This is a seriously delicious vegan Mexican chocolate ice cream. The (vegan) dulce de leche adds a richness and decadence to this ice cream that everyone will love, whether or not they’re vegan!
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Vegan Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
As summer starts to wind down to fall, I feel like I am reaching the end of Ice Cream Tuesdays. I have plenty more ice cream left in me, but I am pretty sure I will wind down the series for this year in another couple of weeks or so. Before I wrap things up, I wanted to make at least one more ice cream for my vegan friends.
And not some icy, consolation prize ice cream either. Creamy, rich, dense as “premium ice cream” and decidedly decadent. I actually got the idea from my friend Adrienne Urban from Whole New Mom. We follow each other on Google +, and she has been a huge supporter of Ice Cream Tuesday from the very beginning.
I have always appreciated Adrienne’s shares. She and her family follow a pretty restrictive diet due to some allergies and health concerns, but she is never one to not share something just because she might not be able to eat it in the form presented. She sees something she thinks looks good and then in her share, she explains the substitutions she would make to have it fit into her family’s way of eating. She is generous and kind and deserves delicious ice cream.
I asked her to give me flavor ideas since I knew I’d be making vegan ice cream this week, and she chose a spiced chocolate flavor. She also was interested in a chocolate ice cream that has pieces of Snickers Bars in it, but I wasn’t sure how to make that happen without using eggs. Still, I was able to make dulce de leche happen without using dairy, so there’s that.
I am by no means the first person to make a vegan dulce de leche, although I may be the first person to spice it up with cinnamon and cayenne. I used the base recipe I found on epicurious. This stuff is seriously good. Seriously. You could probably make an excellent dulce de leche ice cream by blending this sauce into some full fat coconut milk, now that I think about it. But as a sauce, it is pretty spectacular. It rivals any conventional caramel or dulce de leche I’ve ever had. The flavor is not exactly the same, of course, but it is excellent in its own right and is a more than acceptable substitute for folks who can’t/don’t eat dairy. The consistency of it is interesting, so be ready for that. It is very thick, but it has an almost elastic consistency to it. Almost like a yeast batter. I’m not sure where that consistency and stretch come from, but it was an unexpected surprise. Fun!
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For the Base
- 2 13.5 oz cans full fat coconut milk
- 11 oz (anywhere from 9-12oz, depending on your taste) coconut palm sugar
- 2 oz (or up to 3 oz) regular cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 oz vegan 60% chocolate, (or 4 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet vegan chocolate chips)
- 2 medium Haas avocados, very ripe and creamy
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
For the Swirl
- 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 6 oz coconut palm sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (or chipotle powder if you prefer some smokiness)
For the Almonds
- 3/4 cup whole smoked and salted almonds, coarsely chopped
- 2 oz demerara sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
For the Base
- In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, palm sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
- Heat until steaming, whisking all the while.
- Pour over the chocolate and whisk until evenly melted.
- Place the avocados (no pits, no peel, please) in your blender container.
- Add enough of the chocolate mixture just to cover and then blend to puree the avocado.
- Blend in the rest of the chocolate mixture and then add the cinnnamon and vanilla.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more sugar/salt/cinnamon if you think it needs it.
- Pour into a metal bowl and chill in an ice bath until no more than 40F.
For the Dulce de Leche (can be made the day before)
- Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the total volume is reduced to 12 oz (1 1/2 cups).
- Cool and then chill until ready to use.
For the Almonds
- Place the almonds, sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed skillet.
- Cook over medium high heat, stirring with a wooden spatula frequently, until the water evaporates and there are sandy sugar crystals clinging to the nuts.
- Spread onto Silpat to cool. Place in the freezer about 30 minutes before you need them.
Putting It All Together
- Churn the base in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Add the nuts when the ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency and churn for 1-2 minutes longer, or until the nuts are evenly distributed.
- Layer in some of the dulce de leche in the bottom of your container.
- Top with 1/2 of the ice cream base, spreading it out to cover the dulce.
- Top with additional dulce, then ice cream, dulce and the last of the ice cream. Smooth the top. You can drizzle in a bit more of the dulce on top.
- Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and freeze until firm, 4-6 hours or overnight.
- You will probably not use all the dulce de leche. Save it to put in coffee or to pour on top of your ice cream.
Adrienne and all my other vegan buddies out there, I really hope you enjoy this decadent treat. Yes, it’s vegan, but it isn’t “healthy vegan.” This is celebratory, dense, delicious, creamy, are-you-sure-this-is-vegan? vegan ice cream. Make some. Even if you’re not a vegan.
Other Delicious Ice Creams I Am Digging Right Now
- Dirty Girl Scout Ice Cream from Ashley of Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine
- Bailey’s Ice Cream with Bailey’s Caramel Sauce from Donna of Cookistry Guest posting at Cravings of a Lunatic
- Mango Lime Mojito Sorbet from The Weiser Kitchen
- (No-Churn) Raspberry Swirled Peach Ice Cream from Tonio of The Gunny Sack
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Since I’m almost to the end of this year’s Ice Cream Tuesday, let’s go out with an extended bang over the next couple of weeks. Any requests for over-the-top decadence? I will hook you up!
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Have a lovely day.