Monday, 14 May 2007

Dairy free Chocolate Ice-Cream (egg-free dairy-free gluten-free)

They say that in the days of Cavemen and Cavewomen, the men went off to hunt. As a band of brothers they were a slick, fighting machine that brought home the meat for dinner.

They say that the Cavewomen stayed closer to the Cave. As a giggle of sisters they were a nattering lot and would forage around for tasty morsels to enhance the evening meatfest. The wee cavebabies would potter around close to Cavemummy.

They suspect that this ancient heritage explains why men nowadays find it seemingly impossible to focus on more than one task at a time. They also say that it explains why women have an insatiable appetite for gossip, are quite good with the small folk and are very good at bringing home sparkly trinkets and lots of little packages.

I am very tempted to guffaw at these notions, and race off down the well-trodden route of male-bashing. "Oh for goodness’ sake, how hard can it be to cook a meal, listen to the radio, unstack the dishwasher, help with homework, change a nappy, check your email, text your mate AND clear up afterwards?" I’m tempted to do some male-bashing, but I’m not going to.

This is because I have given the matter some thought. Imagine it’s true, and that the band of brothers really did have to go out and kill big hairy animals for their dinner. You would have to be pretty focussed on that task. Taking your eye off the mammoth and debating the pros and cons of spending a weekend in Cornwall could easily result in a tusk through the jugular. So I guess it really was in their interests to keep quiet, get irritable with any interruptions, wear headphones and only think of one thing.

Now let’s consider the Cavewomen. If they really did go out and just forage for little titbits with their offspring in tow, it would be pretty mind-numbing wouldn’t it? They’d have to gossip. They might even get a bit side-tracked and pick out a pretty flower for their hair. Or two. Or perhaps three, oh, and one for that lovely fur that her man promised her next month.

So all these male and female differences are beginning to make sense to me.

Given that it is now clearly proven that it is in our very bones to shop, may I recommend browsing for an ice-cream maker? They are not very expensive and if you say ‘la-la-la’ as the cashier tells you the total, you will barely feel it. I’m sure this expense could come under ‘Household Expenditure’.

If you have a child with a milk or an egg allergy, then we could even argue that it is akin to neglect to deprive them of ice-cream. Maybe that’s going a tad far, but really, a machine that helps your child and makes you look like a culinary goddess…what are you waiting for?
Chocolate Forager Ice-Cream
200ml rice milk
0.25-0.5 tsp xanthan gum (gluten-free, here's one)
100g dried apricots
80ml warmed rice milk
2 tbsps dairy-free spread (here's one)
170g sugar
180g gluten-free dark chocolate (here's one)
3 tbsps coconut cream (here's one)
2 tbsps Cointreau
  • Heat the rice milk gently in a saucepan, sprinkle the xanthan gum over as it warms and whisk like mad. There may be a cunning trick to adding xanthan gum to liquid, I don't know it. It went in to small lumps, but with whisking and warming it all came right. Phew. NOTE: the consistency you are aiming for is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add a quarter of a tsp of xanthan gum first and add the other quarter if needed. It seems to be quite tricky stuff this xanthan gum
  • Add the dairy-free spread to the rice milk mix and stir through until it has melted
  • Add the coconut cream and sugar to the saucepan and stir through
  • Put the dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds or so, add to the saucepan and stir through
  • Warm the 80ml of rice milk and add to the dried apricots. Using a hand blender or liquidiser, blend it to a pulp.
  • Add the apricots to the saucepan
  • Add the Cointreau. Add more if you want!
  • By now the mix should be cool enough to put into your ice-cream maker, but if it isn't, you could chill it for an hour or two in the fridge. When you feel the time is right, put the mix into the ice-cream maker and leave it to churn happily
  • When it is thickening and starting to go icy (about 40 minutes depending on the machine - do check the handbook), pour it all into a freezable container and place in the freezer
  • Freeze at least overnight, but 24 hours is better
  • Because of the xanthan gum and the apricot pulp (at least I think that's why), this does not freeze rock hard like most home-made ice-cream. This means you can get it out and serve it straight away. Hurrah!
© Pig in the Kitchen 2007

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rilly super said...

I have an ice cream maker already PITK. He's called Enrico and he stops his van outside our house every week with a burst of 'Greensleeves' and a 'ciao, bella!' for all the mothers in the village.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Rilly, I have ice-cream maker envy. Does he do milk-free ice-cream? And 'Greensleeves', that really is a timeless classic for ice-cream vans.

lady macleod said...

LOL, I like your view of history. I can't wait to hear your view of the Hundred Years War!

All I see of ice cream these days are the wrappers the children drop on the street from ice cream on a stick! I can't see eating my ice cream on a stick so I shall wait for greener pastures.

Your recipe looks yummy as always.

Brom said...

hmmmm Icecream maker, sounds like something I could knock up in the shed. As long as I don't have anything to distract me.

The coconut cream, essential?

Lizzie said...

PITK, I too had an icecream maker which only lasted one summer. The bowl (I nearly wrote 'bowel' then) leaked blue stuff so I threw it away. Lazy old me hasn't made ice cream since then. P'raps I should invest in a replacment having read your recipe!

Dianne said...

Mmmmmmm! This looks really good. I've just bought an ice cream maker and am experimenting with it at the moment!

mutterings and meanderings said...

When we were kids, the ice cream man used to call the raspberry sauce 'monkey's blood'. I don't know if that's a purely North East thing?

Love the Pig view on Neanderthals...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Lady M, the view of ancient times came to me as if in a flash, almost like a revelation...I may re-write the world according to Pig. "I read today from the book of Pig chapter 4 verse 7..."

Brom, I would be interested in seeing your home-made ice-cream maker featured on your blog, would it also play music? I think you could leave out the coconut cream, or substitute it with a cream you could tolerate, soya-cream? Or, you could up the fat content and leave out cream altogether...that would probably work too.

Lizzie, oh that sounds awful, you could have had highly toxic blue ice-cream. I suppose you could have passed it off as made with Blue Curucao...oooo I might try that! I think that an ice-cream maker is a must for adults everywhere, my head is getting round to making a Tequila sorbet...I bought the tequila the other day, let's hope I don't drink it all before the sorbet materialises.

Dianne, it's so easy to waste so many hours playing with ice-cream makers. Good luck!

M&M, hmmm, he gave you 'monkey's blood' and thought that would be yummy? I think that is most definitely a north-eastern thing. Perhaps it really was monkey's blood as it helped keep his raspberry sauce overheads down?

muddyboots said...

hi there, just found you. do you mind if l utilise some of your cake recipes in my ice cream parlour & coffee shop?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello Muddyboots, how nice of you to drop by, (glad you wiped your feet) Very excited by your suggestion, I'll send an email to Mr Moos...that is you isn't it?! If you don't get it, let me know.

spymum said...

PITH, I would really much rather watch your version of history than that of the redoubtable Simon Schama! This whole caveman analysis really rings true with me!

And I am giggling at Rilly's comment!

Yummy recipe, as always!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Spymum, I think I should invite Rilly to come and 'guest post' on my blog, she is very entertaining, I wonder if she can cook?

Suffolkmum said...

Thanks for stopping by on my blog, came to have a peek at yours! Wonderful photos and some great recipes. I have a friend with a gluten intolerance and girls with various allergies, will point her in this direction. Love the pics. Also love the caveman stuff!

Drunk Mummy said...

Pig - what a great recipe. You are right, no-one should be deprived the pleasure of ice cream (or an ice cream maker - you've got me thinking. Maybe I should try that 'la la la' tactic).

debio said...

The 'la-la-la' tactic should be employed for so many different situations in my life. Your suggestion is most welcome.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

SuffolkMum, thanks for dropping by, and thanks for passing on the link.

Drunk Mummy, other than good wine there aren't many better ways to spend your money, sing out 'la-la-la' good and loud.

Debio, welcome. You're right, I had not thought of applying this method to other purchasing, but I shall try it from now on.

Marianne said...

Looks yummy PITK, but when are yo going to give us some chinese recipes? What were you doing there anyway? Sounds fascinating.

Frank said...

add the gum to the sugar or splenda and add when the recipe calls for sugar

gum does not need heat to thicken.

Lauren said...

Do you think this would be good with chocolate almond milk and bourbon? The recipe looks great! Gf and df... awesome!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hey Lauren,
oooo, nice twist! I think that would work very well, enjoy!

fancy dress costumes said...

My girlfriend loves icecream and I'm thinking this would make a great valenties gift!

Halloween Fancy Dress said...

Oh I love it when I stumble upona great recipe like this, will try it very soon and really appreciate the post.

Poppyfields said...

Recipe sounds lovely, with exciting ingredients. Ooh, that Cointreau, sounds gee-orgeous. You are a creative genius Mrs Pig. Can't wait to make this recipe, but first a trip to the organics shop to get those apricots.

I make lots of v'ice creams and being so lazy I use the blender whenever I can. I find that the gum (a very useful ingredient in ice cream and sorbet mixtures) amalgamates easily with the other ingredients when thrown in the blender. Saves a lot of elbow grease.

In fact I think I'll do the whole recipe in the blender, and will probably first powder the sugar in it, then add the other ingredients including the margarine.

I'll slap a block of df chocolate (85%, and low sugar) into a pre-heated ceramic frypan, turn off heat and it will be soft-to-melty in a few minutes and can join everything in the blender.

I may need to soften the apricots with a little pre-soaking if they are the really hard dry ones, before blitzing them.

Whenever possible I like to keep heat away from my ice cream mixtures to preserve the antioxidants and Vitamin C in the fruits used. Then I can eat it guilt-free and smugly tell myself it's a genuine health food!

Well that's my theory anyway.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Poppyfields, oooh a lovely long comment, what a joy! Interesting to hear your techniques, they sound less labour-intensive than mine!

I wrote this recipe a squillion years ago and probably would do it differently now. I've also developed an intolerance to dried apricots (you couldn't make it up) so I'd probably substitute them for something else now too.

Thanks for your visit!
Pig x