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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

EASY VEGAN CHOCOLATE GELATO!

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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 use (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.)

For clump-free, smooth results: "...it is best when first combined with dry ingredients, before adding liquid. It will begin to swell or thicken as soon as it is added to water, milk or juices; it will impart a smooth, short texture when fully hydrated, reaching its full thickness within 5-10 minutes (without requiring any cooking). Instant Clearjel® can be used in cooking as well. The viscosity will increase slightly upon heating. It has excellent heat and acid resistance and can be used in acid containing foods and in those applications where heating is required. It has good cold temperature storage stability, making it particularly well suited for refrigerated and frozen foods." Source

America's Test Kitchen recommends it for fruit pies, BTW. 


It isn't available on store shelves-- here in Canada I had to purchase 11 lbs. of it from a bakery supply company (Snowcap), but maybe a bakery would sell you a smaller amount (I now have a lifetime supply). You can now order it in Canada from the Gourmet Warehouse(Vancouver).


Inn the US, you can mail-order it from (and I believe that they all ship to Canada):



King Arthur Flour 


In Australia/NZ you can order it from the Angel Food online catalog

So, here is the result and we love it!


BRYANNA'S REVISED VEGAN CHOCOLATE GELATO

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, such as Almond Breeze (I used my homemade soymilk--BCG)
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
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Instant Clearjel® OR 3/8 teaspoon Xanthan gum or Guar Gum

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 mik. 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.


Enjoy!

6 comments:

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.

Warmly,
Sharon Anne
http://sharonanne.com
http://kneadingANYinspiration.blogspot.com

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

http://sharonanne.com
http://kneadingANYinspiration.blogspot.com

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?