Saturday, July 23, 2011

An Ice Cream Miracle

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream
As part of my July commitment to bringing you low- and no-cook ice cream recipes, I decided to pull out my favorite chocolate ice cream (which happens to be vegan) and make it extra sinful with a ribbon of peanut butter.

The recipe for the chocolate base comes from The Veganomicon, and it's pretty amazing.  Apart from melting the chocolate, the base comes together in the blender.  If you let it sit in the fridge overnight (as you should), the base develops the consistency of a luscious chocolate mousse.  You could absolutely serve the stuff straight out of the bowl, topped with a handful of berries or as the filling for a chocolate pie.

Because the base is so thick, it doesn't take long to freeze in the ice cream maker.  As a result, the finished product is dense and velvety smooth, without any build-up of ice crystals.  So good.

Alas, as I was starting to process the base in my trusty ice cream maker, I hit a little snag.  I don't know what possessed me, but I stopped the maker after about a minute so that I could redistribute the base in the canister.  Big mistake.  By the time I got the blades turning again, the base had frozen thick on the walls of the canister, and the blades wouldn't spin.  My little machine chugged its heart out, trying to break through the wall of frozen chocolate, shuddering and gasping as it struggled, but eventually I threw in the proverbial towel.

Oh no.

I thought my recipe for the week was a total bust.  But, on a whim, I scooped the base into a plastic tubby, drizzled the peanut butter over the top, swirled it with a knife, and popped it in the freezer for three hours.

And that's when the miracle happened ... despite the fact that my ice cream maker was completely sidelined in this process, the ice cream base froze to a near-perfect consistency.

In short, while this recipe started off as a more traditional ice cream recipe, it turned out that the ice cream maker was dang near superfluous ... you can make this decadent ice cream with nothing but a blender, microwave, and freezer.  [To be fair, this time around the ice cream didn't age as well as it had in the past.  Normally, this ice cream retains its good texture through long periods of freezing.  By Day 2, this stuff was pretty solid.  But about 15 minutes on the kitchen counter brought it back to a scoopable consistency.]

Peanut Butter Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream
(Adapted from The Veganomicon)

6 oz. silken tofu (1/2 of a tetrapack)
1 c. soy/almond/rice milk
1/2 c. coconut cream*
1 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 c. natural peanut butter, room temperature

* Coconut cream is the dense part of coconut milk.  You can buy coconut cream in some supermarkets and Asian groceries (do not use the sweetened cream of coconut--like Coco Lopez--that is sold in the liquor/mixer aisle of the store ... there's no sugar in coconut cream).  If you cannot find coconut cream, put a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.  Open carefully and scoop the dense cream from the top of the can.

Blend the tofu, non-dairy "milk", coconut cream, vanilla, and sugar in a blender until smooth.  Add the cooled chocolate and blend well.

Consistency of mousse
Look, Ma!  No hands!

Transfer base to a bowl or large measuring cup.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Process in your ice cream maker, drizzling the peanut butter into the canister when the mixture is almost frozen.

Or--if your ice cream freezer breaks down like mine did--simply transfer the thickened base to a plastic container with a good lid.  Drizzle the peanut butter over the top and marble with a knife.  Cover and freeze for 3-4 hours.


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook.


  1. Praise the lord and pass the choco peanut butter ice cream... I wonder how a little handful of bacon crumbles would taste in this???

    Or maybe with some strawberry sauce

    ;) wink nod... Stay cool this week, wish I worked in an ice cream shop

  2. Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream is my favorite! Sorry to hear about your ice cream maker--but at least it died during a good cause. :)

  3. I love a happily ever after story! And as this one stars Princess Chocolate and Prince Peanut Butter, it's particularly satisfying.

    Can't wait to try it, Wendy! And I'll notify my vegan friend asap.

  4. Stop! Stop! I'm still digging through the last two batches of your ice cream!

    You wouldn't happen to have a good recipe for coffee ice cream, would you? So many of the commercial ones really don't taste much like coffee. Espresso? Maybe a dash of ground coffee for crunch? Or maybe mocha...

  5. Wow...and I'll say it I'm especially pleased that you don't need an ice cream maker for this one...although I may splurge at some point. Do you have any recommendations for small ice cream makers (I live alone and don't entertain-so I don't need to make a lot at one time).

  6. Sheila, yes - I do have a good coffee ice cream. I'll send it your way (and post it soon, promise).

    Katreader - I've been very happy with my Krups machine, and I've heard good things about the Cuisinart, too (though I've never used it - that's just word of mouth).

    Dave - I think a garnish of crispy bacon would be amazing. Don't tell my vegie friends, but I still dream of bacon. Sigh. :)