Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Best Blog Tips

Summer is finally in full swing here, and, just in time, I have a new ice cream maker! I have had a Donvier hand-crank machine for years (the kind that you use with a frozen canister, not ice and salt), and it is great, but it only make a quart, and I wanted one that I could leave to its own devices. I finally decided on the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker, which is pretty reasonable in price, got good reviews, and is widely available. Amazon.com carries it, and, here in Canada,they now carry it on amazon.ca .

It is great and I have been having lots of fun with it. I just keep the canister in the freezer at all times so that I can make vegan ice cream, gelato or sorbet at the drop of a hat! If your ingredients are cold, all you need to do is whip them up in the blender, pour into the machine and let it turn for about 20 minutes. It gets quite firm, but should be placed in the freezer in a covered container for several hours before serving.

I have to tell you that originally I got the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which was a little more expensive. However, even after 3 days of freezing the attachment, and 45 minutes of churning, the ice cream did not freeze (this happened twice), so I returned it. A friend told me that the same thing happened to her.

Anyway, I've been playing with my gelato recipe from my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". I wanted to make it richer, easier, and more servings.

One of the things I did was to use Instant Clearjel® instead of the cooked tapioca flour mixture that I generally used (tapioca thickens the mixture instead of eggs, and it has better mouth feel than cornstarch). This eliminates cooking the starch mixture. Instant Clearjel® is a modified corn starch, which simply means that it is precooked, used to thicken recipes. And the vegan ice cream made with it does not crystallize, or get rock-hard. It's creamy, and has no starchy mouth feel. (I have added the alternative of using Xanthan Gum or Guar gum instead.)

In this recipe, DO NOT use the regular Clearjel® meant for making jam and pies and needs to be cooked.  Instant Clearjel® does NOT need to be cooked.  It is carried on amazon.comhoosierhillfarm.combarryfarm.com and King Arthur Flour for US customers. It has been available in Canada primarily from baking supply wholesalers, but,  good news for Canadians-- amazon.ca finally carries Instant Clearjel®! (Make sure you add a note to your order specifying that you want INSTANT Clearjel®.) According to their website, Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver, BC carries it, too, but I'm not sure if they do mail order (their website is under construction right now).
For information about these thickeners, see
http://sharealikecooking.blogspot.ca/p/clearjel-page-clearly-best-thickeners.html (According to this source and others, Instant Clearjel® and Ultra Gel® are both NON-GMO.)

So, here is the result and we love it!


Adapted from the recipe in my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen", this is a knockout vegan ice cream treat! June 2008

1 cup soy or almond milk
6 oz dairy-free organic, good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces, or semisweet chocolate chips
2 3/4 cup soy or almond milk
3/4 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained
(If allergic to nuts, or don't have any cashews, use 1/2 cup more nondairy milk, or soy creamer, and 1/4 cup oil.)
3/4 cup  brown rice syrup
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: 2 tablespoons Amaretto, Frangelico, Kahlua, or other chocolate, coffee, orange, berry or nut liqueur
3/4 cup any organic unbleached sugar
1/3 cup organic dutch process cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Instant Clearjel® (OR you can use 3/8 teaspoon Xanthan gum or Guar Gum instead)

Mix the first 1 cup nondairy milk and the chocolate in a small pan over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted into the milk. Do not boil. OR (MICROWAVE METHOD) mix the milk and chocolate in a medium bowl and microwave at half power for 2 minutes. Stir. if the chocolate is not melted into the milk, microwave again in 1 minute increments until it is.

Place the remaining 2 3/4 cups milk into a blender along with the soaked, drained cashews, and blend until VERY smooth and frothy (make sure that it is not grainy at all).

Mix all of the remaining ingredients, and the melted chocolate/milk mixture, into this mixture and blend again until it is VERY smooth. (Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula so that no cocoa powder or Instant Clearjel® gets left behind.)

Chill the gelato mixture thoroughly, and then freeze according to directions for your ice cream machine. Scoop into a quart plastic container, cover and freeze for several hours before serving.

Servings: 16
Yield: about 2 qts.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving)
: 179.7 calories; 30% calories from fat; 6.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 74.5mg sodium; 178.5mg potassium; 31.9g carbohydrates; 1.0g fiber; 22.4g sugar; 30.9g net carbs; 3.4g protein; 4.0 points.



Erin said...

This sounds so yummy! Some day I'm gonna have to get an ice cream maker.

SallyT said...

I bought instant clear jel from King Arthur Flour. Never thought about using it for a frozen dessert. Thanks for the information!

Sharon Anne Hill said...

Terrific site, and the recipe looks delightful. I wanted to thank you for citing the link (for your comments on Instant ClearJel) Re: http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Instant_Clearjel%C2%AE . I've been touting this amazing thickener for years, and it's so much fun to see my quotes on different blogs and sites; I am honored.

Sharon Anne

Sharon Anne Hill said...

So I fully understand... in the recipe, you recommend using (both) 3/4 c liquid sweetener and 3/4 c granulated sweetener?

Thank you in advance,
Sharon Anne


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Yes, that's right, Sharon Anne-- both kinds. Thanks for posting!

Haley said...

MMM... I have been on a search for some wonderful vegan ice cream that doesn't use tofu!
Is there anything I could use in place of the instant clearjel?

Marcos said...

Bryanna, please be careful of the brand that you purchase. Most clearjel is GMO. There is only one that isn't.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Marcos-- I'll eventually get that added to any clear-jel posts!

KAY said...

could you omit the liquid sweetener and use just the granulated?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Using some syrup improves texture. Often corn syrup is used-- I use brown rice syrup instead. Agave or golden syrup could be used as well.