Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Best Blog Tips

Last Sunday we had a family party (24 of us) for my granddaughter Mariah's 13th birthday.  Because Mariah loves coffee flavor, I made two 9 x 13-inch Chocolate Mudpie Cakes with Coffee/Coconut/Pecan Icing (except that I used almonds instead of pecans, which I was short of).  To go with it, I made a double batch of the following ice cream. There were only a few vegans there, but everyone loved this rich-tasting treat, and we had no leftovers to bring home (which is a good thing, since we are weight-watching!).

               The Birthday Girl cutting her cake, with eager guests waiting.

A while ago, I started playing with my gelato recipe from my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". I wanted to make it richer-tasting, easier to make, and with 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, which means the whole thing takes less time and it doesn't take so long to chill the gelato mixture before freezing. Another option is xanthan gum or guar gum, and I have given the amounts for these in the recipe.

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 and King Arthur Flour for US customers. It has been available in Canada primarily from baking supply wholesalers, but,  good news for Canadians-- 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 (According to this source and others, Instant Clearjel® and Ultra Gel® are both NON-GMO.)

I plan to experiment with more vegan ice creams, gelati and sorbets over the summer, so stay tuned.  I hope you enjoy this one, which is a variation of "Butter Pecan".

Printable Recipe

 Servings: 12
Yield: approximately 1 1/2 qts. (6 cups)
Due to the addition of the melted vegan buttery spread (essential for the flavor of this recipe) and the nuts, this is little richer than most of my ice cream recipes.

NOTES: The Instant Clearjel®  (or guar or xanthan gum) in the recipe makes the ice cream very creamy and prevents it from getting rock-hard in the freezer.

You will need a home ice cream maker for this recipe. If you don’t have an electric version (this is the one I have), an inexpensive hand-cranked version (the type that uses a metal cylinder which is kept frozen in the freezer until used), such as the Donvier, works just fine (and you only have to turn the handle 3 or 4 times every few minutes).
4 1/4 cups    commercial almond milk (original style)
3/4 cup    maple syrup (grade B is fine)
3/4 cup    granulated organic unbleached sugar 
1/4 cup melted good-tasting vegan buttery spread (such as my homemade Buttah)
1 tablespoon    pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste  
2 3/4 teaspoons    Instant Clearjel®  OR 3/8 tsp. guar gum or xanthan gum
3/8 teaspoon    salt
1/2 cup chopped whole (un-blanched) almonds (do not leave them in large chunks) 
1 tablespoon good-tasting vegan buttery spread (such as my homemade Buttah)
Process all of the ingredients EXCEPT the almonds and last tablespoon of buttery spread in a blender until VERY smooth and frothy (make sure that it is not grainy at all).

Chill the ice cream mixture thoroughly—this is very important!

While it chills, melt the 1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread in a medium-sized heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped almonds and stir constantly until they are getting golden.  Scrape onto a plate and place that in the freezer.

When the ice cream mixture is thoroughly cold, freeze it according to directions for your ice cream machine. When it is firm, but still moving, slowly add the chilled toasted almonds and churn a little bit longer. Scoop into freezer containers, cover and freeze for several hours before serving.
 Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving): 193.0 calories; 34% calories from fat; 7.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 133.4mg sodium; 147.1mg potassium; 30.0g carbohydrates; 1.1g fiber; 27.2g sugar; 29.0g net carbs; 1.6g protein; 4.3 points.


Mattheworbit said...

You're always so innovative!

We've just bought an icecream maker, and I've begun experimenting with xanthan gum - so I really look forward to trying this. Thanks for the tips.


Heather McCann said...

Wow this looks SO good! Thanks so much for sharing! Mmmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna,

I was able to purchase a small amount of clearjel from Galloways in New Westminster, B.C. I think they also have an online site to order from.

Love your site; have many of your cookbooks; and whenever I need answers to anything cooking related, you're the one I turn to.

Best regards,

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Gail I couldn't find it on their website-- do you have a link?

Anonymous said...

There are two sites. I usually go to - the store.

Apparently galloway's was originally owned by two brothers from Uganda, who decided to separate the businesses. So same family, but different business. I don't know if one can order online from the New West store. Am afraid I assumed the two stores would carry much the same product. Perhaps a direct email would clarify things. I've always found the New West store owner to be very helpful.

Hope that helps........Gail

narf7 said...

I might have to go with the original tapioca option or the gum option as I have an icecubes chance in hades of getting any of that clear gel here Bryanna ;)