Vegan Caramel Coconut Ice Cream

Vegan, Gluten Free
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I don’t know if anybody noticed this, but I’m extremely obsessed with ice cream. In the last 28 days, I have eaten ice cream at least once a day. Sometimes twice, and one time three and a half times. (I’m not proud.) When I was little my Mum once called me an Ice Cream Monster and said if I didn’t watch out I’d become obese. That was because I tried to eat an entire ice cream cake in two days, but still…so harsh!

Most of the time, I’ll admit it, I do buy ice cream by the giant tub. Sometimes gourmet tubs of Maggie Beer, most often whatever brand of mango sorbet is available and Blue Ribbon vanilla. I also buy gelato ridiculously often as well, sometimes by myself which I’m sure is some kind of social taboo.

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I do love making ice cream though! As you can see from the countless recipes on this blog. Highlights include banana bread flavoured frozen yogurt, Mango Frozen Yogurt, and the most epic of all vegan birthday ice cream cakes. All delicious and frozen by me, therefore slightly less guilt-inducing. What can I say, some people spend $4.00 on a coffee every day, I spend that on ice cream. And while we’re being 100% honest, I also spend that on coffee. Plus an extra 50c for soy milk 🙂

Recently I’ve been committing to an almost completely vegan diet, save the occasional egg when eating out. Because of this I have been having some MAJOR creamy ice cream withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms include irritation, yelling at passers-by and eating tub upon tub of mango sorbet. It was definitely time to make a coconut ice cream.

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I have major beef with ice cream recipes that don’t make ice cream, but instead make ice cream flavoured blocks. The whole point of an ice cream recipe is that it makes ice cream…which must be scoop-able immediately, not half an hour later after sitting it on the bench. When I want ice cream I don’t want it in half an hour, it’s usually a give-it-to-me now kind of deal. Otherwise call it a popsicle! Ok?!?!?!

But I do get it, it can be really hard to make a somewhat healthier ice cream recipe that doesn’t freeze too much. I usually add alcohol to sorbets (sorry children) to keep them soft. I didn’t want to add alcohol to coconut ice cream though, and my sister accidentally bought “coconut drink” instead of milk, which had way less fat and was in general way less awesome. But waste not want not right?! So I decided to experiment with the controversial ingredient of glucose syrup.

Controversial because it’s 90% glucose, made from refined starch, basically just terrible for you. But it does completely stop ice cream from freezing solid! It’s crazy. This recipe had almost no fat in it at all, just 2 tbsp of syrup. And days later it still scoops fine! The drawbacks are that the syrup is super super sweet, and I didn’t adjust the sugar enough to compensate. For me, who doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth (hah I know) it was almost too sweet to eat. So I’ve given instructions in the recipe for both with and without, you decide. Use the syrup if you want to make low-fat ice cream with light coconut milk, or just use honey if using full-fat and tell me how you go with that scooping. Or just eat it straight after you make it! Never a bad idea 😉 Have a great week guys!

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Caramel Coconut Ice Cream: Inspired by My Darling Lemon Thyme

1 litre full-fat coconut milk (2.2 cans)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
EITHER:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
OR:
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp glucose syrup

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Mix a few tbsp of the coconut milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. Put all of the other ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, whisking in the cornstarch mixture. Let the mixture come to the bowl, whisking constantly as it heats. (It’s important to reach this temperature or the floury flavour won’t cook off and it won’t thicken enough). Turn the heat off and pour through a sieve in to a bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cover the surface in plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. Chill overnight, then freeze in an ice cream maker following the manual’s instructions. If using glucose syrup, you may get away with not churning it although I haven’t tested this!

Optional: stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips, berries, caramel drops, chopped dates etc

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Vanilla Mango Frozen Yogurt

Gluten Free, optional Vegan and Refined Sugar Free

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 I hope you all had a Merry Christmas everyone! New Year is just around the corner and this is a super easy light dessert you can make in advance, for guests, or for you and you alone. I won’t judge.

I think I have a serious addiction to frozen yogurt. It started with lemon curd frozen yogurt, which was so rich and tangy I still dream about it sometimes. Then there was the berry and honey frozen yogurt, so sweet and refreshing. And the epic cinnamon and banana frozen yogurt! It seriously tasted like banana bread. I could not deal. But my favourite flavour by a million miles is todays recipe: mango frozen yogurt. My two loves combined in a beautiful marriage. 

I wondered whether or not I should post this recipe because it’s so damn simple and easy. I’m pretty sure a blind person with no hands could make this if pointed in the direction of the fridge. But I make it so often I realised it would be plain silly not to share it with the world. So go out there! Get some mangoes and full fat yogurt and get ready!

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I use mangoes because they’re my absolute favourite fruit in the world. And besides, the frozen yogurt in the photos was made with three mangoes out of thirty that had somehow entered our house with no purpose or reason…But you can substitute peaches or nectarines, berries or even banana. Just taste the fruit and adjust the sweetness accordingly. Look how yellow it is! I didn’t even adjust the saturation in these photos! Is that yellow or what?!?!

Now for the nerdy part. I sweetened my frozen yogurt with honey, which is a mixture of glucose and fructose sugars. Because of the levels of glucose, honey shares lots of properties with invert sugars (sugars that have been heated to the point that they remain in liquid form). Invert sugars don’t freeze solid, which is why lots of recipes call for glucose syrup in things like sorbet and icing. If you are one of those people that hates hard-freezing homemade ice cream and sorbet, you may want to add glucose syrup to your recipes. It’s a super high concentrated sugar so I don’t use it, but if you’re making something full of sugar anyway then I can appreciate the futility of also adding a natural sweetener like honey. Honey will contribute to a softer frozen yogurt, as will taking it out of the fridge 10 minutes before eating it, and chilling it thoroughly before churning. 

For glucose syrup, I’d start by adding about 25mls per litre and going from there. I’m not an expert in the matter at all! I haven’t even used it! But I’ve read recipes that suggest a ration like that with great success. Otherwise just leave it out and enjoy some naturally sweetened deliciousness with me! 

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 Vanilla Mango Frozen Yogurt:

3 very ripe medium mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks

650g (1.5 pounds, 23 ounces) natural full fat yogurt (or full-fat coya for vegan)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoons honey

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If your mango pieces are frozen, let them thaw or microwave on medium until they’re soft. Blend up your honey, vanilla and mangoes into a smooth puree. Either add your yogurt and blend until combined, or use the fruit puree to swirl through the yogurt, whichever you prefer. Chill the mixture thoroughly before freezing in an ice cream maker, depending on the machines instructions. Eat either straight away, or take out of the fridge a while before trying to scoop. Enjoy!!!

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Mango, Peach and Chocolate Sorbet Layer Cake

Vegan and Gluten Free

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Guys, come on. How epic is this cake! I made my own birthday cake! Before you start thinking “oh no, that’s really sad! The baker’s curse strikes again!” I was actually really excited to make my own cake. Making your own birthday cake equals making your idea of cake heaven. It means creating the most amazing and perfect combination that doesn’t have to please anyone but yourself. 

For me that equalled not even making a cake at all. Instead, I made an ice cream layer cake! Who wants to bother with fiddly layers and boring old cake flavours when instead you can just eat ice cream. Lets be serious here. Especially when the ice cream is home churned and made out  of three mind bogglingly good flavours.

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The bottom layer is of course mango. I know I’m overwhelming people with the mango…it’s getting ridiculous. Imagine if I had a follower that hated mangoes! They’ve probably unsubscribed until March. The good thing about this cake though is that you can kind of choose whatever flavours you like the best. The middle layer (my favourite layer) is chocolate sorbet, and the top layer is an amazingly refreshing peach and raspberry sorbet. 

This cake is similar to the chocolate, berry and cinnamon ice cream cake I made for my boyfriends birthday a while ago. Ever since making that cake I was just itching to make another one. It was so good! My dream would be to have a recipe list full of hundreds of different ice cream cake combinations with all the ice cream flavours of the land! 

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I didn’t bother making a base for the cake because whenever I’m eating ice cream cake, I always want less base more ice cream. AND IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! You could of course make the brownie base from the cinnamon and berry cake, or you could make a gluten free and vegan base like in this frozen lychee cheesecake. Just double the recipe so it’s enough for the larger tin. 

This cake is absolutely perfect for holiday season. It’s actually super easy. Especially if you aren’t as in to making ice cream as me, and instead just buy your three favourite flavours. It makes a lot of ice cream to feed a crowd with minimum effort. And it’s naturally vegan and gluten free! My idea of the perfect birthday cake 🙂 Hope you like it as much as me! Speaking of, I might go eat another slice right now…

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Mango, Peach and Chocolate Sorbet Layer Cake:

Mango Sorbet: loosely based on Serious Eats

3 medium mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks

150ml (2/3 cup) water

130g (1/2 cup) sugar

juice of 1 medium lime

2 tablespoons gin or white rum

Blend all the ingredients together thoroughly. Pour into a bowl, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled (at least 5 hours). Freeze in your ice cream machine according to instructions. 

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 Chocolate Sorbet: Recipe from David Lebovitz

170g (1 3/4 cups) dark chocolate

550ml (2 +1/3 cups) water split into 375 ml (1.5 cups) and 125ml (1/2 cup) bowls

200g (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar

75g (2/3 cup) cocoa powder

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk 375ml (1.5) cups of water with the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Bring to a boil and whisk frequently. Boil for about 1 minute until completely combined and glossy

Break up the chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Pour over the hot chocolate mixture and leave to melt. Stir together until completely incorporated, then stir in the rest of the water and the vanilla. Cool in the fridge over night then churn in ice cream machine. 

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Peach and Raspberry Sorbet: Recipe from Cookie and Kate

6 medium yellow peaches

150ml (1/2 cup) water

250g (1/2 pound, 9 ounces) raspberries, fresh or frozen

Cut up the peaches and place in a pot with the water. Put a lid on and gently simmer until the peaches are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar until combined. Mix in the raspberries and leave to cool. Blend well, and refrigerate for 8-10 hours until cold. Freeze according to manufacturers instructions. 

To assemble: Get a 23cm (9 inch) round springform pan and release the bottom. Slip a sheet of plastic wrap in between the bottom and the sides and secure in place, so that the plastic wrap is curled up around the outside of the tin and covers the bottom. Line the sides either with oil and baking paper, or more plastic wrap. Take out one sorbet and let if defrost until soft. Scoop into the tin and spread evenly. Freeze until hard. Repeat with the other layers, allowing a few hours inbetween to let each layer freeze solidly and prevent them bleeding together. Release the cake from the tin before serving and place a plate on top of the cake, before inverting it and peeling off the plastic. Place a large plate on the exposed base and flip it back over. Work fast so it doesn’t melt! Run a knife under boiling hot water in between slices to get a smooth finish. Eat it!!!

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Banana, Vanilla and Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free and Low Fat

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Guess what the temperature is. Just guess. It’s 31C! That’s 90F! Not that hot you protest? It’s only ten in the morning! Bluuugh. All I want to do today is join my dog lying down on the cool tiles, occasionally dipping my entire head and feet mournfully into my water bowl. Well I might leave the water bowl to him, but he is making it look so tempting. 

Having a desserts blog and living in Australia can make you feel very out of sync at times, especially at the change of seasons. Every picture in my blog roll is full of pumpkin spice cakes and fruit hand pies and donuts. People! What is with all the donuts! Five minutes ago you couldn’t turn around without being assaulted with a photo of a popsicle stick and now it seems deep-fried sugar encrusted cake is taking over the world? Well when I put it like that, it makes sense. It makes a lot of donutty sense actually. I keep picturing Homer Simpson drooling and saying “Mmmmm dooonuuuts”. 

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 Today was meant to be my first mango recipe of the summer. (My first mango recipe ever!) It was going to be a refreshing sorbet perfect for this stinky weather but…I ate all the mangos. Mangos are just one of those fruits that don’t need to be messed with to taste better. They’re not like apples, which literally transform when you bake them. They’re an entire meal in themselves. I feel bad even adding yogurt to cut up mango at breakfast time if it’s perfectly ripe and juicy. So I ate them all! And I’m sorry. I promise mango will soon adorn these walls very soon.

Instead the banana war continues. I mentioned recently the overload of bananas filling the freezer, numbered at the moment around twenty. That’s right. It’s gone up. Banana makes a great instant sorbet as lots of people know, especially if you add cocoa powder or chocolate chips! But I’ve never tried it in a frozen yogurt recipe before. 

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 To bring out the banana flavour and give some depth to the frozen yogurt I added some cinnamon and vanilla extract, as well as a scoop of honey. I wasn’t expecting much, not even enough to post about. You can’t really bake frozen bananas so I couldn’t caramelise them or anything fancy to ramp up the flavour.

But I was so wrong. One bite of this and I realised I should never underestimate the power of the banana again. It’s so creamy! Please, don’t be tempted to ruin this with super fat reduced yogurt, save that for your smoothies and instant banana froyo!  Low fat yogurt freezes as hard as a rock and tastes bland as well. I’ve talked about it when I made berry and honey frozen yogurt, and also lemon curd frozen yogurt. You can use 2%, just take it out of the freezer before you want to eat it and let it soften. Or eat it within two hours of putting it in the freezer. 

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 The best yogurt to use though is full fat natural yogurt. I really hate the way homemade ice creams and sorbets freeze so much harder than store-bought. I made a chocolate ice cream last week that was so amazingly soft even straight from the freezer because of a rich and silky custard base. But sorbets can be quite tricky!

I did some research this week and discovered that most store-bought ice creams and sorbets contain anti-freeze to keep them soft. Oh my gosh. It’s “green” antifreeze which is apparently ok for animals and humans, but seeing as no research has confirmed that yet…I think I’ll stick to homemade from now on. I did discover something hopeful though! On the back of the best mango sorbet tub ever the ingredients listed were water, sugar, fruit, the usual subjects, and…glucose syrup! None of the other ingredients looked like they might be there as a softener, could glucose syrup be the answer we’ve been looking for?!?!? This summer we will find out.

You can add more or less honey depending on your preferences with this recipe. Use spotty bananas that are fully ripe, but not those blackening bananas that should be saved for breads and muffins. If the bananas are too ripe their flavour will be really overpowering. Similar with the yogurt, try to find one with a medium flavour rather than super strong and tangy. Bananas actually have a tangy note to them if you’ve ever noticed and the yogurt can accentuate it in a strange way. 

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Banana, Vanilla and Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt:

500g (1 pound, 17.5 ounces, 2 cups) natural yogurt

300g (2-3 medium, 1 cup blended) bananas, frozen or fresh

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

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 Method:

Blend the bananas with the honey, vanilla and cinnamon until completely pureed. Slowly add in the yogurt, blending until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for as long as possible. Overnight is ideal. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions.

For no ice cream maker, never fear! Pour the mixture straight into the tub and put in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, take out and stir completely with a fork, breaking up any clumps. Do this until completely frozen. You can also do this by blending it a few times during the freezing process. For instant ice cream love, you can freeze it until just solid and eat it when it’s still creamy. 

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Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate and Berry Ice Cream Cake

Optional vegan

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I bloody loved Neapolitan ice cream when I was little. We always bought tubs when we went on summer holidays to the beach. By the end of the week there’d always be an empty hole in the middle where the chocolate had been, a half depleted strawberry and a barely touched vanilla. 

It’s funny remembering now because I don’t know why we always bought the Neapolitan tub for so many families and so many kids, when the only flavour anybody wanted was chocolate. Every time at the end of the week we’d have to throw out two or three containers of ice cream with only one third eaten. Why not just buy the plain chocolate? Were vanilla and strawberry ice creams somehow better for you?

I made this ice cream for my boyfriend’s birthday. And I just have to tell you, I’m not really bragging, but it’s the most incredibly amazing combination of ice creams in the entire world. My boyfriend is mildly lactose intolerant, but he loves ice cream and sorbet (and frozen yogurt, and milk…and cheese). I didn’t want to make three layers of cream-based ice creams and then have to watch him eat it and get sick, so two of the layers are sorbet! And the third is optionally vegan made with almond milk.

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The base is a rich brownie layer made from a Woman’s Weekly cheesecake brownie base recipe. You can sub in a natural nut and date base for a vegan option too. On top of this is a strawberry, raspberry and vanilla sorbet that is soo fresh and summery. The next layer is the richest dark chocolate sorbet in the world. Do you even have to ask where I got that recipe? Of course it’s David Lebovitz. I have never tasted a more delicious chocolate sorbet, even in a gelato shop, than this recipe. It’s so creamy considering there’s no milk! The real star of the show though, is the top layer. It was a little bit of a guess, informed by some reading here and there, but it was the most delicious ice cream flavour I’ve ever tried.

It’s basically a cinnamon ice, because there’s no custard involved. It sure freezes harder than ice cream but in an ice cream cake that’s a good thing, because by the time you come to cut it it’s soft and creamy. The two whole cinnamon sticks crushed in to the milk are so fragrant and really change this cake, so don’t leave out this flavour! Please!!!! A good tip for making homemade ice cream and using it for a cake, or just for plain eating- if you want it smooth and perfect consistency without the wait, just cut it up with a fork or knife and blend it for 30 seconds, return it to the freezer until ready to eat and enjoy smooth and creamy ice cream.

 Want to see some more great ice cream cake recipes?

If you want to construct a masterpiece from the ground up

For extra brownie layers

If the phrase “candied cocoa nibs” makes you drool

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 Cinnamon, Chocolate and Berry Ice Cream Cake:
Brownie base:Adapted from Women’s Weekly

120g (1 scant cup) dark chocolate, broken into chunks

100g (7 tbsp) butter, cut into chunks

200g (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

120g (1 cup) plain flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 23cm cake tin with baking paper, right up the sides of the pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, and stir to combine. Stir in the sugar and vanilla over a low heat and leave to cool. Sift the flour well. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract. Mix the eggs into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture, and then sift over the flour. Pour into tin and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until crispy on top. Allow to cool completely before adding any ice cream. 

OR: blend 1.5 cups walnuts with 1.5 cups medjool dates and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder for a raw and vegan base.

Strawberry and Raspberry Sorbet: Adapted from David Lebovitz

500g (around 3 cups, 1 pound) cut up strawberries

200g (1 cup) raspberries

150g 3/4 cup) sugar

1 tbs lemon juice

1.5 tsp vanilla paste

Cut up the berries and stir in all the ingredients. Leave to macerate for about an hour until all the sugar is dissolved. Chill for at least 8 hours and than freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions. Once frozen, spread in an even layer over the brownie base and put back in the freezer. IMG_5741Chocolate Sorbet: From David Lebovitz

170g (1 3/4 cups) dark chocolate

550ml (2 +1/3 cups) water split into 375 ml (1.5 cups) and 125ml (1/2 cup) bowls

200g (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar

75g (2/3 cup) cocoa powder

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk 375ml (1.5) cups of water with the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Bring to a boil and whisk frequently. Boil for about 1 minute until completely combined and glossy

Break up the chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Pour over the hot chocolate mixture and leave to melt. Stir together until completely incorporated, then stir in the rest of the water and the vanilla. Cool in the fridge over night then churn in ice cream machine. Spread in an even layer over the strawberry layer. 
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Cinnamon Sherbet:Guided by this recipe

 1 litre (1 + 1/3 quarts) full-fat almond or regular milk

150g (3/4 cup) sugar

2 cinnamon sticks, crushed

Heat the milk with the sugar and cinnamon until boiling. Leave to steep for about an hour. Strain out the cinnamon and chill for at least 8 hours. Freeze in ice cream machine and spread on the top layer. Freeze for at least 8 hours before cutting. 

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Berry and Lychee Vanilla Yogurt Cake (gluten and sugar free)

Gluten free and Refined Sugar Free

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Have you ever had a bite of something, and the smell or taste struck a memory really powerfully in your brain that you’d forgotten you’d ever had? This happens to me always in the strangest of reminders. Whenever I smell diesel and marigolds at the same time, my body physically relocates to New Dehli. Suddenly I see hundreds of colourful bodies carrying overflowing baskets of bright orange flowers on their backs, in between moving cars and spindly rickshaws and heavy, docile cows decorated in cloth. The smell of burning oil and fragrant spices and pollution comes back in waves and I’m left blinking, remembering images I’d seen and forgotten years ago when I was just a child.

It happens whenever I smell melted cheese and corn thins. I can hear faintly Ocean Girl playing on TV, and I can smell the earth and coffee scent that perfumed my Dad’s old house. Meaningless memories of my sister and I eating makeshift pizzas using corn crackers as bases and watching re-runs of the Simpsons, come creeping back to me.

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The same thing happened to me when I recently was eating a tub of froyo (don’t judge me! I may be mildly lactose intolerant and I may have limited funds but I will never stop eating froyo on a weekly basis!) and I ate a bite of the lychee topping. Suddenly I remembered the first dessert I ate as a child, tinned lychees with vanilla ice cream. Always with the red spoon. Always on the kitchen floor or under the table. I hadn’t thought of that dessert in years but after that bite I couldn’t get it out of my head. Out of that bite this cake was born.
In the centre, lychees are blended up with natural Greek yogurt and topped with a strawberry, raspberry, maple syrup and vanilla bean paste compote, then frozen until just set. It is so delicious! Like a tropical flavour bomb. Each layer has its own unique texture and there are so many flavours that somehow come together in the most perfect of ways. 

If you can’t tolerate sugar then it might be hard to find lychees that aren’t in sweetened syrup unless you can get fresh ones. The best thing to do would be to probably replace the lychees with something like banana or mango, that is sweet enough fresh by itself.IMG_5739

The topping is probably the best part, with the tangy raspberries softened by the maple syrup and the burst of vanilla paste. I used an entire teaspoon here because I got too excited, but the flavour spreads out over the entire cake so I don’t think I was being too generous.

Although the flavour profile here is a real winner, you could take this cake idea in so many different ways! There were so many different elements of inspiration for me but I will leave a few links to other alternative healthy cheesecakes that I have ogled at in the past few weeks:

For the classic baked lemon cheesecake

For something pretty and girly

For a vegan berry cheesecake 

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Berry and Lychee Vanilla Yogurt Cake: Inspired from here :
Crust:

300g (2 cups) dried organic apricots, soaked (if not organic, replace with dates)

185g (1.5 cups) walnuts

20g (1 tbsp) chia seeds

30g (1 heaped tbsp) desiccated coconut

45g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder

For the middle:

350g (1 + 3/4 cup or 1 tin)seeded lychees (if using tinned, drained)

500g (1 pound) natural Greek yogurt

250g (2 cups) mixed strawberries and raspberries

15 ml (1 tbsp) maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)

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 Soak the dried apricots for at least an hour before continuing. Note that normal dried apricots as opposed to organic are dried with sulphuric acid (the orange ones, not brown) and will be too sour. Replace with dates. In a blender blend all the ingredients for the crust. Line a 20cm pan with baking paper and press in the crust carefully with a spoon in an even base layer. Refrigerate until firm. 

For the middle, blend together the lychees and yogurt until combined. Pour over the chilled base. Refrigerate until slightly firm. Blend together the berries, maple syrup and vanilla and pour over the cake. Freeze overnight before serving. Remove from the freezer about half an hour before you want to eat it. 

To remove from the tin, place the tin in some warm water to loosen the sides before pushing out. Serve with fresh berries! 

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Strawberry, Blueberry and Honey Frozen Yogurt

Sugar Free, Low Fat, Gluten Free

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THIS IS THE BEST FROYO I’VE EVER HAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!! JEEPERS CREEPERS

These were the words I roared when I ate a bowl of this frozen yogurt for the first time last night. I was literally overwhelmed by its deliciousness. For four days now the weather has been sunny and strawberries have been everywhere. You could almost pretend it’s Spring! It’s the middle of holidays and in typical holiday style I’ve been waking up at eleven, and doing practically nothing until about 6 when I finally get dressed and motivated to face the night and go out. Making frozen yoghurt seemed like a good productive idea yesterday morning when I finally managed to get out of bed. 

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 I forgot when I started that you have to wait for the whole thing to chill though! And then for the ice cream machine to finish churning! Talk about life’s challenges. After dinner when it was finally churned and fresh from the machine I took a bite of this frozen yogurt and the angels sang. It tasted so strongly of berries and fresh honey like no froyo that had ever come before. I think it might be because of the sheer multitude of berries used, or maybe the lack of sugar to distract from the flavours? A good quality yogurt is an important factor as well. IMG_5169

This is a really simple idea. It’s basically just a berry syrup mixed with yoghurt that is frozen in an ice cream machine. There are a few factors that make or break frozen yogurt. It can be very disappointing when expecting to find a smooth, ice cream-like scoop and instead finding a solid block of fruit flavoured ice. First important thing to remember is the water content. The more water in the mix, the harder it will freeze. So with berries and other juicy fruits, don’t cook them in much water. Fruit creates its own moisture so it only needs a splash to stop it sticking from the pot. Cooking it until some of the water is evaporated will create smoother froyo. Second, the yogurt. The lower the fat content, the more water they add. So full fat will be creamier and softer, whilst no fat will be very hard and icy. 2% is a happy medium but now that you’re warned, you can make your own choices. Third, any home made frozen dessert will freeze harder because of the lack of chemicals and softening agents, which is a good thing. Remember to take it out of the fridge 10-30 minutes before you want it. Ice cream in ice cream shops is kept under the glass at a much higher temperature than your average freezer, that’s why it scoops perfectly every time!

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 Berry and Honey Frozen Yogurt:

700g (1.5 pounds, 24.5 ounces) cut up strawberries and blueberries (or raspberries, blackberries, mulberries etc)

2 big tablespoons of runny honey

squeeze of lime juice

900g (2 pounds, 32 ounces) 2% natural or Greek unsweetened yogurt

 Put your berries, lemon or lime juice and honey in a blender and pulse until smooth. Cook over a low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Use a sieve to strain out the fruit pulp into a bowl and continue to cook the fruit syrup until thick. Skim off any white foam that forms on the top. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, then stir into the yogurt. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to instructions. Alternatively, put in a tub and freeze for 1 hour. Take out, smash up with a fork and blend until smooth. Freeze for 1 hour and repeat process until the frozen yogurt freezes smoothly. Tastes best half an hour frozen after being churned, with a few extra berries on top. 

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