BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Sticky Solutions

20 Comments

Presented with a challenge verging on an outright dare, it’s hard to ignore even the craziest, most curious idea. A recent request for an ice cream base that could be completed with interchangeable flavored syrups, however, took a bit more prodding and begging than usual. Though intrigued, I found myself less than enthused to explore that ambiguous concept. Non-committal to a fault, it’s near impossible for me to pin down a single “correct” method of solving any problem, so to suggest a sole base that could accommodate every flavor that gets thrown at it sounded preposterous. Every recipe is different, as I found especially true while developing Vegan a la Mode, a yet surely there could be some loophole that could allow equal success when the basic composition didn’t change. The one variable in the equation is the actual taste of the liquid sweetener, after all.

First things first, no ordinary simple syrup need apply for this job; only highly concentrated and intense solutions will fit the bill. Since they’re further diluted when mixed with non-dairy milk, it’s a good thing if they verge on too strong when sampled solo. As for the actual flavor, with ready access to culinary extracts and oils, your imagination is limit. Ideal for days far removed from any harvest when quality fruits are hard to come by, such a flexible approach finally turns ice cream into an accessible, all-seasons treat.

Need a bit of color to satisfy your hunger for eye candy? The clear liquid sugar is easily dressed up with any variety of natural food colorings or whole foods-based alternatives. Swap out some of the water for beet or carrot juice; blend the cooked and cooled mixture with a handful of fresh spinach until smooth; add a pinch of turmeric or ground annatto at any point in the process. There’s no excuse for bland treats, either in taste or appearance!

Ultimately, what came out of this sweet challenge is more of a formula- guidelines, if you will- than a hard and fast recipe. Feel free to continue exploring, adapting to taste, and inventing your own unique solutions. For the richest, creamiest texture, opt for full-fat canned coconut milk to complement your syrups, but take into account how that added flavor may (or may not) pair with the other flavors invited to the party.

Syrup-Based Ice Cream

Extra-Strong Syrup:

2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Water
1/2 Teaspoon Essential Oil, Candy Flavoring Oil, or 2 – 3 Tablespoons Baking Extract of Choice
Coloring (Optional)

Basic Ice Cream Formula:

2 1/2 Cups Plain Non-Dairy Milk
3/4 Cup Super-Saturated Simple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

The procedure here really couldn’t be any easier. First, to make the syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir briefly to combine. Set over medium heat and cook just until the sugar crystals have all dissolved. Remove the pan from the stove, add your flavor and color of choice, and let cool completely before storing in an air-tight bottle or using in your ice cream

Moving right along to the ice cream, in a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and whisk thoroughly to break up any lumps of starch. Once smooth, set over medium heat. Stir periodically and allow the mixture to come up to a full boil, at which point the liquid should have thickened significantly. Turn off the heat, let cool, and then stash in the fridge to chill for at least three hours before churning.

When nice and cold all the way through, churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the soft ice cream into an airtight container and let rest in the freezer for at least 3 hours before serving, until solid enough to scoop.

Makes 1 Scant Quart

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

20 thoughts on “Sticky Solutions

  1. I have yet to venture into making my own vegan ice cream but at the price the ones are in the store, it’s about time. Have to make room in the freezer for the ice cream maker though. You pictures are wonderful (as usual.)

    janet

  2. Yum Yum yummmm,….Thanks! X

  3. The colours on those little balls of loveliness are so pretty, and very much making me yearn for an ice cream maker.

  4. Your vegan ice cream looks so lovely!

  5. Only you, Hannah, could come up with something so beautiful and tasty like this! You are the Willy Wonka of non dairy ice cream. :)

  6. This ice cream looks fantastic! I really need to make some before summer is totally gone!

  7. Whoa! Did someone mention a crazy new ice cream making technique?! I’m so in.

  8. Hannah, your recipes and photos are INCREDIBLE!!! Great job, I love the mirrored table. :)

  9. Hannah, this is such an interesting post! You must have done a lot of experimenting before arriving at this base recipe. Kudos to all the hard work! It’s amazing how you can have such perfect non dairy ice cream and love it that you choose to use natural coloring for foods. Beautiful photos!

  10. Love it! So fabulous- this looks amazing! Can’t wait to try this!

  11. Beautiful colors Hannah…they indeed are very attractive.
    Thanks for the vegan ice cream recipe and have wonderful week :D

  12. How cool! I love the colors and the ability to make different flavors and taste so easily. :-)

  13. now this is how an ice cream should look. :) so perfectly shaped and pretty:)

  14. Such lovely photos and an impressive recipe!

  15. Bookmarked. I have been looking for non dairy ice-cream recipes for my niece who is lactose intolerant. She will love this.

  16. THANK YOU, Hannah!!!!!! Thrilled :) – Lili

  17. Sigh! Just got back from my Greek Holiday, having feasted on feta and freshly made bread- need to lose many pounds- and you tempt me with these…

  18. Hi Hannah, I love ice cream. I could eat ice cream everyday all day!!! These look deliciously evil and I cannot wait to try some! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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