt, coconut milk, and 1 1/2 cup almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once sugar has dissolved, bring to a medium simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together corn starch and 1/4 cup almond milk in a small cup.
  4. Pour corn starch mixture into simmering base, while whisking continuously.
  5. Rinse cup with remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk and pour into the base.
  6. Whisk continuously while bringing back to a simmer.
  7. Cook while whisking for two more minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and cool at boom temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  9. Stir in alcohol and vanilla.
  10. Transfer to a bowl or similar and cover surface of cream directly with plastic wrap.
  11. Refrigerate overnight or for at least three hours until completely cold.
  12. Transfer to your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Prepare add-ins:

  1. Chop up cookies into small bite-sized pieces (about 1 cm across) and place in the freezer to chill for a few minutes while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Cream together all remaining ingredients except flour and chocolate chips. I used a soup spoon in a small bowl.
  3. Stir in flour and then chocolate chips.
  4. Form cookie dough into finger-thick logs and place in refrigerator to chill while ice cream is mixing.
  5. Once ice cream base is frozen, plop approximately 1/5 of it into your storage container, and sprinkle with 1/5 of the chopped cookies. Tear off four or five short pieces of cookie dough and add on top.
  6. Continue filling container by alternating ice cream and cookies, gently mixing a few times with a butter knife to ensure filling is more randomly distributed here. I found I only used half of the cookie dough, but you may use more based on your preferences.
  7. Freeze for at least three hours before serving.

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Instant Gratification Strawberry Ice Cream

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Want some ice cream immediately? This recipe is great because as long as you have a freezer canister already frozen (I keep mine in the freezer at all times just in case), you can have ice cream from start to finish in about half an hour.

This recipe makes a strawberry ice cream pretty much identical to the stuff you’d find sold by the scoop at your local corner store – sweet, fruity, and bright pink. It uses the same type of secret ingredient that my tiger tail ice cream employed. One more ingredient note: if you don’t have a can of high fat coconut milk/cream waiting in the refrigerator, don’t worry. Just use the lower volume of almond milk to compensate for the extra water that will be in the can of coconut milk.

This is your sweet quick fix when it’s 30 degrees outside and all you want for dinner is ice cream. It’s made with staples most people already have in the fridge or pantry. And it comes out of the ice cream maker firm enough to eat right away. Now you have even fewer excuses to wait!

Instant Gratification Strawberry Ice Cream

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Makes about 3 cups of ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 can’s worth of coconut cream, watery portion drained off if you have chilled it beforehand.
  • 1 1/4 cups of almond milk, or 3/4 cup almond milk if the coconut milk was not separated.
  • 1/2 tsp strawberry Kool-Aid powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender in listed order. Blend on high until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer to the canister of your ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions.
  3. Ice cream should get quite firm within about 25 minutes.
  4. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

Citrus sherbet for summer

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Summer is really, truly here now! Sun and warm breezes, lots of cycling. Long enough days to stay up a little later and wake up a little earlier. Good times and sunshine call for a constant supply of frozen treats in this house, so I whipped up a batch of sherbet.

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Shebet is nice because it has the refreshing qualities of a fruity sorbet, but a richer taste because of the “milk” added to it. It’s still lighter and slightly icier than full-milk ice cream, so I feel like it justifies eating some every night after supper.

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This specific recipe departs from the usual orange sherbet to include notes of lime and grapefruit, preventing it from being too sweet or cloying. This scoops beautifully right out of the freezer without needing to be thawed at all – all the more reason to consume it often!

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Happy summer!

Citrus Sherbet

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red grapefruit
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 limes, or 1 lime + 1/4 cup bottled lime juice
  • 1 cup drained, tinned mandating orange segments
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup (like Rogers syrup or dark corn syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup almond milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Juice all of the citrus fruits.
  2. Shred the zest from: 1 orange, 1/2 lemon, 1/4 grapefruit, 1 lime.
  3. In a food processor or blender, puree canned orange segments and citrus zest.
  4. Combine juice, zest mixture, syrup, and sugar in a large saucepan.
  5. Stir mixture over medium heat until sugar and syrup are dissolved.
  6. Add coconut milk and 1/2 cup almond milk and bring to a low simmer.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk together 1/4 cup almond milk and corn starch.
  8. While juice mixture is simmering, add in corn starch mixture and stir until glossy and slightly thickened, about three minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.
  10. Stir in rum and vanilla, then store in fridge for at least two hours until completely cold.
  11. Freeze ice cream in your machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.

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Christmas Ice Cream – Candy Cane Crackle

Canadian readers will probably be familiar with President’s Choice Candy Cane ice cream. It came out in 1995 and was immediately my favourite ice cream ever. Rich vanilla ice cream with chunks of candy cane and ribbons of hard chocolate that crackled when you scooped some out. Our whole family looked forward to eating it for dessert in December. It underwent a redesign about five years ago and hasn’t been the same since – now the ice cream is minty, there are red and green globs of candy instead of broken candy canes, and the ice cream itself isn’t as rich. I don’t have a picture of the old version, but here’s what it looks like now:

PC brand - little red paperclip

I have tweaked the recipe over the past two years until it is as creamy and crackly as I remember. It is with pride that I’m sharing it with you now… hopefully it will be a Christmas favourite with your family, too!

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Christmas Crackle Ice Cream

The vanilla base is modified from the French Vanilla ice cream in Hannah Kaminsky’s Vegan a la Mode, but the rest of the ideas are my own. Note that this recipe makes a large batch of ice cream – lots to share!

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 Tbsp Bird’s custard powder (for whiter ice cream, use half custard powder and half corn starch)
  • 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • pinch salt
  • 1 can gold (high-fat) coconut milk, left in a cool place to separate
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla paste, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp vodka
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, or shortening
  • 6 Tbsp chocolate chips
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of crushed green and red candy canes (red only is fine, the addition of green is just prettier to me)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the custard powder and 1 cup of milk in a saucepan until thoroughly dissolved.
  2. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Slowly warm the mixture on low to medium heat, whisking the whole time.
  4. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring heat to medium.
  5. Add in remaining almond milk and salt.
  6. Stir until the mixture thickens.
  7. Meanwhile, scoop out fatty portion of coconut milk (should be 1 1/4 to 1 2/3 cups) and microwave for 30 seconds to soften.
  8. Once the mixture on the stove is the consistency of a light pudding, take off the heat.
  9. Stir in coconut milk and vanilla.
  10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  11. Add in vodka.
  12. Cool for at least two hours, stirring occasionally to break up the “skin” that forms.  If you forget to stir, just whiz the mixture for a few seconds with an immersion blender before freezing.IMG_2533
  13. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze until the ice cream is quite stiff.
  14. Meanwhile, melt together the chocolate chips and coconut oil
  15. Add the crushed candy canes and mix in the ice cream maker for only about one minute. Adding the candy canes too early will allow them to bleed – you’ll get grey ice cream!
  16. Scoop out about half a cup of ice cream, drizzle melted chocolate in thin strings on top. Aim for thin layers!IMG_2543
  17. Repeat until all of the ice cream is used up. You’ll have a little chocolate left over.
  18. Freeze for at least two hours.

Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

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Tiger Tail ice cream – Vegan Potluck 2013 contribution

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Hello Vegan Potluck visitors! It’s finally starting to warm up in Edmonton – last week we still had intermittent snow, but this week I could see a transformation across campus. People were wearing shorts and skirts, t-shirts and polos instead of jeans and sweaters. We have recently had several days with temperatures in the high twenties, and nothing’s better to complement a hot day than a scoop of cool ice cream.

Orange and black ice cream

Tiger Tail is a nostalgic flavour for me. I remember trying it for the first time when I was about six, when my family had walked to the corner store for ice cream cones. I liked the combination of tangy orange and interspersed with liquorice (yes, I was the kid that always liked black jelly beans).

Mrs Minty hadn’t had Tiger Tail ice cream in over a decade until we came up with this recipe together several months ago. This recipe uses my top-secret ingredient for intensely fruit-flavoured ice creams, icing, and cakes. Ready? It is…..

Kool-Aid Packet

OH YEAH!!!!

Yep. Kool-Aid. If you’re the kind of person who abhors artificial colours and flavours, this ice cream probably isn’t for you. I originally tried to make an ice cream base using orange juice instead, and it just doesn’t take like the commercial stuff. Go ahead, double down and use the kool-aid powder, as well as the black food colouring in the liquorice ribbon. It tastes like childhood!

Tiger Tail Ice Cream – Original recipe by Agent Minty

It requires about half an hour of work the night before you intend to freeze the ice cream, and I would advise making the two components sequentially, or having a partner help you – both the caramel and “milk” bases need to be stirred at about the same time.

Milk base

  • 3 cups of almond milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c corn starch
  • 1 398-mL can old premium coconut milk, shaken, minus 1/2 cup (so ~1 cup +1 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp-2 tsp orange Kool-Aid powder
  1. Combine the sugar and 1 1/2 cups of almond milk in a large saucepan. Heat on medium until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup of almond milk and the corn starch in a small bowl, whisking until all the lumps are dispersed.
  3. Once the sugar/milk mixture has come to a boil, turn the heat  down to keep it at a simmer.
  4. Add the cornstarch/milk mixture, whisking vigorously.
  5. Cook, still stirring, until it reaches the consistency of a light pudding/custard.
  6. Add the remaining almond and coconut milks, whisking continuously.
  7. Once the mixture has started to lightly simmer again, remove it from the heat.
  8. Add in the vanilla, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  9. Add the Kool-Aid powder. I found that  1 1/4 tsp gave me a good flavour and colour, but if you need something that’s violently coloured, add more. Taste the mixture as you go, to make sure it is satisfactory.From this....                                          into this!
  10. Strain the hot mixture through a mesh sieve (to remove any corn starch lumps).
  11. Refrigerate overnight or until cold to the touch.
  12. Freeze the base according to your ice-cream maker’s directions. If this is your first time making ice cream, don’t get distressed if the mixture is about the consistency of soft serve ice cream. That’s normal, and it will harden up in the freezer.

    This is ready to freeze.

    This is ready to freeze.

  13. Layer with the liquorice ribbon as described below.

Liquorice ribbon

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (reserved from the can used for the milk base)
  • 1 Tbsp anise extract
  • Black paste-style food colouring
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Cook at medium-high without stirring. The sugar will dissolve in the water. and begin to boil.

    The syrup is boiling. Do not stir!

    The syrup is boiling. Do not stir!

  3. The clear sugar syrup will begin to heat up (warning: this is very hot can will burn if you touch it!). Allow it to cook undisturbed until it starts to become a light amber colour.
  4. Swirl the pot gently, without stirring, until it becomes a dark caramel colour (think the colour of a Werther’s, or dark brown sugar).
  5. Combine the anise extract and milk.
  6. Add the anise milk to the syrup. This will splatter a bit!
  7. Stir virgorously until smooth.
  8. Scrape out a small lump of black food colouring (I used about 1/3 of 1/8 tsp). Stir into the hot caramel. This may take a while to disperse.
  9. Stir in the molasses.
  10. Store in a fridge overnight.
  11. Before combining with the milk base, leave out for a few hours or microwave on low power until the caramel is room temperature.

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Layering the ice cream

  1. Use a plastic container to store your ice cream. You will need once with a volume of at least 1.5 litres.
  2. Scoop out approximately 1/5 of your just-frozen ice cream into the container. Smooth it out on an angle.
  3. Drizzle 1/4 of your liquorice caramel on top.
  4. Add another layer of ice cream and more caramel, repeating until both are gone. This doesn’t have to be perfect.
  5. Cover your ice cream with plastic wrap and gently press down to unite all the layers.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before scooping, preferably overnight.

Thanks for stopping by as part of the Virtual Vegan Potluck! Enjoy every taste of the upcoming summer!

Orange and black ice cream

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