It’s finally gorgeous and sunny up here. Patios are open, bikers have taken over the streets, the city is vibrant, the birds are singing, there’s a palpable excitement in the air. I’m soaking up every little bit of sunshine I can get, trying to make up for all the vitamin D my body has been missing during those cold months. I can smell it in the air, the warm season is definitely, officially, miraculously on its way. And I am the happiest lady in the world.
Which means, ice cream season is officially open! Which means, I’m the happiest of all happy ladies in the world.
When temperature hits 15 degrees celsius, ice cream reclaims its place in my regular diet – and I don’t feel guilty when it’s as wholesome as this one. Truth is I could very well eat ice cream all year long if I didn’t have a predominantly vata constitution and wasn’t so cold all the time. Saying that I love ice cream would be an understatement. I worked in an ice cream shop as a teenager, and this over exposure (seeing, smelling, serving, eating ice cream all day long, all week long) could very well have put an end to my love affair with ice cream. But it didn’t. In fact, I think it made me love and appreciate it even more. Ice cream is one of those things that go right to your heart. I like to think that it does some good to the soul too.
I don’t own an ice cream maker (although I can very well see it in my future), so I was on a mission this week to make the best ice cream possible out of simple wholesome ingredients and a good old blender.
I’ve played with this recipe a bit and initially made it with bananas and coconut milk. Although the taste was really nice, the ice cream had a slightly icy texture that wasn’t creamy enough for me. For my next attempt, I chose to use coconut cream (instead of milk) and avocados (because of their extra-creaminess). The result? Magical.
This ice cream is smooth and perfectly creamy. It’s super chocolat-y and decadent, but it’s full of things that are actually good for you. It’s dairy-free, refined sugar free and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It actually reminds me of this insanely delicious chocolate mousse, but in a frozen version. Heaven.
This ice cream is absolutely delicious on its own, but for a real treat, I recommend that you squeeze it between two chewy tahini cookies. These cookies are so easy to make and totally addictive, it would be a shame not to add them in. Tahini may sound odd in a sweet application, but I swear it complements the taste of chocolate insanely well and balances the flavours to perfection.
Notes: You can add a tiny splash of vodka to the ice cream mixture to prevent it from freezing to a really hard consistency. I didn’t have vodka on hand so I didn’t use it here, but add it if you can, it will help the texture. Get the ice cream out of the freezer about 20 minutes or so before forming the sandwiches so that it is soft enough to scoop.
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches w/ Tahini Cookies (Vegan + GF)
No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream
- 2 x 14 oz. cans full-fat coconut milk - refrigerated overnight
- 200 g. avocado flesh about 1 large or 2 small avocados
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch sea salt
- 3/4 cup almond flour you can make your own by grinding raw almonds in your food processor
- 1/2 cup oat flour - certified gluten-free if necessary you can make your own by grinding oats in your food processor
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Raw cacao nibs
Chocolate Ice Cream
Make sure the cans of coconut milk have been refrigerated overnight, or for at least 8 hours. This will allow the cream to separate from the water. Open the cans and scoop out the layer of cream on top and place it in the container of a high speed blender. (Keep the water for other uses, such as smoothies and soups). Add avocado flesh, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a good pinch of sea salt to the blender.
Blend on high speed until completely smooth. You might need to scrape down the edges a few times - the consistency will be quite thick. Once smooth, place the mixture in a parchment-lined glass or metal container and cover with plastic wrap.
Set in the freezer. You can freeze it overnight, or check the consistency after 5-6 hours. Mine was perfect after about 8 hours. Remove the ice cream at least 20 minutes before forming the sandwiches.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the almond flour, oat flour, baking powder and sea salt. In another small bowl, mix together the tahini and maple syrup. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
Form cookies with a spoon - about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie - and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten with your hands to make sure they are thin enough.
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. The cookies might still be a bit soft - that's ok. They will continue to harden a bit while they cool. Don't over bake - we want a soft cookie.
Assemble the sandwiches
Warm your ice cream scoop under hot water prior to scooping. Place a scoop of ice cream onto a cookie. Top with another cookie and press to flatten lightly.
Place cacao nibs in a small plate and roll the edges of the sandwich to coat, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.”