Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

The Reason:

Well, first off, do you really need a reason to make ice cream? I don’t. But I guess if I had to have a reason, just having a nice sunny day seemed reason enough.

The Journey:

Sara heard a rumor that you could make ice cream without any cow’s milk, so we wanted to give it a try. Instead of milk, you use coconut milk, which we happen to have around the house for various reasons.

We have a human-powered “ice cream ball” that can be used to make ice cream without the use of electricity. Basically, instead of having a motor-driven paddle which mixes the ice cream, you have to do the rolling/shaking/what have you yourself. We bought it thinking that we could take it camping with us and make ice cream around the campfire. However, that never actually came to pass, because usually when we are camping we are with a big group, so this little ball doesn’t really make enough ice cream.

For just our family, it makes just the right amount, and kids are a better source of energy than electricity anyway. It gives us an excuse to be outside on a nice day, followed by a nice cold treat.

The Verdict:

Excellent! I don’t think I’d want coconut ice cream every day, but it was a nice treat. The vanilla is an important part of it, since it tones down the coconut a little bit. This would be perfect to make when camping, because it is much easier to transfer canned coconut milk than regular cow’s milk that has to be refrigerated.

The Recipe:

Recipe from Go Dairy Free.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Stir the coconut milk and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the salt and vanilla and freeze in an electric or hand operated ice cream freezer.

Quick, call Cthulu, we’re going for ice cream!

If you’re not doing anything this Saturday, why not check out the H.P. Lovecraft Memorial and Ice Cream Social. (Get it? Irony.) And the coolest part? It’s right in my neighborhood. Here are the particulars:

Start: 08/22/2009 2:00 pm

Location: 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

The stars are right for the return of the H.P. Lovecraft Memorial Ice Cream Social! Hear tales of unspeakable horror, see (and possibly win) forbidden tomes and strange artifacts, and partake of frozen confections colder than the howling void!

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend, but H.P. Lovecraft is one of my all time favorites and can’t be beat for sheer creepiness. So if you’re in the neighborhood, why not stop in and have some ice cream in celebration?

You scream, I scream, we all scream for iCream

Over the weekend, we went to a new ice cream shop, or should I say iCream shop. We heard about this place because the person who started it is a University of Chicago grad and they did it as a senior project.

What they do is make the ice cream while you wait, instantly freezing it with liquid nitrogen. Aside from making some awesome science fiction fog, the advantage of this is that they don’t have to make every possible flavor ahead of time. So you can make any flavor, any color, any type of ice cream that they offer, which makes for a near infinite amount of possibilities.

For example, let’s say you are big fan of frozen yogurt. When you go to an ice cream place, they maybe only have one or two choices that are frozen yogurt because frozen yogurt is not that popular; so they don’t want to make a bunch of mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt, only to have to throw it out later. So you are sort of constrained to what they have, which may only be vanilla and chocolate. But this place doesn’t need to make it up ahead of time, which means you can get whatever flavor you want.

I went with almond flavored low-fat frozen yogurt with heath bar and nutella mixed in. It was delicious! I think Sara had almond organic ice cream with peanut butter and banana mixed in. Nobody was disappointed.

The downsides are that it was a little on the expensive side and also the service wasn’t super fast…they do have to make the ice cream. It wasn’t a problem on the cool-ish day we went, but in the height of summer with a huge line of people, I could see how it would be a problem.

But if you find yourself on the North Side, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend iCream!