Life-changing Burnt Salted Caramel and Choc-chip Ice Cream
Why would I call an ice cream life-changing? Because we used to only have dessert once a week… and now that might be changing. Honestly, it’s because of this ice cream. Now, I don’t mind us all having a scoop of on a daily basis. Here is why.
The ability to churn your own ice cream from wholefoods – making it dairy-free, vegan and sugar-free even – is one of the best reasons to get your own ice cream machine. It does not have to cost an arm and a leg – our Cuisinart one was $129 and is about three years old now. You can get cheapers ones, too.
But, let’s start from the beginning. The Life-changing ice cream takes about 25 minutes to make. There are no custards, no chilling of mixtures, no sugar. Hands down, this must be my favourite flavour, especially when served Sundae-style with warmed up, fudgy Pure Harvest Coco2 spread, banana and chopped nuts. Okay we reserve the right to enjoy that special treat once a week.
But I digress…
The life-changing Burnt Salted Caramel and Choc-Chip Ice Cream is creamy and cold, as real ice cream should be. There’s none of that fluffy light texture of powedered milk and additives. It’s made with real food – frankly, foods I would struggle to get the all of the family members to eat all on their own. And there is a dairy-free / vegan option when it comes to the yoghurt you use.
- Yoghurt – while Liana and I like it, I struggle to get enough probiotics into the boys diets. They like pickles and miso, I add gelatin to soups and sauces, but they only have yoghurt once hidden in smoothies – Matt’s aversion goes a long while back when he lived on jelly and yoghurt after breaking his jaw. This, as you can imagine, is fab then!
- Rice malt syrup – yes, it’s still sugar, but since it’s fructose-free it is a little less of a burden on the system. And it makes a beautiful burnt caramel. It’s also gluten-free despite the “malt” in its name.
- Dates – and not too many. It must be the way they look or the texture that is off-putting for some. Again, they seem to go down fine in treats or smoothies, but I don’t use them too often. They do, however, impart a beautiful caramel flavour to the ice cream and the sweetness diminishes a little with freezing.
- Dark chocolate – I used Loving Earth organic Dark Chocolate here because it’s sweetened with unrefined sugars. Chopped into chunks it makes for a much healthier choc-chip than anything choc-chip that’s bought from the store. In general actually, store-bought eating chocolate is better than most cooking chocolates and those chips. This one is dairy-free also.
- Coconut cream – thick part only for some additional creamy mouthfeel.
- The only other ingredients in the Life-changing ice cream are sea salt and vanilla powder.
Now that you know exactly what’s in it, here are some tips for making the most of it.
The ice cream is best enjoyed freshly churned. But, I doubt anyone would be happy to eat a batch on their own, in one sitting (except for the fact that over the weekend I discovered someone might have gone back for huge seconds!). To save some for later, freeze it in ice pop moulds for single-serve enjoyment, or spread in a loaf tin and freeze. It will go a little hard, so remove it from the freezer 5 minutes before serving to allow it to soften enough for scooping.
- ⅓ cup rice malt syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup additive-free coconut cream, mixed well
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 500g full fat Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped roughly
- You will need to pre-freeze your ice cream machine bowl, if using - see notes above for no-churn version.
- Place rice syrup and sea salt flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, bubbling, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes to allow to cool.
- In a jug, using a stick blender, blend dates with coconut cream and vanilla powder. Add the coconut date mixture to the rice malt syrup and whisk to combine. Fold in the yoghurt and chocolate pieces (and melted chocolate - see notes above, if using).
- Transfer the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn for around 20 minutes. When the mixture is the consistency of soft-serve, serve immediately or place in a loaf tin and freeze for up to 1 month. To prevent frost-burn, cover the top with a layer of baking paper.