Saturday, June 24, 2006

IMBB27 + SHF20: Cookies & Cream Vegan Ice Cream

This month's food meme mashup of IMBB27 and SHF20 is hosted by Reid, of the inimitable Ono Kine Grindz, everyone's favorite Hawaiian food blog. If you don't know what I'm talking about, allow me to clarify. Every month, many food bloggers participate in the food blogging events Is My Blog Burning? (IMBB) and Sugar High Friday (SHF), which usually occur independently, but happen to both be run by Reid this month. Everyone makes a dish according to a theme and sends it in to one blogger who publishes a roundup (list of links) of all the participating bloggers and their recipes. The catch is that the events are themed and this month's theme is soy.
It didn't take me long to decide what to make.
First, I wanted something sweet, which would be appropriate to the spirit of SHF as well as IMBB. Given that it is getting pretty darn hot here in Los Angeles, I figured that something cold would be a good choice, too. The final piece of the puzzle came from leftover cookies.
I made cookies n' cream ice cream with a low-fat soy milk base. Since my Trader Joe's Jo-Jo's (Oreo cookie look-alikes) are vegan, this made the whole ice cream vegan. How's that for a guiltless summer treat?
The ice cream turns out to taste pretty much just like cookies and cream. It is smooth an creamy, with a bit of crunch from the cookies. The chocolatey color is due to the fact that I crushed up some cookies very finely, while leaving others in bigger chunks. If you only want chunks, stir in the crushed up cookies after the ice cream base has churned in the ice cream maker. And yes, I do recommend that you use an ice cream maker for this recipe.
This works best with low fat soy milk, which will yeild a slightly creamier than non-fat. Using vanilla soy milk will give you even more vanilla flavor.

Vegan Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
3 cups vanilla soy milk
5 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1/2 tsp almond extract
6-10 cookies (depending on how much cookie you want!)

In a large saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk, sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer, then scrape out the vanilla bean, stirring the seeds into the milk mixture, and discard the pod. Whisk cornstarch together with remaining 1/2 cup soy milk and pour into the hot vanilla milk mixture, while whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium low and, stirring occasionally, cook until it has thickened and starts to bubble (3-5 minutes). Stir in almond extract.
Refrigerate until cold.
Crush cookies and add both cookies and chilled cream base into your ice cream maker and freeze according to directions.

Makes 4 generous servings, more than enough to cool you off on a hot day.

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