Making Ice Cream: All you need to know

Occasionally something will enter your life, instantly changing it for the better. We thought this about each new team member who walked through the pollen + grace doors, but more recently these feelings are directed towards something a little less human - our new ice-cream maker. A life essential we didn't know we needed until recently, and now a key attribute to our happiness. So now it's time to spread the word and give you the lowdown on all things related to making, creating (and eating) ice-cream. Just in time for summer, of course. 

GETTING STARTED

Ice-cream makers have been around for as long as we can remember, but we were never quite sure how or what to do with them. Yes, they make ice-cream, but surely you must include a load of dairy and your bodyweight in sugar for it to work? Well we've very kindly trialled various dairy alternatives, natural sweeteners and super foods in ours, and it turns out that does the job just as well. It also doesn't take hours to make - so long as you keep the canister in the freezer, you can have delicious creamy ice-cream in under an hour. And if that's not reason enough to jump on the band wagon, they're also a lot smaller than we thought - not taking up any more room than a blender or food processor, all for less than £30. 

INGREDIENTS

Now we've convinced you you need this in your life - let's talk details. How do you make ice-cream? For years we thought it was time consuming and complicated - turns out it's quite the opposite even when opting for the dairy free, refined sugar free version. Try these ingredients for your base, the top options making a much lighter ice-cream, with the latter richer and creamier: 

- Plenish cleanse almond or cashew m*lk 

- A mix of full-fat coconut milk and plenish cleanse almond m*lk 

- A mix of plenish cleanse almond m*lk and eggs 

- Full-fat coconut milk 

- A mix of full-fat coconut milk and eggs 

And how about sugar? We've used granulated (coconut sugar), syrups (maple syrup, honey and rice malt syrup) and a combination of both, all with the same outcome. We've also reduced the sweetener to just 3 tbsp for 1.5l, using vanilla and lucuma for additional sweetness instead, and the texture of the ice-cream still came out the same! So all those tales that ice-cream needs a lot of sugar to be creamy, we can forget those now. 

FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS

Ok, so now we have the base covered, it's time for the exciting part. With so many delicious fruits, super foods and nut butters available, flavour combinations are pretty much endless. To get you started, here's our current ice-cream wish list: 

- Tahini and dried figs 

- Pistachio 

- Lime and passion fruit 

- Banana and salted caramel 

- Coconut, acai and pineapple

- Strawberry and Basil 

- Cherry and almond 

- Maca and hazelnut 


PEANUT BUTTER FUGE ICE-CREAM RECIPE

And of course, this wouldn't be complete without a recipe. Let's just say this ice-cream didn't last longer than an hour. Try it for yourself and you'll quickly understand why!

INGREDIENTS

Peanut Butter Fudge (we recommend making this in advance): 

- 1/4 cup coconut cream

- 3 tbsp rice malt syrup

- 3 tbsp coconut oil 

- 1 cup peanut butter 

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- 1/4 tsp sea salt

Ice-cream: 

- 1 tin coconut milk 

- 2 cups plenish cleanse cashew m*lk 

- 1 cup peanut butter

- 1/3 cup rice malt syrup 

- 1 tbsp lucuma powder

- 1 tsp vanilla extract 

- 2 tbsp vodka (a key component, this stops dairy free ice-cream from crystallising) 

METHOD: 

Peanut butter fudge: 

1. Add the rice malt syrup and coconut oil to a pan over a low heat and stir until combined then add all the other ingredients. 

2. Continue to stir until fully combined

3. Pour into a lined tin and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours. 

Ice-cream: 

1. Add all the ingredients to a pan over a low heat and stir until combined 

2. Make an ice-bath by placing ice in a larger bowl, then place another bowl inside this 

3. Pour the ice-cream mixture into the bowl in the ice-bath (or just place it in the fridge, but we find the ice-bath tends to be quicker) and leave it to cool for approx. 1.5hrs 

4. Remove the canister for the ice-cream machine from the freezer and pour the mixture in, then follow the manufacturer's instructions for your ice-cream machine (this shouldn't take more than an hour - usually about 40 minutes to get perfectly thick soft serve).

5. Cut the fudge into small chunks and and stir through the finished ice-cream.

6. Either serve immediately as soft serve, or decant to a container, cover the ice-cream with greaseproof paper, then place in the freezer. It takes approx. 4hrs to become a similar texture to shop-bought ice-cream.