Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Recipe Mashup: Caramel Coffee Vegan Ice Cream

Ice Cream I don't like to have too many gadgets around my apartment, but sometimes a case can be made if something is going to save me a lot of money. Case in point: ice cream maker. A 2-quart Cuisinart model set me back 60 dollars on Amazon, and it probably won't take long before Jeff and I have eaten that much ice cream and sorbet.

Excited to receive the package a day earlier than I expected, I anticipated scooping beautiful mounds of creamy perfection later that evening. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that although ice cream can be made in roughly half an hour, it takes time to make the "ice cream soup," and even longer to let it cool down enough before churning. Lesson learned! But that wasn't enough to set me back from using my awesome new gadget. I figured I'd just have something sweeter than usual for breakfast.

My first try was Vegan Dad's basic vanilla ice cream, mixing in some chocolate chips (both dark and white chocolate) at the end. But what is even better is the stuff I made last weekend. Looking to recreate the caramel macchiato recipe from The Blooming Platter, I decided to do a sort of mash-up of recipes between that and the aforementioned Vegan Dad vanilla. The results were nothing short of amazing. While the frozen product can tend toward the icy rather than the creamy, waiting 30 seconds or so before eating (if you can exercise that much restraint!) yields a delectably creamy mouth feel, without having to spend big bucks on So Delicious at the store.

Caramel Coffee Ice Cream

Caramel Coffee Vegan Ice Cream
Yield: Approx 1 Quart

3/4 C brown sugar (packed)
2 T vegan margarine
1 T soy milk
2 C soy milk

Heat the brown sugar, margarine, and 1 T soy milk in a saucepan over medium heat until everything melts, whisking continuously. When the consistency gets thick (but not hard), add 2 C soy milk and whisk to combine. Let simmer on low while you do the next step:

1 can full fat coconut milk (cooled so the cream has separated)
Soy milk or creamer
2 T arrowroot or cornstarch
1 T coffee (you can use instant, I didn't)
1 T vanilla extract

Skim the cream off of the top of the coconut milk until you get to the watery stuff left over, and put it into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add enough soy milk or creamer to make 2 cups of liquid. Stir, and also mix in the coffee and vanilla extract.

Take half of this mixture and put it into a small bowl. Add the arrowroot and whisk until it is combined. Pour this into the saucepan with the brown sugar and soy milk, and whisk. Let it bubble and thicken, and the texture should be (as Vegan Dad puts it) glossy. (It's an apt description.) Then add the other bowl of coconut milk / soy milk / coffee / vanilla and whisk until it becomes glossy again.

Pour the (almost) finished product into a bowl, cover, and put it in the fridge until it is thoroughly cold. Then churn it up using your ice cream maker's instructions.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Angora Cafe and Super 88: Packard's Corner Vegan Havens

Angora Cafe on Commonwealth Ave at Babcock St is now carrying soy frozen yogurt!

Similar to the Amsterdam Cafe in downtown Boston, they throw a vanilla soy soft serve into a machine, mix in whatever flavors you want (there are 30), and then give it to you. My favorite is green tea. SO good.

The price is pretty steep: $4.50 for about 1/3 of a pint, but it is truly delicious and refreshing if you need soft serve. Sometimes I do. For more bang for your buck, go to the Amsterdam Cafe, where for a similar price you get a full pint of the stuff and a beautiful neighborhood to walk through.

On to Asian supermarket fabulousity!

When we first moved to Lower Allston, we heard from many friends that Super 88 in P.C. was on its way out. Very little food on pallets and shelves, not much to speak of that was vegetarian. It sounded like the most disappointing shopping trip ever.

Lo and behold the Hong Kong Supermarket! It has taken over the Super 88 and restocked the shelves with tons of vegan goodness. Lots of tofu for an incredible price (even the locally made Cambridge tofu), frozen pot stickers and buns with veggie or lotus seed or red bean paste filling, oodles of noodles, aisles and aisles of sauces and dips, including the beloved Sriracha, and of course tons of Asian produce for a good price. Just bring a jacket-it's freezing in there.