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When I was writing the first draft of this, I was waffling on and on about the different milk and cream alternatives you can use for a vegan ice cream base. Then I realized that the writing comes across as insincere, less personal. The truth is this: I’ve never made vegan ice cream before. I don’t wish to purchase pricey cashews and/or almonds and then soak them to make cream. I don’t have an ice cream maker. I don’t quite understand why raw sugar is considered superior to brown or white sugar (I’m pretty sure the body can’t tell the difference).
What I do know is this - that there is a universal recipe for a no-churn ice cream base consisting of heavy cream and condensed milk. With that in mind, I tried recreating it by using coconut cream and condensed rice milk (recipe below). I’m not oblivious enough to say that this tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream, but the coconut flavor itself is very subtle and if you amp up the vanilla by throwing in the real deal; as in real vanilla seeds from a real vanilla bean instead of drops of essence like yours truly, then it’s a pretty close approximate.
CONDENSED RICE MILK (makes 1 cup):
[ 2 3/4 rice milk (can be substituted with any non-dairy milk) + 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ]
Simmer all the ingredients in a small pot on low heat for approximately one hour and 15 minutes while whisking occasionally. Don’t let the mixture boil aggressively; a very mild simmer is okay.
As the mixture reduces, lower the heat a bit more. In the last 10 minutes, whisk in the vanilla extract.
Transfer the condensed non-dairy milk to a container, cover and cools to at least room temperature before using.
VEGAN COCONUT VANILLA ICE CREAM:
[ 2 cups coconut cream + 1 cup condensed rice milk + 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1/8 teaspoon salt + 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder ]
In a big bowl, beat together coconut cream, arrowroot powder and condensed rice milk with a whisk or electric mixer until thick. Add in the vanilla extract and salt and whisk again until incorporated.
Pour the ice cream into an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours; checking after the first hour if any crystals has formed - if there are, give it a good whisk; before serving.
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