Yeah, sure, vanilla ice cream (by itself) can be pretty boring. But drown it in caramel or chocolate sauce, toss on a few nuts or candy and add a big plop of whipped cream and now you’re talking about something pretty good right? Or maybe drop a couple of great big scoops into a frosty cold glass of root beer for a frothy root beer float, and now you’ve got another great way to enjoy vanilla ice cream. But what if that vanilla ice cream was so rich and creamy and had a deep flavor of vanilla, would you really want to cover all of that up with a pile of goop? No, you wouldn’t. Because it would be so good you couldn’t even take the time to scoop it into a bowl. It would go straight from container into your mouth.
This vanilla ice cream recipe is the one I’m talking about. You aren’t going to believe that you can make something this rich and creamy at home. You’ll swear it came from the store and cost you about $7 a pint. Oh, and did I mention it’s vegan? Yeah, it is, and trust me…you aren’t going to notice or care.
I’ve made plenty of vegan ice cream recipes on this site that have been well liked by vegans and non-vegans alike. I, being of the lactose intolerant tribe, do much better (as do those around me) when I eat vegan ice cream. But as you know, I have plenty of regular ice cream recipes on this site too. Digestive system be damned!
I came across an interesting recipe over on Post Punk Kitchen that I thought looked pretty interesting. It was vegan, but instead of using my usual combination of coconut and almond milks as the base, it used cashews and rice milk. I have recently been experimenting with this vegan “thing” of using cashews as cream and have had some really good success with it. You’d really be surprised by how much more like cream it actually tastes, as opposed to cashews.
Okay, this ice cream isn’t exactly Sweet Polly Purebread either. Because I wanted something “a little more,” I glugged in some Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey (man that stuff is good). It already has a touch of vanilla flavor to it from the fermenting in the barrels process and then just the tiniest bit of honey flavor. That, combined with a good amount of vanilla extract AND a whole vanilla bean takes you to vanilla nirvana my friend.
Right after I made this, Craig came into the kitchen and grabbed a spoon and started eating straight out of the freezer bowl. He looked at me and said “woman – this is the best ice cream I think you’ve ever made…except for that chicken and waffles stuff…that was really good.” After I got done laughing and watching him power through half of my ice cream, I told him it was vegan ice cream. He accused me of lying, I assured him I was not, he shrugged his shoulders and said “whatever, it’s REALLY good.” So I’m pretty sure no one will have a clue, nor care, when you serve this vanilla ice cream bit of heaven.
When you read through the ingredients, I know they’ll sound a bit strange, just stay with it…it’s so worth it. You’re really going to love this and the fact that it’s vegan ice cream won’t matter to you or anyone else. It’s just that good.
- 1 Cup Raw Cashews (unroasted)
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk (not the stuff from the liquor aisle)
- ¼ Cup Jack Daniel's Honey Whiskey
- ⅓ Cup Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Walnut Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 Whole Vanilla Bean (seeds scraped out)
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- Place the cashews into a bowl and add water until they are covered by at least 1" of water. Let them sit for 12-24 hours.
- Drain the cashews and add the nuts to your blender along with the rest of the ingredients.
- Blitz everything in the blender until it's super smooth and creamy. The time this takes depends on your blender. A Vitamix might be 1:30 while a more standard blender may be 3 minutes.
- Place the blender container into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to cool it down.
- Pour mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker and follow directions according to the manufacturer.
- Serve immediately as soft serve, or scrape the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours to firm it up.
- Serve as is or top with your favorite toppings.
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