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The Best Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

by Merle O'Neal • featured in Top Vegan-Friendly Desserts of 2018

Inspired by minimalistbaker.com

Ingredients

for 1 pint

  • 3 cups
    cashews, ½ cup (65 g) if just making enough for the ice cream (390 g)
  • ¼ cup
    water (60 mL)
  • 1 ¼ cups
    organic sugar (250 g)
  • 4 tablespoons
    cocoa butter
  • 4 tablespoons
    coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon
    salt
  • 1 cup
    coconut milk (240 mL)
  • 1 teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean

Special Equipment

  • ice cream maker

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Preparation

  1. Place the cashews in a large bowl. Add enough room-temperature water to cover the cashews. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and soak overnight.
  2. Place the bowl of an ice cream machine in the freezer overnight.
  3. Add the cashews and soaking water to a blender. Blend, starting on low speed and increasing to high until smooth and frothy, about 40 seconds. Strain into a large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  4. Reserve 1 cup (240 ml) of cashew milk for the ice cream and store the rest in the refrigerator for up to a week for another use.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is clear, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cocoa butter, coconut oil, and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  6. In a blender, combine the cashew milk and coconut milk. Blend on low speed. With the blender running, pour in the sugar mixture to emulsify. Continue until well-blended, about 2 minutes.
  7. Pour the mixture into a large metal bowl and mix in the vanilla extract. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and whisk to combine.
  8. Chill the base in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  9. Add the chilled base to the ice cream maker and churn for 1 hour, or as long as the machine requires, until thick and creamy.
  10. Transfer the ice cream to a loaf pan and freeze overnight.
  11. Scoop and serve immediately.
  12. Enjoy!
 

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