20 September, 2013

daRk cHocolAte aLmoNd iCe crEam

Summer has left us. Red leaves on one small tree on Edinburgh Street are already thinking of leaving too. My body wakes up in the middle of the night, not quite sure what to do with itself.  Make tea, sit down to write, share this recipe by Merida for a year round summer treat...

Disclaimer: You need to dedicate two nights and a few daylight hours to produce this ice cream.

Below is my mini review of a vegan cookbook I think you should look at one day.

Vegan Secret Supper: 
Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen 
by Merida Anderson (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013)
This cookbook is a guide through the delectable waters of vegan cooking, or as the author describes "slow food at its best." A nicely designed paperback, it was discovered by accident thanks to my local librarian's weekly curatorial skills - somedays you just need to dash in, grab a few books near the front door and dash out the building.   
With plenty of colour photographs for inspiration to make interesting meals for your loved ones, I recommend it for your collection. I will keep close several recipes for an upcoming dinner party, including Apple Beet Salad with Lemon Tamari Vinaigrette, Baked Hazelnut Cheese & Sesame Mustard; Butternut Squash & Almond Gnocchi Sautéed with Sage Garlic Butter - and of course, Dark Chocolate Almond Ice Cream.  Merida's desserts include nine different ice cream types ranging from the one just mentioned to the odd sounding Balsamic Marbled Coconut... She rounds out her book with a few Brunch menu items (Peanut Butter Oat Waffles with White Chocolate Mousse & Vanilla Plum Compote), Teas and Sodas, and Pantry Items a good cook should not go without (Pine Nut Parmesan, Coconut Sour Cream, or Fresh Peach Chutney).
Have I mentioned I now live near Almon Street? (Or is that Almond...)  A quickie search for a photo to accompany this post led me to learn there used to be the Halifax Municipal Airport circa 1934 about one block from where I live.  Here's a happy trio I could have served ice cream to...

Photo: Halifaxhistory.ca
Dark Chocolate Almond Ice Cream 
Makes 2 cups - 500 ML.

3/4 cup almonds, soaked in 1/2 cup water overnight and drained (Note: you will be reserving 1/4 cup of the almonds, chopped up for added crunch)
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate, melted
1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1tsp vanilla extract

Soak almonds overnight.

Drain almonds. Chop 1/4 cup of the nuts and set aside.  Melt the coconut oil.  Chop and melt the dark chocolate.  In a blender or food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth, except final 1/4 chopped almonds.  Stir in chopped almonds.  Chill in a covered bowl in refrigerator overnight.

Follow manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker and whip that good stuff up!