I have always wanted to try my hand at ice cream making, but sadly my freezer drawers are way to narrow to fit an ice cream bowl, and I’m just not organised enough to hand whisk at half hourly intervals. I haven’t got a Vitamix or Blendtec either, which means I can’t use the freeze and blend technique.
However, when my blogging friend Aimee Ryan (who writes the wonderful Wallflower Girl blog) recently launched her recipe book for coconut milk ice creams, I just couldn’t wait any longer. Those scrumptious recipes were calling to me and I needed to find a way to make them asap!
After trawling the Internet, I found an alternative option available to me – an ice cream maker with in-built compressor. These machines don’t require any pre-freezing of bowls. You simply pour the mixture in and 40 or so minutes later the ice cream is ready. These gadgets are pricier than traditional ice cream makers (which you can pick up for less than £20), but for people with freezer storage issues like me, these machines are perfect.
I especially liked the sound of the Andrew James New Improved 2 Litre Professional Fully Automatic Ice Cream Maker. The reviewers had given it 4.5/5 stars on Amazon and, while a pretty sizable piece of equipment (43cm wide x 28cm deep), I love its sleek style and cool blue LED display. My kitchen colours are red, black and stainless steel, so this gadget goes perfectly. Last Friday I took the plunge and ordered the machine…. and it arrived the following morning.
I’d carefully read through all the reviews, so I knew what I was in for. The main negative was that it was a bit fiddly to slot the bowl, paddle and lid into place. These reviews must be referring to the older model though because the set up on the new improved machine couldn’t be easier. I didn’t even bother consulting the manual as it was obvious how to do it.
The next step was to choose an ice cream flavour. Aimee’s ice cream recipes are divided into five chapters:
♥ Healthy Spins on Famous Flavours – Vanilla, Chocolate, Cashew Cookie Dough Chip, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Brownie, Salted Caramel, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mocha
♥ Fruity Flavours – Coconut, Mango & Passionfruit, Roasted Pineapple, Papaya & Lime, Roasted Plum & Cardamom, Pomegranate, Sweet Melon, Date, Strawberry, Caramelized Banana, Peaches & Cream, Orange, Apricot
♥ Nut & Seed Flavours – Pecan Praline, Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl, Pistachio, Chestnut Caramel, Chocolate Hazelnut, Maple Glazed Walnut, Salted Almonds, Toasted Sesame Seed
♥ Spicy Flavours -Fresh Ginger, Mayan Chocolate, Wasabi, Chinese Five-Spice, Sweet Curry
♥ Dessert Inspired Flavours – Rhubarb Almond Crumble, Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, Red Velvet Beetroot Cake, Coffe & Walnut Cake, Christmas Pudding
♥ Boozy Flavours – Pina Colada, Rum & Raisin, Apple Cider, Irish Cream, Roasted Cherry & Whiskey, Mojito, White Wine
♥ Floral Flavours -Blueberry & Lavender, Chamomile & Vanilla, Elderflower & Lemon, Orange Blossom, Rose Raspberry Ripple
♥ Herbal & Tea Flavours – Chai Tea, Lemon Green Tea, Fresh Basil & Mint, Malted Maca Chocolate, Earl Grey
With all these lush flavours to choose from, we ended up practically filling the entire book with stick it notes! We’ve decided we’re going to work our way through all the recipes (adapting the boozy flavours to make them child friendly) and, to kick off our ice cream making adventure, Lil’ L chose the Chocolate and Salted Caramel flavours 🙂
Following reviewers’ recommendations, I chilled the ice cream maker for 10 minutes before pouring in the chilled ice cream mixture. I didn’t bother using the pouring hole. I just poured the mixture straight into the bucket, slotted it into the machine, screwed on the lid and pressed the button. You can choose different churning times and for our initial trials, I chose 40 minutes. This was pretty much spot on. The ice cream was soft serve consistency and the paddle started to have difficulty rotating.
We could have served it straight away as soft serve, but we decided to freeze it so it could be scooped into cones. Aimee recommends storing the ice cream in a wide, shallow dish so I used my Pyrex lidded glass dish (which I’d previously chilled as my house is so hot at the moment). After three hours we checked on the ice cream, and it was ready for scooping.
All the ice cream recipes in Aimee’s book are dairy free, egg free, gluten free and vegan. Though, at the time of writing, Aimee wasn’t vegan herself, she simply believes that coconut milk makes the best ice cream. The healthiness of her recipes is an added bonus. For the Salted Caramel ice cream, the flavour and colour comes from delicious coconut sugar. After three hours in the freezer, the consistency of the caramel ice cream was perfect. It was silky smooth and soft enough to scoop right away. And it had the most amazing caramel flavour. I find most commercial ice creams sickly sweet, but Aimee’s got the sweetness levels spot on. It was utterly delicious ♥
The chocolate ice cream uses maple syrup as the sweetener (as do most of Aimee’s recipes) and, in addition to cocoa powder, it has dark choc chips melted into it to add even more chocolatey goodness. As a budget-friendly alternative to pure maple syrup, I use Clark’s Original Maple Syrup, which is a blend of maple and carob syrups.
After freezing for a few hours, the chocolate ice cream was a lot firmer than the caramel one so, as Aimee recommends, we left it on the worktop for ten minutes and I heated my metal scoop in hot water. It then scooped perfectly. The flavour was incredible! It’s by far the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever tasted, and Lil’ L said that it was easily as good as the quality ice cream he’s eaten in Italy. And I couldn’t believe it when ‘M’ enthusiastically tucked in and said how good it was. He isn’t usually an ‘ice cream person’ and tends to decline if you offer it to him. However, these coconut milk ice creams have won him over.
It’s great that Lil’ L’s on his school holidays as he makes a very handy ice cream model 😉 It was pretty hard for him to resist the temptation to lick it…
Five seconds later he caved in 😉
I am so pleased that I finally took the plunge and got an ice cream maker. I know it’s going to get used a lot. It will probably take me the rest of the year to work my way through Aimee’s recipe book. I’m especially looking forward to trying the Christmas Pudding flavour! I’m also looking forward to making fruity sorbets, hopefully using fresh berries from my garden.
Many thanks to Betta Living for providing the ice cream maker for these tasty new recipes ♥ Both the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker and Aimee Ryan’s Coconut Milk Ice Cream recipe book are available to purchase from Amazon UK. For our US & Canadian friends, Aimee’s book is also available from Amazon.com.
Do you have an ice cream maker? If so, what’s your favourite recipe? If you’ve posted any vegan recipes online, please do share below.
Lovely readers, I just want to let you know that I’m about to take a little break from blogging & social media. I’ll be back towards the end of August. Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to catching up with you all on my return xx
22 thoughts on “Coconut Milk Ice Cream & a Fab New Kitchen Gadget”
Ooooo now that does look darn tasty!
I remember my mum having an ice cream maker years ago and juggling fitting it in the freezer along with all the frozen homegrown fruit n veg.
Have you tried coconut milk ice creams before? It was my first time this week and I’m totally hooked on them! This new gadget is going to see a lot of action 😉
Not specifically that I can think of. We have been playing around with raw ice creams using bananas
Hi there! Hope you get this before you take your blogiday. How much was your ice cream maker? I’ve been trying to convince my husband we should get one for about a year now! As I can’t resist icecreams I do make my own by hand (as you can see in the blog) but you’re right; it is hard to remember to keep taking it out and whisking it. If I forget and it turns out too dense, I just call it “semifreddo” or “kulfi” 😉 Have a good break x
Hi Sarojini! This particular model was £150. It’s a stand alone unit with in-built compressor so it doesn’t need the bowl to be pre-frozen overnight. It’s great for me as I don’t have much freezer space. If you have a decent size freezer drawer, you can pick up a regular ice cream maker for as little as £20. If you love ice creams and sorbets, it’s definitely worth buying one. I know mine is going to get used a lot!
I am soooo jealous that ice cream looks yummy!!
If you’ve got freezer space, you should definitely buy an ice cream maker. Even the cheap ones (£15-£20) get great reviews on Amazon.
These coconut milk ice creams are gorgeous. The perfect treat for the family ♥
Oh my goodness I want that ice cream maker!! I also don’t have one of my own due to lack of freezer space but this sounds like the perfect solution. I actually have a copy of Aimee’s book too but am yet to try any of the beautiful recipes because of the aforementioned problem 🙁
The machine definitely isn’t cheap but it may be worth the investment considering how expensive Booja Booja is!
P.S. Lil’ L is a very good model!
P.P. S Where did you get your ice cream cones? chocolate dipped!
I can’t quite believe that I’ve finally got an ice cream maker. I’ve been wanting one for so long! I love this Andrew James model and I’m lucky that it goes perfectly with my kitchen colour scheme (I don’t think I’d manage to fit it in a cupboard!)
I haven’t tried Booja Booja yet, but Aimee’s chocolate ice cream is easily the best I’ve tasted so far! Next time I make it I’ll use quality dark chocolate instead of choc chips to make it even more decadent ♥
Thanks for the kind comment about Lil’ L. I had so much fun shooting with him this week!
The choc dipped cones are Tesco brand. They don’t contain dairy but likely to be made on the same production line – http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=275660845 Not healthy in the slightest 😉 I’m looking forward to trying my hand at making Aimee’s GF cones. I’m sure they could be choc dipped too 🙂
I was hopeful that you’d found a brand of healthy cones- overly optimistic for the UK I think…! I’ve added the ice cream maker to my Amazon wishlist. Seeing as I’ve just come back from an expensive holiday I don’t think I should splash out right now but maybe next spring/summer!
Try raw chocolate next time 😉
Cool. Very Cool ;-). Happy blogidays, eating icecream, M
Have a lovely summer ♥ xx
Great review Sharon and I am so jealous! Your ice cream maker is fantastic, I have to remember to freeze my bowl and quite often there’s no room in the freezer.
The salted caramel flavour is the next one on my list to make – I’ll try fit the bowl into the freezer tonight!
Lovely pictures too!
Have a wonderful weekend xo
We loved the salted caramel! It has the most amazing flavour and I love the fact that it’s made with coconut sugar. It also scooped perfectly straight from the freezer ♥
Have a wonderful weekend! I look forward to catching up on my return to blogging at the end of August xx
I’m so jealous I’d love to make ice cream but I still don’t have a freezer! These look so darn tasty!
Enjoy your break and look forward to your return and round up post
You must get a freezer so you can fill it with frozen berries for smoothies and lots of yummy ice cream and sorbets 😀 If you’ve got the space in your kitchen, you should see if you can pick one up for free from Freecycle.
Have a wonderful summer! I’ll miss our tweets but the break from technology will do me the world of good. I look forward to catching up with you on my return xx
This looks amazing! My only problem is that the container is too small. 🙂
Oooh I’m so glad you got an ice cream maker! Let us see more of Aimee’s book as you make your way through it….I’ve been drooling over all the reviews of it!
I have an ice cream maker that attaches to my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer….you have to sit the whole bowl in the freezer and then you can take it out and attach it where the mixing bowl normally goes. I’m pretty impressed with how it does, churning out ice cream in about 20 minutes!
I’m with Lil L…totally would have picked the salted caramel flavour!!
I’ve made a super-natural tasting mint chocolate chip ice cream before using coconut milk as a base. http://kokoskitchen.com/occasional-indulgence/vegan-mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream/
Very fresh but very unlike a typical ‘mint chocolate chip’ ice cream!
Have a great summer ‘vacation’ from blogging– enjoy it Sharon!! xx
You have almost swayed me to get an ice cream maker too, but sadly bench top / cupboard space is as much at a premium here as freezer space, so I probably shouldn’t pursue the idea! I am lucky to have a food processor that can cope with the freeze and blend method (or at least, I will be when it arrives of our shipment) and coconut ice cream at home is definitely better than the expensive store varieties. Your creations look amazing!
These look amazing! Enjoy your time off the web 🙂
I have debated getting an ice-cream maker for some time now – but to be honest I’m far too lazy when I can just make banana soft serve in 2 minutes 😉 haha