MY HUSBAND GOT ME A KITCHEN APPLIANCE FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!!
Isn’t he wonderful?!! True, I did drop subtle hints like, “I want a Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker for my birthday. Here’s the link. The Breville one. B.R.E.V.I.L.L.E.” But, it’s the follow through that matters! We’ve been chugging along for years with a Cusinart Ice Cream Maker that requires you to pre-freeze the bowl for 24 hours and that did produce some good ice cream. But, I’ve always had my eye on this prize:
The Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker! Remember how bad Ralphie wanted that Red Ryder BB Gun in “A Christmas Story“? Well, you get the picture here. It has a built-in compressor so no more clunky ice cream bowls taking up permanent residence in my freezer! Plus, it has TWELVE different hardness settings and they actually work! On the down side, it retails for $399. Still, I’d much prefer this gift to jewelry or a spa day or some other such luxury, but that’s just me.
I christened my Breville baby with a batch of Salted Caramel from Aimee Ryan’s awesome cookbook Coconut Milk Ice Cream. Good stuff!!! Aimee uses an arrowroot slurry instead of egg yolks to create a custard-like base. Her technique works very well, but I’m old school and my Paleo Chocolate Salted Caramel Ice Cream, which was inspired by Aimee’s recipe, uses tempered egg yolks.
For my first original ice cream recipe, I made Paleo Dragonfruit Gelato. Dragonfruit tastes like a cross between watermelon and kiwi with the texture of kiwi. I scooped out the sweet flesh and blended it with coconut milk, vanilla powder, maple syrup, xanthan gum and lime juice (because the judges on Top Chef are always complaining that whatever dish they’ve been served “needs more acid”). I poured the puree into my fancy-dancy Breville and–thirty minutes later–my exotic and (in my humble opinion) delicious gelato was ready to eat! My husband Mike came home while it was still churning, and his eyes got all bright when he asked, “Is it chocolate?” “Nope. Dragonfruit,” I replied. When it was done, he got the first bite. His reaction: “What is this again? Dragonfly? Well, I wouldn’t refuse it, but I wish it was chocolate.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but, on the bright side, that’s how my second original ice cream recipe, Paleo Chocolate Salted Caramel Ice Cream, was born.
So, let’s make some Paleo Chocolate Salted Caramel Ice Cream! For a 1 1/2 quart batch, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- one 13.5 oz can coconut milk (I use Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk.)
- two 5.4 oz cans coconut cream (I use Native Forest Organic Premium Coconut Cream.)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Coconut Sugar)
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder (I use JoyFuel Raw Organic Cacao Powder.)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder (I use Wilderness Poets Wildcrafted Pure Vanilla Powder or you can substitute with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.)
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt (I use SunFood Super Foods Fine Himalayan Crystal Salt.)
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional. I use Kiva All Natural Xanthan Gum)
- 3 egg yolks
After reading the list of ingredients, you may be thinking that this recipe should be named Coconut Paleo Chocolate Salted Caramel Ice Cream. It’s true, there are a lot of coconut-based products in this recipe, but I promise you, the end result does not smell or taste like coconut at all. Let’s talk a bit more about some of the ingredients. When selecting your coconut milk and coconut cream, read the ingredient list carefully to make sure that there are no added sweeteners or other unwanted preservatives or artificial ingredients. The Native Forest brand of coconut milk and coconut cream does contain guar gum, which is derived from the guar bean and is used as a stabilizer, but I’m okay with that. There are other brands out there that have coconut as the only ingredient or, if you are feeling more industrious than me, you can always make your own. One more note on the coconut cream. The coconut cream that is used in Paleo cooking is a completely different product than that Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut stuff that often appears in Pina Coladas. The former is a health food. The latter is a refined sugar bomb!
Moving on to coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has a distinctive flavor that is similar to brown sugar or maple syrup. It has a low glycemic index, but it is not a low cal food. For this recipe, it is the coconut sugar that produces the caramel flavor. For that reason, substitutions are not recommended.
Next up, raw cacao power. Yes, the spelling is correct. Although cocoa powder and cacao powder are both derived from the same plant, cacao powder generally refers to a raw powder made from unroasted cacao beans that are minimally processed with no additives. I find that raw cacao powder has a deeper flavor than processed cocoa powder.
Vanilla powder may be another new ingredient to you. It is made up of 100% ground vanilla beans and has a super concentrated vanilla flavor. It is used as a Paleo substitute for vanilla extract because extract usually contains alcohol and alcohol is not Paleo friendly. If you don’t mind the alcohol, feel free to substitute the vanilla powder with vanilla extract, but you’ll need to double the amount.
Finally, we come to xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is not Paleo, but is often used as a thickener and stabilizer in homemade ice cream. It helps to prevent ice crystals and gives the ice cream a smoother, creamier texture. Because the amount used is so small in comparison to the benefit, I use it. If it bothers you, leave it out. Your Paleo Chocolate Salted Caramel Ice Cream will still be delicious!
The preparation for Paleo Chocolate Salted Caramel Ice Cream is pretty easy. First, in a separate heat-resistant bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and set aside. Next, add all remaining ingredients (except the egg yolks) into a medium size saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture is slightly thickened–about 5-7 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Add a small amount of the cooked mixture into the whisked egg yolks (not the other way around), whisking constantly until incorporated. (This technique is called tempering and prevents the egg yolks from turning into scrambled eggs. For more info, check out this Better Homes & Gardens video on tempering eggs.) Continue whisking small amounts of the cooked mixture into the egg yolks until all of the cooked mixture has been fully incorporated. For best results, chill mixture in refrigerator for at least two hours or more until completely cooled. Freeze cooled mixture in ice cream maker following manufacturer’s directions. Enjoy your Paleo Chocolate Salted Caramel Ice Cream, which proudly bears the Mike Schultz Seal of Approval!
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (I use Native Forest Organic Classic.)
- 2 5.4 oz cans coconut cream (I use Native Forest Organic)
- ½ cup coconut sugar (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Organic.)
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder (I use JoyFuel's Organic.)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder (I use Wilderness Poets' Wildcrafted or you can substitute with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.)
- ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (optional. I use Kiva All Natural Non-GMO)
- 3 egg yolks
- In a separate heat-resistant bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and set aside.
- Add all remaining ingredients (except the egg yolks) into a medium size saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are well combined and mixture is slightly thickened--about 5-7 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil.
- Add a small amount of the cooked mixture to the whisked egg yolks, whisking constantly until incorporated. Continue whisking small amounts of the cooked mixture into the egg yolks until all of the cooked mixture has been fully incorporated.
- For best results, chill mixture in refrigerator for at least two hours or more until completely cooled.
- Freeze cooled mixture in ice cream maker following manufacturer's directions.