Homemade Kahlua Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate Gelato
sans Ice Cream Maker
This winter, a friend I met in Vermont last year, sent me a CD with a collection of the songs he had written about in his work. Amongst them was a song called After All by songwriter Dar Williams.
I won’t forget the first moment I first heard After All – track number five on the CD. I was driving home from a cold, snowy winter hike with my dog. The roads were snow-covered and the sky was white with falling snow. From the moment Dar Williams’ voice filled my car, I felt a physical tug in my heart. I hit the ‘repeat track’ button over and over and over, all the way home. When I pulled into my driveway I sat in the car and listened to it again until the cold finally drove me indoors. I left the CD in my car where I’ve been singing along with Dar ever since.
I love this song. I love the haunting poetic lyrics, the beautiful melody and Dar Williams’ sweet husky voice that reminds me a little of Joni Mitchell. But it’s this bit that really hits home for me…
“So I stopped the tide
Froze it up from inside
And it felt like a winter machine
That you go through and then
You catch your breath and winter starts again
And everyone else is spring bound.”
So this weekend, when winter-like conditions forced us to re-light the pilot lights on the gas fireplaces, haul out winter sweaters again, and bring our plants back indoors, I decided to stay spring-bound.
I had both of my daughters home and wanted to make something special for them. One is allergic to dairy. The other is allergic to chocolate. This makes desserts slightly challenging. We often stick to fruity desserts like homemade fruit pies or fruit cobblers. But I wanted to make something that defied the weather. I decided to make dark chocolate gelato and kahlua ice cream.
I only have a small kitchen and I refuse to fill it up with appliances that I would scarcely use. So no ice cream maker for me. I have to say, I’m not sure I’d ever bother with an ice cream maker – because both of these desserts were delicious, simple and turned out perfectly. The kahlua ice cream is based on a coffee ice-cream recipe that a friend in Australia gave me years ago. I just adapted it because it called for raw eggs and that always make me nervous. The dark chocolate gelato, which is suitable for vegans, is adapted from a chocolate sherbet recipe on Chowhound. Both recipes worked well by themselves and combined beautifully for those of us who are allergy-free. I just added something new to my repertoire. But I’ll still be listening to Dar Williams….
Dark Chocolate Kahlua Gelato (dairy-free, vegan)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Chipits Dark Chocolate Chips)
2 tbsp kahlua
1 cup of thick coconut milk (I used Gold Label Coconut Milk which is thick like coconut cream)
Bring the water and sugar to the boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Once the chips have melted, add the kahlua, and stir in the coconut milk. Using a spatula – scrape the mixture into a flat rectangular container with a lid (this will just help it freeze faster – but you can use any container you like). Cover and freeze. After a couple of hours, remove from the freezer and stir well. Return to freezer and remove just before serving. Will take 4-6 hours to freeze solidly.
Kahlua Ice Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (use the rest to make homemade Bailey’s)
1/4 cup strong coffee (I used de-caf)
3 tbsp kahlua
Whip the cream until stiff. Mix together the sweetened condensed milk, coffee and kahlua and stir into the whipped cream.
As above, using a spatula – scrape the mixture into a flat rectangular container with a lid (this will just help it freeze faster – but you can use any container you like). Cover and freeze. After a couple of hours, remove from the freezer and stir well. Return to freezer and remove just before serving. Will take 4-6 hours to freeze solidly.