It has been hot hot hot this week. Wonderfully holiday hot! Apart from the fact that I have been stuck in an un-airconditioned office, frustratedly gazing out of the window at all those people lucky enough to be outside..............
Hot weather wherever you are, calls for something cool and ice cream is guaranteed to hit the spot. Universally loved, ice-cream comes in any flavour you choose and can be anything from calorifically decadent to palate-cleansingly light.
I remember many a happy ice-cream moment as a child (often in the back of the car because we should eat ice cream on holiday, whatever the (rainy) weather!). There was definitely not as much variety then as there is today, but there was plenty of choice to keep me smiling. Sometimes I would opt for something refreshingly fruity.......... Strawberry splits were a favourite...... Sometimes I would go for something more chocolatey........ maybe a choc ice or a cone of chocolate ice cream. And rippled ice cream? Well, if it came in a tub, this was my thing. I loved the contrast between sweet and creamy and tart and frosty!
These Raspberry Ripple-White Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream Bars are inspired by those childhood holiday memories...... all rolled into one.
Actually, these are better than my childhood memories...... I remember ice-cream from the 70's as being a bit watery and 'cheap' in flavour and texture and the ripple being pretty synthetic. Maybe I am a bit of an ice-cream 'snob', but these days only the creamiest, most decadent will do.
I have updated, freshened and 'healthified' this holiday treat, using a fresh fruit syrup sweetened with natural honey for the ripple and using coconut milk to make the ice cream custard. Ok.... so there's a goodly portion of white chocolate thrown into the mix as well, but this just adds to the joy. Most definitely a perfect summer dessert. Sit down, enjoy the sun and chill out!
This ice cream has been inspired by Aimee Ryan's book Coconut Milk Ice Cream which I have also linked in a couple of other posts recently : here and here. Each time I make another flavour with a coconut milk base, it remains a revelation..... I'm hooked! But for texture and creaminess, this is my best attempt yet.
It is also my first attempt at magic chocolate coating. Although there are a number of recipes for this (all more or less the same) on the internet, I have used the recipe from Aimee's book, which simply combines melted dark chocolate with coconut oil. And yes..... it really is magic! The secret is in the coconut oil, which stops the melted chocolate from hardening at room temperature, yet when it hits the ice cream, hardens into a crispy chocolate shell almost instantly. Such fun! And so much more natural and flavoursome.
Despite the use of coconut milk and coconut oil, I can honestly say these ice cream bars are not really coconutty at all. I was worried that the coconut might detract from the chocolate or fruit, but the fresh raspberry ripple truly remains a star and the coconut only taints the flavour slightly and (I think) enhances the end result beautifully. Summer fresh flavour with added decadence............ Mini bites or choc-ice bars, these are amazing!
I am entering my Raspberry Ripple-White Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice-Cream Bars into a number of foodie challenges this month.
First : We Should Cocoa being hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary on behalf of Choclette from the Chocolate Log Blog. July's theme is Chocolate Ice Cream and Toppings, so this pretty much qualifies on both counts. If you have never tried magic chocolate coating on ice cream, then put it on your list of things to do very soon...... It's genius!
Next : Family Foodies with Vanesther at Bangers & Mash (joint hosted with Lou at Eat Your Veg). With the heat upon us (yes.... really!), they are inviting refreshing, cooling summery treats with a very seasonal theme of 'Chill Out, Baby!'. These little morsels of fruity, chocolatey, icy deliciousness are so good, my daughter has requested a batch for her up-coming birthday party. And actually, as ice creams go, they are much simpler to make than they look and guaranteed to wow any guest (even a rowdy bunch of 9 year olds)........
Third up : Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream, hosted by Kavey Eats. For July, Kavey has asked us to create an ice-cream inspired by holiday memories. These ice cream bars are the combination of many of my childhood ice cream holiday memories rolled into one.
And finally, I am hoping I can share this with Alpha Bakes, being brought to us this month by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker. Each month, Ros and Caroline (Caroline Makes) pick a random letter from the alphabet and ask for entries that alphabetically connect. Last month was 'D'. I made a lovely date flapjack, but didn't get to enter, on account of a mis-timed migraine which turned up at the very end of the month just before I was about to send my entry off.
This month's letter is 'R'. I know that ice-cream bars are not actually 'bakes' but I am hoping they may just be allowed on account of the ripples of home-made honeyed raspberry syrup hidden within......
So without any more rambling, here they are :
Raspberry Ripple - White Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream Bars & Bites
Honeyed Raspberry Syrup :
150g fresh of frozen raspberries
3 tablespoons runny honey
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and crush the raspberries slightly against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon to release some of the juice.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring intermittently.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Push the fruit mix through a sieve so that you are left with a thick syrup. Discard the pips and fibre left in the sieve.
- Refrigerate the syrup until ready to use.
Raspberry Ripple White Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream :
1x quantity of Honeyed Raspberry Syrup
800 ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
140 ml maple syrup
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g white chocolate - cut into small pieces
- Mix 50 ml coconut milk with the arrowroot powder in a small bowl to make a smooth paste.
- Pour the rest of the coconut milk into a large saucepan with the maple syrup and bring to the boil, stirring.
- When the liquid reaches boiling point, pour in the arrowroot paste and continue to stir until the custard thickens.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and white chocolate until the chocolate has melted and the custard is smooth.
- Cool the custard (stirring intermittently to prevent a skin forming) and then place in the fridge to completely chill for a few hours.
- Base-line a square 8 inch/20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper and place in the freezer to chill before you churn the ice cream. You can also use non-stick ice cube tray moulds or small silicone cake moulds.
- Once chilled, churn the ice cream mix in an ice cream maker by the manufacturer's instructions (or by hand as instructions below).
- Once churned, add the raspberry syrup and gently swirl through the ice cream with a knife blade to get a ripple effect.
- Spoon the ice cream into the chilled trays, level off with a spatula and place in the freezer (over night and preferably on fast freeze) to harden as much as possible before you coat with chocolate.
(If you don't have an ice cream maker, place the mixture at stage 7 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, swirl in the raspberry syrup, spoon into the moulds/tray and freeze a final time)
Magic Dark Chocolate Coating
250g good quality dark chocolate - cut into pieces
4 tablespoons coconut oil
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave on medium setting at 30 second bursts, stirring frequently until smooth and liquid. Remove from the heat.
- Add the coconut oil and stir until completely melted and fully combined.
- Leave to cool to room temperature, before using to coat the ice cream bars.
Putting it all together :
- Make sure the ice cream is as cold and hard as possible (use fast freeze to get the temperature down) and remove from the cake tin. Cut into even portion-sized squares or rectangles with a very sharp knife.
- Remove any smaller ice cream portions from their moulds.
- Dependent on how warm to is when you are doing this (and how quickly the ice cream appears to soften), you may wish to put the ice cream portions back into the freezer for a short while before you proceed to the next stage.
- When ready, dip the ice cream portions into the chocolate mix. For small ice cream bites, you should be able to cover completely in one dip (I inserted a cocktail stick into each before dipping to allow for coating evenly without holding the ice cream). For larger ice cream bars, I dipped each one half at a time (holding with tongs), allowing the chocolate on one half to harden before turning over and dipping the other half. The chocolate should harden very quickly on contact with the ice cream. As it sets, place on a tray lined with baking paper and put back in the freezer to re-harden as soon as possible.
- When they are ready, carefully remove any cocktail sticks and store in airtight containers in the freezer.
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