Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut question of the minute:

Can toasting coconut and steeping it in milk really make the ice cream difference? Can the darkened, crunchy and fragrant toasted coconut infuse the milk, รก la cereal milk, and churn out the loveliest, coconutty-flavorful creamy spoon of ice cream? These are the questions that keep me up at night. Er, not really.

You may or may not have noticed but lately I've been REALLY into using something other than eggs to creamify my ice creams. Sweetened condensed milk and maple syrup have done tremendous jobs in this department, so I decided to experiment with sweetened condensed milk this time. I combined a few different ice cream recipe ideas: infusing milk with toasted coconut I culled from The Perfect Scoop, and using sweetened condensed milk and coconut I found online from a little bit of Googling. Actually it seems as though many Caribbean coconut ice cream recipes combine these very two ingredients: coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk! So I had faith in this little ice cream experiment.

The result? The loveliest, creamiest, smoothest texture and the most delicious fragrant-toasted-coconutty ice cream I've yet to make.

And here is the recipe for you to try.

{Toasted Coconut Ice Cream}

You will need:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (just about one 14 ounce can)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut (or unsweetened if you prefer!)
pinch of salt
ice cream machine!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay 3 cups of shredded coconut on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Toast coconut until browned, watching carefully, about 10-12 minutes, stirring it around once to ensure overall toastiness. Remove from oven, let cool.

2. In a medium pot on medium heat, combine heavy cream and coconut milk until warmed and steam is rising, hot enough to steep the toasted coconut.

3. Remove pot from heat and set aside. Add 2 cups of toasted coconut, stir and let steep for 1 hour. Reserve 1 cup of toasted coconut for topping your ice cream later!

4. Come on back to your coconut milk party mixture. Strain mixture into a medium sized bowl, removing soggy toasted coconut.

5. Reheat coconut milk mixture in your medium pot. Slowly add the contents of one can of sweetened condensed milk and a pinch of salt until combined. Once combined, remove from heat, pour into bowl for chilling.

6. Chill mixture for 1 hour in freezer or 3-4 hours in fridge until well-chilled!

7. Pour into ice cream machine and churn it up for 25-30 minutes!

8. Scoop a lovely bunch of it into an ice cream bowl, top with toasted coconut and enjoy!

Note: texture will be quite soft (about the texture of soft serve ice cream). Scoop it into a container and harden it a bit in the freezer first before serving, or enjoy straight away.
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