On the vegan dessert scene, cupcakes have recently been surpassed by ice cream. Just look in the freezers of your local health food stores, where the new coconut-milk-based ice creams are all the rage, filling shelf after shelf with flavour variations. But there are few better ways to spend a sweltering afternoon than enjoying a scoop of a sweet frozen treat. For those of you who love to create indulgences at home rather than forking out a fistful of dough for the packaged pints, then Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop is the answer to your summer cravings.
Del Torro is the founder of a Boston company that has been whipping up creamy vegan frozen desserts since 2000. In The Vegan Scoop,
his simple instructions make it easy to get results that rival anything you could buy from a store. But where the book really shines is the creative flavours – each turn of the page provides a surprisingly unique combination. I’ve enjoyed pumpkin oat spice, sweet ginger tea and ginger beer sorbet. Del Torro offers 150 creations divided into categories such as classic, fruity, healthy, Asian, Carribean and Island, novelty and even Aphrodisiacal. I still plan to try the cardamom rose, Earl grey and Sweet curry fig before the chill of fall sets in.
Del Torro encourages using the non-dairy milk of your choice. The recipes call for soy milk and creamer but suggest you can simply substitute almond, coconut, cashew and rice milks. I’ve experimented with store-bought almond milk, homemade almond milk and soy milk in these recipes. I suggest sticking to higher-fat versions; otherwise the texture is a little too icy.
Non-dairy creamers are certainly more difficult to find in Canada than in the U.S., but you can always make your own. I suggest blending together equal parts cashews or almonds and water. Filter the resulting cream through a fine strainer to make sure the almond skins don’t find their way into your smooth ice cream.
The Vegan Scoop
also includes recipes for cookies, brownies, sauces and cones that pair perfectly with your frozen concoctions. Ice cream is a fantastic way to preserve summer’s fruit bounty in your freezer for future celebrations. After a quick flip through the book, you’ll no doubt be enticed to give these delights a try.
Apple Cider Ice Cream
Recipe from The Vegan Scoop
Pick up a jug of fresh apple cider and churn up this sweet treat to impress your friends.
1 cup soymilk, divided (see directions)
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup organic apple cider
2 cups soy creamer
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup soymilk with arrowroot and set aside.
Combine apple cider, soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup soymilk and sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably. Add vanilla extract.
Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 to 3 hours. Freeze accordign to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
Makes about 1 litre.