It’s funny how the “rules” often seem to go out the window when it come to dessert. We try to have the garden and seasons guide our cooking, but sometimes we want coconut….and chocolate. They are not local, and we don’t even know if they are in season- but they sure taste good. And this ice cream recipe is one of the best we have ever made. This coconut ice cream has deep flavor and creamy texture…and it is easy to make.
This recipe is so easy because the ice cream is “Philadelphia-style”. Philadelphia-style ice creams omit the traditional egg-based custards and simply combine cream, milk, sweeteners and flavors. Philly-style ice cream often has brighter flavors and is usually lighter in texture (this means you can eat more). The downside of this style of ice cream is that it sometimes freezes harder and needs to soften a few minutes extra before service. And let’s face it- no one wants to wait extra time for their ice cream. But this recipe has none of those problems because of a secret ingredient, cream of coconut.
If you are unfamiliar with cream of coconut you may know it by its most common brand name, “Coco Lopez”. Cream of coconut is sweetened coconut cream and the basis of quality Pina Coladas (yes, we will have a post). Coconut cream is basically the cream that floats to the top of the coconut milk. Good stuff and much denser and richer than coconut milk. The cream of coconut brings rich coconut flavor and a smooth texture that rivals any custard-based ice cream. Cream of coconut is widely available in most supermarkets, but you can also find it at many liquor stores (that Pina Colada thing, again). Just be sure to get cream of coconut and not coconut milk, as the coconut milk is not rich enough by itself for ice cream.
Making the coconut ice cream is as easy as ice cream making gets. Simply combine the cream of coconut and milk in a blender and blend until very smooth. You can also add some shredded coconut and blend it in for extra flavor, but this is optional. Put the mixture in a bowl and then mix in some heavy cream and the place the mixture in your ice cream maker and make ice cream. And since the cream and milk are already cold, you don’t even need to chill the mixture before churning. Once the ice cream is ready, place it in a container in the freezer for at least 2 hours. And that’s it. You’re ready to serve, the cream of coconut gives the ice cream a lighter texture that is perfect right out of the freezer. And it will be good, but it will be even better with some toasted coconut and a quick dark chocolate sauce.
Just like the ice cream, this chocolate sauce is very easy to make. Simply heat a half cup of heavy cream in the microwave until it just boils. Then mix some espresso powder (optional, but good) into the hot cream. Meanwhile, place a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a heat-proof bowl and then pour the cream on top of the chocolate. Stir to combine, this will take a minute, but the sauce will come together- take your time. And if you get a few lumps place the mixture in the microwave and heat for 10-15 seconds, then stir until combined. You can serve this chocolate sauce on just about anything, but we suggest coconut ice cream.
Notes Before You Start:
- Be sure to use cream of coconut and not just coconut milk.
What You Get: Rich, creamy coconut ice cream with very little work.
What You Need: A blender or food processor and an ice-cream maker.
How Long? 2 to 3 hours of total time, but less than 15 minutes active time.
- 1, 15 oz. can cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (optional)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
- Pour the coconut cream, milk and half the shredded coconut (if using) into the blender or food processor. Puree until completely blended and smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the heavy cream. Whisk until completely combined.
- Prepare your ice cream maker and pour the mixture unto the ice cream maker and follow your maker’s instructions. When ready, place the ice cream in a container in the freezer to harden for at least 2 hours. Serve with chocolate sauce and toasted coconut.
- Optional: To toast the coconut, place a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining coconut to the pan and toast the coconut, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- To make the chocolate sauce, place the cream in a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until just boiling. Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Remove the cream from the microwave, stir in the espresso powder and then pour the hot mixture over the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate and milk combine and the sauce is smooth and glossy, about 1 minute. Serve.