Calling all ice cream fiends! (myself included.)
I was lamenting this fact to John recently when he suggested I try another recipe that’s dairy-free but without coconut. One milk that’s never done me wrong is almond milk, so I knew that would replace my half and half . And to keep it thick and creamy, I knew I would need a more traditional ice cream base.
To the drawing board I went.
This ice cream recipe is dairy free, however, not vegan. I understand it’s not for everybody, but for those of us who are are OK with eating eggs but can’t have dairy, this is the recipe for you.
I started with an egg yolk and sugar base. Look how creamy it got!
Alton Brown taught me that I should look for the “ribbon effect” while whisking. I think I achieved that, eh?
Next I whisked the almond milk and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat, tempered the eggs, and mixed it all together with a touch of xanthan gum for extra thickness and a hint of vanilla for more complex flavor. Into the ice cream maker it went and I got super stoked when I sampled a bite and it tasted dreamy. After a few hours in the freezer, it somehow got even better.
This ice cream is thick, creamy, sweet and satisfying, even though it doesn’t have that stereotypical “creaminess” that comes from full-fat whipping cream. That’s the kind of thickness that pains my stomach anyway, so I’m OK with a different kind of luxurious (as long as I’m getting my ice cream fix).
This first experiment was a total success, so I I can’t wait to try even more flavors and mix-ins.
- 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup quality, unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Dutch process)
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, for thickening
- 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Add cocoa powder and half of the almond milk to saucepan over medium heat and whisk vigorously to combine. Add remaining almond milk and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat after 2-3 minutes.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar in small increments while whisking vigorously so the two emulsify. You'll know you're done when it's thick and you achieve a ribboning effect - the mixture will form a ribbon when held from the whisk over the bowl (see picture).
- Next, scoop in roughly 1/3 cup of the warm chocolate-almond milk mixture and whisk to combine, in order to temper the eggs. Add remaining liquid slowly and mix until completely combined.
- Add xanthan gum to the mixture through a sifter and mix once more. This is not necessary, but will help the ice cream thicken.
- Lastly, add the vanilla extract and stir once more. Then cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6-8 hours until completely cooled. Don't forget to chill your ice cream maker canister overnight as well.
- Once chilled, pour the mixture into the pre-chilled ice cream container and prepare according to manufacturer's instructions. It should take 20-30 minutes.
- Either consume immediately as "soft serve" consistency, or freeze, covered for 6-8 hours in a freezer-safe container to harden. Let set out for 10-15 minutes before scooping.
*For those curious, this is the ice cream maker own (on Amazon).