There is something truly magical about this ice cream that turns its simplicity into pure decadence. The rich coconut and chocolate flavours meet almost halfway, with chocolate slightly taking over. They're so wonderfully balanced that even someone who is not a coconut fan would love this ice cream. The heavenly fusion of flavours makes for an exquisite taste sensation. The texture is seductively smooth and velvety, forming a thick coating inside the mouth as the ice cream melts. Had I not made it myself, I wouldn't have believed vegan ice cream could be so incredibly creamy and light, especially without using an ice cream maker. Once you taste homemade ice cream the ready-made one becomes a distant memory.
The chilled coconut fat locks the flavours in and releases them as it slowly melts away in the mouth. This refreshing, mood-enhancing ice cream is the perfect dessert to brighten up your day or to liven up a party. With only 3 ingredients and 15 minute preparation the ice cream is really easy to make and the result is extremely rewarding. Every stage of the preparation process can be turned into the most indulgent treat:
- a luscious, energizing smoothie, in its liquid form
- an exotic, sensual soft serve, halfway through chilling
- a slow-melting, party-worthy ice cream, after a well deserved rest in the freezer.
Just as cooked food tastes best as soon as it's done, when all the flavours are at their peak, so does this ice cream. If you're feeling adventurous, you could play around with additional flavours. I greatly enjoyed the simplicity of this combination and didn't feel the need to experiment further. I also kept the sweetness at a minimum, to allow the two flavours to come through without overpowering them. This ice cream will not disappoint, it's really easy to make and absolutely delicious.
No-Churn Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream
- 150 g vegan chocolate (60% cacao)
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) agave nectar
- 1 can (400 ml) creamy coconut milk (silky smooth texture, high fat content - see note)
Note: For this ice cream to be very creamy and in order to avoid the formation of ice crystals, you need coconut milk with a high fat content (at least 70% coconut extract). Please refer to my update on the Chocolate Mousse post for more details.
Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. By doing this, the coconut fat solidifies and separates at the top, leaving some clear liquid at the bottom. The coconut cream should be smooth (some brands feel powdery and don't work in this ice cream).
Break the chocolate into small pieces and put them in a glass bowl. Add the agave nectar. In a pot the size of the bottom of the glass bowl add a little water and bring it to a boil on the smallest burner of your stovetop turned to high. Place the bowl on top without the bottom touching the water and give it about 30 seconds for the liquid to warm up and the chocolate to start melting. Reduce the heat to low and start stirring the chocolate with a wooden spoon. Before the chocolate is completely melted, turn off the heat and remove the bowl. Allow the residual heat to completely melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally.
The whole melting process takes no more than 3-4 minutes and when done the chocolate sauce should be warm, not hot.
You may have a different way of opening the can of coconut milk, this is mine: remove the can from the fridge and carefully turn it upside down without sudden moves. Open the can from the bottom (which is now up).
Discard the transparent liquid, about 4-5 tablespoons, or reserve and use later on in a smoothie.
Add 2 heaped tablespoons of coconut cream to the chocolate sauce and whisk until well combined and smooth.
Add the remaining coconut cream and whisk again until smooth.
The resulting coconut chocolate cream will be thick and runny. This is the smoothie stage I mentioned above.
To achieve the soft serve consistency, the cream has to be chilled in the freezer for 1.5 - 2 hours and since we're not using an ice cream maker this is done in a few steps. As it sits in the freezer, the cream will solidify and harden from the glass towards the centre. To reach a uniform texture, remove the bowl after 30 minutes and mix well with a spoon. The picture above was taken after the first 30 minutes. Place the bowl back into the freezer and repeat the mixing process 2-3 times every 30 minutes. When the ice cream holds its shape while still being soft, it is ready to be piped out into bowls and served.
Of course, you don't need any fancy presentation to enjoy the ice cream. Once it's ready you can just grab a spoon and eat it straight from the bowl:)
It is best to chill the serving bowls in the freezer for a couple of minutes before spooning or piping the ice cream into them, so that it doesn't start melting right away.
The creaminess of this ice cream will blow your mind. For a bit of crunch, melt together 25 g chocolate and 1 tsp agave nectar and drizzle over the ice cream right before serving.
To obtain a scoopable consistency, you can either continue with a few more 30 minute steps, or skip them altogether and just place the coconut chocolate cream in the freezer for a couple of hours. I didn't have an ice cream scoop, so I used my 15 ml (1 Tb) measurement since it was rounded, and it worked:)
Surprisingly, even after being in the fridge overnight (I tried that with another batch) the ice cream was still creamy and smooth, with no ice crystals in it. If you do leave it in the freezer overnight, remove it and allow it to soften on the counter at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving.
So here it is, a straight-forward ice cream recipe with no hidden tricks or complicated techniques that anyone can make. Homemade ice cream is so good, it should be illegal;)
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
If you've tried this ice cream I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!