Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Cherry-Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream


Look at the colour of this.......... Isn't is amazing?

A couple of weeks back, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Aimee Ryan's book : Coconut Milk Ice Cream, which I won in a giveaway. Aimee blogs over at Wallflower Girl and has some fantastic recipes..... check her out!


My first make from the book was chocolate-hazelnut ice cream which I posted here. Having eaten that batch, it was time to make more!

I quite fancied the sound of the Rhubarb Almond Crumble flavour, but our rhubarb plant has been a little slow in getting going and it somehow felt 'wrong' to buy it from the shops. In the fridge, I still had some delicious cherries that came from my favourite orchard (Terry's Cherries in Faversham, Kent), so decided to adapt the recipe to use them instead of rhubarb. Aimee's recipe seemed the perfect starting point to 'play' with the ingredients, as I am not yet that confident to go it alone with coconut milk ice cream, although (like most food bloggers) I really struggle with leaving recipes as they are.


This ice cream is based on her Rhubarb Crumble recipe, but is blended with home-made cherry syrup and almond...... Cherry and almond compliment each other beautifully and are one of my favourite combinations.

Alongside the coconut (which is actually quite subtle), the flavour is fresh and vibrant on the tongue and speaks of warm summer nights, chilling in the garden, watching the stars. The ground almonds used in the mix, give the ice cream an unusual nutty, slightly grainy texture, which although a little unexpected, is not unpleasant. The maple syrup used to sweeten, adds natural caramel notes and gives the ice-cream depth and a much more wholesome, less sugary experience.


I am still amazed at how decadent ice cream made with coconut milk can be. Despite the nuttiness, this ice cream is still very creamy and dotted with tiny bites of fresh, sweet cherry. The top is sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds which add a delightful, contrasting crunch.

And the colour? Well........... It speaks for itself doesn't it?


For those of you who read my last ice cream post, you will know that I had some issues with scooping straight from the freezer. With this ice cream, I added the alcohol which Aimee suggests will help to keep the ice cream soft. Disaronno is an almond-based liqueur (one of my favourites), so seemed the ideal choice, adding to the luxuriousness of the ice cream. I still had a few issues with scooping, although there was definitely a slight improvement on the defrost time. The wait is well worth it! Perhaps I need to add more booze?............ such hardship!


I am sending this very vibrant ice cream over to Kavey Eats as my first ever entry into the Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream challenge. I have been wanting to enter this one for a while, but haven't quite got round to it. June's theme is favourite fruits, so this is a perfect debut offering!


Cherry-Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream (inspired by and adapted from Aimee Ryan's recipe for Rhubarb Almond Crumble Ice Cream)

Ingredients

300g fresh or frozen dark cherries (pitted)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
400 ml coconut milk
1½ tablespoons arrowroot powder
35g ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120 ml maple syrup
1½ tablespoons Disaronno (Amaretto liqueur)
Extra flaked almonds - toasted for about 5 minutes under the grill

Method

  1. Place the cherries in a small saucepan with the coconut sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer, until soft (about 5 minutes). Leave to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, mix about 50 ml of the coconut milk with the arrowroot, stir and set aside to thicken.
  3. Pour the rest of the coconut milk into a blender with the almonds, almond extract, vanilla, maple syrup and cooked cherries. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the blended mixture into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. 
  5. As soon as it starts to boil, stir in the arrowroot liquid so that it thickens slightly.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueur. 
  7. Cool the mixture and chill in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours (or preferably overnight)
  8. Churn the custard in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  9. Transfer to an airtight container and sprinkle the top with toasted flaked almonds.
  10. Allow to freeze over night to fully harden.
(If you don't have an ice cream maker, place the mixture at stage 8 into a shallow container and freeze until mushy. Then turn into a chilled bowl and beat until the ice crystals are broken down. Return to the freezer and freeze again until mushy. Repeat the whisking and freeze a final time)


Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

16 comments:

  1. Wow. This is really good, seriously good. The colour is beautiful and I love all the ingredients you have used. The coconut milk, the almonds, vanilla and that touch of DiSaronno makes this irresistible. Well done on this fab recipe!

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    1. Thank you Alida. It is wonderfully fruity and very refreshing!

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  2. What an amazing colour and flavour combination. I want to rech in and pinch one. I adore that almond liquor too. Sounds like a bakewell tart in ice cream form. I've never tried making ice cream with coconut milk, must give it a go this summer

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    1. You're right! Bakewell tart! Why didn't I think of that? The coconut milk is a bit of a revelation. I will definitely be using it a lot more in ice cream....

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  3. I've just been reading this with my son sat on my lap and he pointed and said 'Ice cream!' I think I may have to find a substitute for the alcohol!

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    1. Ha! That's sweet! You could just resort to the defrost button on the microwave!

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  4. What a bright, vibrant colour Kate! And that's such a useful tip to add a bit of booze to the proceedings to help ensure a soft scoop

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    1. The colour is just amazing..... And all completely natural just from fruit! Isn't nature wonderful?

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    1. Wow indeed! I reckon it would look beautiful in paint form too!

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  6. Sooooooooo beautiful! That is my absolute favourite colour and to see it in an ice cream just makes my day! Love your coconut milk ice cream :-) I'm sharing this one too...

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    1. Thank you so much Aimee (for your kind comments and inspiration)! Pleased you like it.... I can see coconut ice cream becoming a bit of a regular feature in this house....

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  7. Wow, this ice cream looks absolutely stunning - I wish I could reach out and try it now!

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  8. This is just glorious, that colour is utterly amazing! Thanks for entering BSFIC!

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    1. You're welcome! The colour is pretty incredible, I agree!

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