Update 7/14/10: Contest closed.
Ice cream books seem to call my name when I walk through the book store. Somehow they end up in the front seat of my Honda Pilot and I find myself leafing though the pages at red lights.
While I always find new ideas and inspiration in every book I pick up, I’ve yet to find a comprehensive resource for making and storing ice cream. That is until The Ice Dream Cookbook by Chef Rachel Matesz.
What’s Ice Dream?
‘Ice Dream’ is Chef Rachel’s creative name for dairy-free, coconut based ice cream. I’ve tried store bought coconut ice cream and it sat in my freezer for months. Not so with Ice Dream. It’s smooth, creamy, and the coconut flavor is not overly pronounced. Even my coconut phobic husband loved the creamy, coffee flavor.
It’s obvious that Chef Rachel is a teacher at heart – she wants you to have all her secrets and techniques for making the perfect batch of ice dream. She’s included every necessary detail to create a fabulous batch of ice cream including where to buy supplies and equipment, technique tips, and best ice dream storage practices.
Alongside all the classics like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry there are recipes for Macaroon Madness, Green Tea, and Cocoa Macadamia just to name a few. Chef Rachel understands that each person has a different sweet spot and includes tips for varying the sweetness of each batch without using white sugar. She also includes gluten-free cookie & treat recipes to eat with your Ice Dream – though it’s so good all by itself that you won’t need them.
I made the lite variation exactly as the recipe is written except I only used 1/2 teaspoon of liquid stevia and didn’t add any liquor. It was perfectly sweet for me.
Chef Rachel has been generous enough to give one of my readers a copy of The Ice Dream Cookbook. To enter:
- Visit Chef Rachel’s blog, The Healthy Cooking Coach, and find something you like. Share it here in a comment.
- Leave a comment about any flavor of ice cream you’d like to make at home but haven’t yet.
- Tweet about this give away & leave a comment.
- Follow me on Twitter, Friend me on Facebook, and/or “Like” SS&GF. Leave a comment.
This give-away ends at 9 pm CST on Sunday, July 11th 2009. Sorry – this is only open to those living in the continental US.
Full disclosure: I did receive a review copy of The Ice Dream Cookbook but it in no way influenced my review.
Coffee and coconut milk team up to make a rich and robust dessert. Eat it early in the day if caffeine keeps you awake at night. Try it with Caramel, Chocolate, or Fudge Sauce, or with a fresh fruit salad. Chocolate chips, chunks of bittersweet dark chocolate, or cocoa nibs can be added during the last few minutes of churning. This recipe was reprinted with permission from of Chef Rachel Albert-Matesz.
- 1 cup brewed dark roast coffee (made double strength)
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin or 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder (not the flakes)
- 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk (regular, not lite)
- 1/3 cup honey or agavé nectar; additional 1 to 3 tablespoons as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder or 1 teaspoon clear stevia extract liquid
- 1/8 teaspoon finely ground unrefined sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
- 2 tablespoons light rum, brandy, Kahlua or cognac, optional
- Simmer the coffee in a saucepan until it reduces to 1/2 cup. Slowly sprinkle with gelatin or agar agar powder. Let stand for 2 minutes until it softens and dry spots disappear. Warm over medium-low heat, without stirring, until gelatin or agar agar dissolves. Scrape the mixture into a blender, Vita-Mix, or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Add the honey, sea salt and stevia. Blend.
- Add the coconut milk, vanilla, and optional liqueur. Blend. For a sweeter taste, add an additional 1/8 teaspoon stevia and/or 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey. Blend, taste, and repeat if needed.
- Pour into one or more wide mouth jars. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours before churning or use an ice bath to chill faster.
- Scrape the chilled custard into the canister of your ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Serve immediately or spoon into several 8- to 16-ounce freezer-safe containers. Cover and freeze for 3 or more hours for a firmer texture.
- Soften solidly frozen dessert by placing it in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
For best results, use dark-roasted coffee beans to make the coffee for this recipe. Medium-roasted beans won’t provide the same intensity of flavor. FYI: The addition of liqueur will help make the Ice Dream softer and easier to scoop even after weeks in the freezer.
Mexican Coffee Ice Dream: In step #3, add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Mocha Ice Dream: In step #3, add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder. If desired, replace light rum, brandy, or cognac, with chocolate liqueur or Kahlứa (coffee liqueur).
Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Dream: Coarsely chop 1 cup dairy-free or bittersweet chocolate chips (unless using mini chocolate chips) or cut a 4-ounce bar of bittersweet dark chocolate (70 to 73% cocoa content) into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/4 to 1/2 the size of regular chips). When Ice Dream reaches the soft-serve stage, add the chocolate bits and churn for 1 or 2 more minutes or fold them into the frozen Ice Dream as you remove it from the machine.
Lite Coffee Ice Dream: Replace half of the coconut milk with lite (reduced fat) coconut milk. Alternatively, use 100% lite coconut milk, but plan to use the batch immediately or within 24 hours before it becomes hard and icy.