Vegan Salt Caramel Ice Cream

May 26, 2011 § 6 Comments

Alas, this was so tasty that before I could take a picture of the meltingly lovely scoops of salt caramel ice cream, it was all eaten straight out of the tub. (I claim absolute innocence on that front.) However, I do publish my deepest regrets, along with this accompanying short story:

Why Crocodiles Are Cranky

Everyone knows that crocodiles are the orneriest creatures in all the animal kingdom, but most people think that crocodiles are just innately cranky and that they come out of their eggs gnashing their little teeth demanding antelope meat.

But actually, crocodiles come out of their shells as sweet as a newborn kitten. Then, these prancing little antelopes come by and say, “Hello baby crocodile, wouldn’t you like this delicious ice cream cone?”

Of course, the baby crocodile replies, “Oh my, yes! I would dearly love an ice cream cone!” And so, the antelopes give the baby crocodile an ice cream cone with an evil little smile…because they know that a crocodile’s arms are much too short to be able to hold an ice cream cone. So the baby little crocodile awkwardly approaches the ice cream one and accidentally IMPALES the inside of their soft little palate with the pointy part of the cone!

From then on, their bleeding mouths give them much dental torment and tribulations and they become very cranky crocodiles. They develop a tremendous hatred of antelopes and that is why they eat antelopes. And unlike normal people and antelopes, they cannot even assuage their unhappiness, anger, and self-esteem issues with ice cream. That is why crocodiles are always cranky.

To prevent my dear vegan friends from being always cranky, here’s a vegan ice cream recipe!

Vegan Salt Caramel Ice Cream
makes about 3 cups | serves 1 | total time: grey hairs, geez things take forever to freeze

– 1/3 cup evaporated cane sugar (or other vegan sugar)
– 1/2 teaspoon salt (slightly less if it is a harsher salt like table salt)

– 1 cup cashews, soaked at least 3 hours in hot water
– 1 1/4 cups evaporated cane sugar
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 4 tablespoons Earth Balance or other margarine
–  2 cups soy milk
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the salted caramel shards: Dump 1/3 cup of evaporated cane sugar in a small DRY saucepan. Melt over medium heat, stirring constantly to break up clumps. When the mixture turns a dark amber and just starts to smoke (no longer!), dump in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stir, then spread out onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet as thinly as possible. Don’t touch this stuff with your bare hands; sugar burns hotter than water! Let cool, then smash it into small shards! I banged it up with the blunt side of my cleaver.

A nice dark amber color...

Spread out thinly...

Rawr! Take out your anger!

2. To make the rest of the ice cream:  make the caramel in the same way as the caramel shards, except when it is dark amber, dump in the salt, Earth Balance, and 1/2 cup of the soy milk. Keep simmering and stirring until all the Earth Balance is melted and the mixture becomes slightly thickened. Set aside.
3.  Blend the cashews in a high powered blender with the rest of the soy milk until creamy and no bits of cashews remain. If you have still have bits remaining, and you’re worried about graininess, feel free to filter it through some cheesecloth at this point, but that’s not necessary.
4. Add the caramel mixture and the vanilla and blend until combined. Pour into a tub and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
5. Follow directions on your ice cream maker. Right after you’ve churned everything, throw in the salted caramel shards from step 1, mix, and chuck it in your freezer for at least a couple of hours. Unfortunately, the salt in this mixture lowers the freezing point, so you’ll have to wait longer than regular ice cream, but the wait is well worth it, because since freezing point is also the melting point, the salted caramel shards will be gooey and delicious as the ice cream melts in your bowl.


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