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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Chocolate, Blueberry and Banana Ice Cream Cake (raw and vegan!)

Raw, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free
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I’ve been eating ice cream cake and listening to this song on repeat all morning. Faded pajama pants, woolly socks, green tea and Thelma and Louise – one of those kind of mornings. It’s a beautiful day outside too. I can see the sunlight literally pouring through my window, catching the dust. I know I should go outside and do something productive, but it’s just one of those days.

One of those ice cream cake and woolly sock days.
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I’m one of those people that likes to be active literally all the time. I like to fill my days with work and nights with fun and fall into bed exhausted at the end of the week, drifting to sleep instantly.

I like to ignore the parts of life that are not so pleasant by distracting myself; by filling my life with “things.”

A few weeks ago something ended with a special someone, and instead of crying with Adele playing and eating ice cream by myself for a week, I just shoved my heart deep down inside and got on with life – more than that, poured myself in to each day so that was barely time to pause and think.
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As a tactic it actually did work quite well, for a while. Until I had one of those woolly sock days. And now I guess I feel a little…lost. Not sad, no. No regrets or anger. Just a little disconnected, drifting. So I’m eating ice cream cake. And listening to Bon Iver. And watching Thelma and Louise, which I personally think is possibly the best movie ever.

I think we all forget that sometimes, you need to eat ice cream and watch movies. It’s good for spiritual health, and for discovering which of your socks are the warmest and which are sneakily not very warm. This ice cream cake is so good, I keep squirrelling away slices to eat at every hour of the day and night. I couldn’t get a complete photo of it because I ate a slice in the middle of the night before it was even frozen!

The bottom is a rich and creamy avocado chocolate cinnamon ice cream, followed by a blueberry and coconut cream layer, followed by vanilla flecked banana. Soooo good! And you can sub in cashew cream for the coconut to make it completely raw and vegan! You can have your cake and eat the whole thing too 🙂

One Year Ago: Black Bean Avocado Fudge Brownies

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Chocolate, Blueberry and Banana Ice Cream Cake:
2 perfectly ripe avocados
4 tbsp raw cacao
4 tbsp maple syrup or soaked dates
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup either coconut yogurt, cream or cashew cream
2 tbsp maple syrup

2 frozen bananas
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp almond milk

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Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper, to make it easier to remove later. Blend together well the avocado, syrup or dates and almond milk. Blend in the cinnamon and spoon in to the ice cream tin. Smooth the surface and freeze for at least 20 minutes before pouring on the next layer.

Blend together the blueberries, coconut or cashew cream and maple syrup. Pour over the avocado chocolate layer and freeze for at least two hours.

Blend together the frozen bananas, milk and vanilla until creamy. Pour over the blueberry layer and freeze the whole cake for at least 4 hours before cutting and serving. Serves 8-10.
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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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Coconut and Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches (vegan, gluten and refined sugar free)

Vegan, Gluten and Refined Sugar Free
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Check out my new title! Isn’t it beautiful?! My amazing friend Lilli designed and drew it for me in exchange for some homemade cinnamon buns. She is an art student and anyone wanting some sweet web design, leave a comment below for contact details. She does portraits, Henna at Glebe Markets on occasion, paintings, sculptures and jewellery too, because being good at one or two things just isn’t enough for that girl. (Check out these buns omg….)
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You may have noticed I got rid of the ‘recipes from a home kitchen’ bit. Why you may wonder? Why the hell was it there in the first place is my question. “Recipes from a home kitchen”? What does that even mean? Where else would they be from?? Someone else’s kitchen? I don’t even remember what was going through my mind at the time when I wrote that but I think I just thought it sounded like something someone would have on their blog. 

Plain old “Sugar and Cinnamon” seems better I think. It’s funny that that’s the title and that’s what Lilli wanted as her number one dessert, sugar and cinnamon buns. Maybe after drawing and painting the words ten times she got a mad craving for some hot sugar and cinnamon pastry. I don’t know why I keep talking about the cinnamon buns because that’s not even what I’m posting about. I copied the recipe directly so it’s not like I could blog about it! (I got it from Poires au Chocolat and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave this blog and get your ass over there for some hot, buttery goodness). So instead I’m sharing with you the most delicious vegan, gluten, and refined sugar free ice cream sandwiches known to man. 

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The biscuits are awesome. If you’re gluten free, vegan, sugar intolerant, or if you LOVE COOKIES! Then you’ll love these biscuits. They taste so indulgent. They’re soft on the inside, crispy and super coconutty. There’s a lot of coconut action going on in there, with coconut butter, milk and flour, so it’s a good thing to like coconut before you get involved with these. 

I’m really unused to cooking with coconut products so I’m always pretty nervous before beginning. Especially when baking without eggs and gluten! But these cookies were so easy to make. And they’re easier to shape than chocolate chip cookies! What’s that about?!?!?! You can flatten them down if you want crispy cookies for crunching up over the ice cream, or you can leave them thicker for making sandwiches or eating with tea. They don’t spread too much so it’s up to you! 

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Now on to the ice cream. This ice cream is infused with an entire vanilla pod and seeds for an hour, giving it the most aromatic perfume and sweetness. There’s only three ingredients! So you really have no excuse not to make it. I used one can of coconut cream and one can of coconut milk, and it turned out creamy but still quite light tasting. You can use just milk (or just cream for all you gluttons) if you prefer, but don’t use “light” coconut milk because you’ll be left with a bland tasting coconut ice block. 

Coconut milk is a God-send for people that can’t eat regular dairy because it’s so creamy! Perfect for substituting in desserts, creams and ice creams. It’s also really good for you, despite what some people claim about the saturated fat content. Saturated fat is present in dairy cream and milk anyway so I’m not sure why people make coconut out as the devil’s food. 

You don’t have to use this ice cream just for sandwiches. There will be leftovers unless you double the cookies, and it’s delicious over tropical fruit, a crumble, or just on its own as well. If you’re like me and hate wastage, take out two tablespoons of the coconut milk before you make the ice cream and keep it for the biscuits, that way you won’t have to open another can. Remember to take it out of the freezer about half an hour before you want to eat it so it’s nice and soft! IMG_6346

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream: Adapted from GI 365

800ml (3 +1/4 cups) coconut milk (or half cream)

300ml (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) runny honey or maple syrup

1 vanilla pod, or two tsp vanilla extract

Pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and scrape in the vanilla seeds. Drop in the pod as well and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Once scalded, allow to cool completely and leave to infuse for at least an hour. 

Remove vanilla pod, dry and keep for another use. Chill the coconut mixture in the fridge overnight. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Leave in the freezer until the cookies are ready.

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Coconut Cookies: Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories

85g (1 cup) rolled oats

20g ( 1 tbsp) coconut flour

60g (4.5 tbsp) coconut butter, melted

40ml (3 tbsp) coconut milk

60ml (3 tbsp) runny honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Mix all the ingredients together well in a bowl. Spoon into 12 flattish mounds on tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. They’ll harden up more once out of the oven but remember, they’re quite crumbly, so don’t try and move them from the tray right away. 

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Assemblage:

Take the ice cream out of the freezer as you put the cookies in the oven, giving it time to soften. Once the cookies are out and cool enough to handle, take a spoon and get a good scoop of ice cream on it. Using a knife, transfer the ice cream to one cookie. Use the knife to flatten the top layer of ice cream and melt it so it’s a bit sticky. Place the second cookie on this prepared surface and squeeze together slightly so the cookies adheres to the ice cream. This method will ensure the cookie and ice cream are truly melded together. Place on baking paper in a cookie tin in the freezer, so that they don’t get flavoured by anything else in there at the same time. Eat within the month 🙂 IMG_6329

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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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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