Ice Cream Musings on a Snowy Day

plant based frozen treats

plant-based frozen treats

It is snowing outside today, so I am dreaming … dreaming of a warm summer day where I am eating ice cream. The day is hot enough that the melting ice cream drips down my chin. The cool ice cream refreshes and quenches my parched mouth. I also dream of the flavors of drool-worthy nondairy ice creams.

To discover some of the newest plant-based ice cream options, I examine the article “5 creative plant-based frozen treats” written by the New Hope Network Staff. It has me looking forward to warmer days when I can indulge in sweets from the freezer. The author describes these “palate pleasers to try the next time you’re craving a delectable dessert.

Frill: Promoted as healthy ice cream, these frozen desserts are made from whole fruits, vegetables and other ingredients, and packed with 8-9 grams of soluble fiber per serving. More than just a frozen treat (it’s sweetened with dates!), the product is also a versatile ingredient for smoothies, sauces or even cocktails.” Enjoy tempting flavors, such as Bursting Berries and Intense Chocolate.

“Cado: The superfood properties of avocados are yours for the taking with these creamy, non-dairy frozen pints, which are made from both pureed organic avocado and avocado oil for a true, plant-based sweet indulgence that is good for body and soul. Four new flavors launched earlier this year (Vanilla Bean, Java Chip, Cherry Amaretto and Salted Caramel), making a total of seven new ways to eat avocado.

Oatly: This oat milk stalwart has once again demonstrated how the power of oats can be harnessed into a plant-based, non-GMO and nut-free product line, this time in the form of an oatmilk-based frozen dessert. Made using highly refined coconut oil and packaged in a 100% recyclable paper carton sourced from sustainable forests, this nondairy ice cream comes in seven crowd-pleasing flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, Mint Chip, Chocolate Chip and classic Oat.

Daiya: Daiya, a longstanding champion of plant-based living, has released a new line of dessert bars that mark its first foray into the nondairy ice cream category. Made with coconut cream, tapioca syrup and fair-trade cocoa butter and powder, among other ingredients, the bars also have an added boost of fava bean protein. And with flavors such as Chocolate Fudge Crunch, Classic Vanilla Bean, Salted Caramel Swirl and Espresso Coffee, these desserts are truly indulge-worthy.”

Coolhaus nondairy ice cream

Coolhaus nondairy ice cream

Coolhaus: “Launched a line of dairy-free pints this year that are unique in that their first two ingredients are non-GMO yellow peas and organic whole grain brown rice. These plant-based pints come in six inventive flavors (Salted Caramel Crunch, Dirty Mint Chip, Cookie Dough Lyfe, Chocolate Campfire S’Mores, Peanut Butter Fudge Chip, Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Crumb and Mocha Marcona Almond Fudge).”

This post (or portions of this post) was provided by New Hope Network. I am a member of the New Hope Influencer Co-op, a network of health and wellness bloggers committed to spreading more health to more people. Images courtesy of New Hope Network. #NewHopeInfluencer #DecadentVegan

Valentine’s Day Trifle

Valentine Day Trifle

Valentine Day Trifle

You have probably already realized that Valentine’s Day is in a few days. You may want to make a grand dessert for the occasion, but it could require planning ahead. So, today I offer you the idea of making a trifle, with shortcuts for a quicker reward.

If you are new to the world of a dessert trifle, here is the definition from Merriam Webster, “A dessert typically consisting of plain or sponge cake often soaked with wine or spirits … and topped with layers of preserves, custard, and cream.” This English treat, fit for a King, has many components and can take a few days to make. But, if you are okay with straying away from a traditional format, you can still come up with a winning dessert.

The base of this treat is usually a white cake however, any sturdy cake will do. You can easily use my Strawberry Tea Bread, as you will break it up into chunks before placing it on the bottom of your trifle bowl. Also, this layer is often doused with wine, but I prefer to see this as optional. I think that the tasty bread will offer plenty of flavor without adding alcoholic spirits.

After that you will need something custardy. You can choose any custard, but chocolate mousse is what I pick for my chocoholic family. A good option is the mousse from my Chocolate Mousse Pie with Cookie Crust and Raspberry Coulis; you will not need to make the crust from this recipe.

Next up is a layer of fruit. There are many selections that can be chosen from this category. Try jam, roasted fruit, or fresh berries (fresh strawberries would nicely complement the tea bread.) Here again is the option to add alcohol, if you desire. You can also use the Raspberry Coulis from the post mentioned above.

Traditionally the next item would be a creamy sauce, but I like to simplify this. Ice cream is fun to add, as long as it’s spooned in at the end and the dish is served immediately. The great part about using ice cream is that there are so many flavors to choose from. That, and the fact that you can grab a pint out of your freezer without worrying about making something else for this layered goody.

The final piece of the trifle puzzle is a garnish for the top. It can be anything, but if your last layer was ice cream then an apropos choice is something that could be included in an ice cream sundae. For my dessert I chose a sprinkling of my Lavender Granola. After that I spattered melted chocolate on it, à la artist Jackson Pollock. I think it adds a bit of whimsy. It also adds a taste of chocolate to a dessert that some people (like my husband) would consider lacking in chocolate immersion. But, I suppose, you can make every layer a chocolate version and bowl over your chocolate-loving sweetheart.

Until next time, happy baking!

Cookies and Cream Vegan Ice Cream

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Cookies and Cream Vegan Ice Cream

Many of the recipes attempted for this week’s inspiration came out disastrous. My goal was to prepare an ice cream base for a myriad of creations during the hot summertime. The flavor needed to be tasty enough on its own, with a texture that mimicked a quality dairy ice cream. I wanted creamy, not too sweet, and not icy, and I was willing to do anything to achieve vegan perfection. Some frozen treats that I made started out in a dairy version that I then tweaked, while some were complicated vegan recipes. None of them turned out great. That was until I watched a video on ice cream making and adapted the techniques I learned to enhance my vegan recipe.

The base I chose consisted of nuts, so I didn’t need to make it vegan. The changes I made were influenced by a mashup of many ice cream recipes that I looked at for reference. I used cashew milk for the liquid to add creaminess. To further encourage a smooth texture, I stuck with a liquid sweetener instead of a granulated one. The final tweak was to add sandwich cookies to the base to create the specific flavor profile.

Cookies and Cream Vegan Ice Cream

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1.5 cups cashew milk (or use coconut milk)
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave syrup
pinch of sea salt
12 vegan chocolate sandwich cream cookies, crushed

Put the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak at least 4 hours, or overnight in the fridge. Drain the soaked cashews. Put drained cashews, cashew milk, vanilla, agave, and salt in a blender. Blend ingredients until mixture is smooth and thick. Prepare in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Add the cookies in at the end, according to your machine. Makes 1.5 pints.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

coffee chocolate chip ice cream sandwich

coffee chocolate chip ice cream sandwich

World Plant Milk Day is coming up on August 22. In its honor, and because I’d received recipes from Vegan Dairy Fair, I wanted to make vegan Ice Cream. But, you might think, does ice cream have anything to do with a baking blog? It doesn’t, until you put it between sandwich cookies. Now I had an excuse to buy another specialty baking pan.

The cookie recipe I found was made specifically for ice cream sandwiches, reminiscent of that dense chocolate goodness. The altitude changes were to use less baking soda and add liquid. For veganizing, I opted for vegan margarine and soymilk. The ice cream recipe was from The Vegan Scoop, with the addition of chocolate chips. I also added Vapor Distillery’s Arrosta Coffee liquor. It not only added a depth of taste, but alcohol helps to keep non-dairy ice cream from getting icy. So go ahead and celebrate – World Plant Milk Day or just a hot summer’s day.

Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
1 cup soymilk, divided
2 TBS arrowroot powder
2 cups soy creamer
3/4 cup fresh, strong coffee
3/4 cup vegan sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 TBS Arrosta coffee liquor
2/3 cup mini vegan chocolate chips
In a small bowl. combine 1/4 cup soymilk with arrowroot. Set aside. Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup soy milk, coffee and sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and add arrowroot cream to thicken the mixture in the pan. Add vanilla extract. Refrigerate mixture until chilled, about 2-3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. In the last few minutes of churning, add coffee liquor and chocolate chips. Store in freezer.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies adapted from the blog at King Arthur Flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 TBS vegan margarine, softened
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup soymilk
Preheat oven to 350F, with a rack in the center. Lightly oil an ice cream sandwich pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, place margarine, sugars, and vanilla. Beat at high speed until well combined. The batter will be thick and sticky. On low speed, add half the flour/cocoa, then the milk, then remaining flour/cocoa, scraping bowl between additions.
Dollop batter into prepared pan using spatula to smooth out. Bake for 10-12 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove pan from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, place one cookie on a plate. Spread with ice cream. Top with a second cookie, top side up. Wrap and store in freezer.

Until next time, happy baking and churning!