Smoky, salted caramel, cocoa nibs and roasted peanuts swirled into a velvety smooth vanilla ice cream. Sounds delicious? It is amazing.
By Mariela Alvarez Toro
We were celebrating a coworker’s birthday with ice cream and beer when the idea for this recipe popped into my head. I looked around; everybody was smiling as they nibbled through snicker’s ice cream bars, when I realized how long it has been since I made a melt in your mouth, lip smacking, delicious recipe for you to salivate over.
When I started blogging, I was notorious for making cupcakes. My friends would come up with random ingredient ideas; I would whip them up into delicious treats. With time, I grew tired of cupcakes, and became more interested in the idea of making healthier versions of delicious food. The more I read, the more I became convinced that you can have cake, and eat it too!
This recipe exemplifies this principle. Sure, it is a healthier version of ice cream, but who cares, when it is so delicious? The caramel is made with dates, lemon, tahini, and scotch, for a decadent combination of flavors that will take ice cream to a higher level. Peanuts and pine nuts add crunch, and a bit of bitterness to balance everything out. Each bite is an unexpected combination of flavors! It is an adult version of snickers you can feel good about eating.
- 12-15 pitted mejdool dates, soaked in ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. tahini, almond butter could work too
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp. scotch
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 cans coconut milk
- ¾ cup palm sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts, chopped
- ½ cup salted scotch caramel
- Start by soaking pitted dates in coconut milk for four hours. Yes, four hours. Pour contents into a blender. Pulse for several seconds, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend at high speed until smooth. You might need to add more coconut milk or water if caramel starts to stick. Remove from blender and set aside, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- In a large pot, bring coconut milk and sugar to a light simmer. Reduce heat to low, and stir until all sugar has melted. Add vanilla extract and stir. This should take more than a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a container. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. I left mine overnight, but it could take as little as a couple hours for it to reach a cold enough temperature.
- Pour sweetened coconut milk into an ice cream maker. Follow manufacturers instructions. Once ice cream is ready, pour in caramel, roasted peanuts, pine nuts, and cacao nibs. Stir for a couple more minutes and transfer to a freezer safe container. Place in freezer for three to four hours before serving. Devour!
Recently graduated with from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She has recently completed "People in Food-Space", an ethnographic study on the cultural production of taste in space. She has also examined post-soviet food production systems and housing projects in Havana, Cuba. Originally from Puerto Rico, Mariela has been living in the United States for eight years. She has involved herself in both teaching and practice, while writing on food at tastyplan.com. Her goal as a food writer is to cook creatively, using the best ingredients to find new flavor combinations every day.