Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tropical Paradise Ice Cream

I warned you all that I would start using Mercede's "lower" fat ice cream recipe as the base for various hedonistic and indulgent experiments. I wasn't kidding around. Here I unveil before you the first ice cream recipe that I can truly call my own. Tropical Paradise Ice Cream is a delicious blend of some of my favorite tropical flavours. Every mouthful brings the sweet mellow taste of bananas and coconut milk, chewy bites of dates, sharp bursts of crystallized ginger and crunchy cashews.

I will admit that despite all this fabulous flavour, the ice cream didn't turn out exactly as I hoped. The only thing that went wrong in my mind is that it is very sweet-a bit too much as far as I'm concerned. I think this was because I used the same amount of sweetened condensed milk as for the base recipe, but added 3/4 cup of dates and 2 bananas, which are both sweet in themselves. The end result is that the ice cream is a bit sugary for my tastes. However everyone else who tasted it disagrees with me about this, so I will leave it to you to decide.

The next time I make the recipe (which will only be after the quart and half of it that is stored in my freezer is all eaten), I am going to use only 1/2 of a can of sweetened condensed milk and replace the rest with lite coconut milk and see if that tones down the sugary-ness a bit. I will report back when the results are in. Here I give you the recipe as I made it yesterday. And if any of you want to try making it with more coconut milk and less sweetened condensed milk, please do so and let me know how it turns out.
* I have edited this recipe because despite the great flavours, I found that the cornstarch was unnecessary and added a, well, starchy taste to the ice cream. It freezes up just as well without it, proving that you don't have to make a custard in order to have a good ice cream.

Tropical Paradise Ice Cream

The recipe as written makes about 6 cups of ice cream, with 2,451 calories in the whole recipe and 204 calories per half cup serving.

1 cup lite organic coconut milk (about half a can. Use 1 1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet)

One 14 oz can of nonfat sweetened condensed milk (or 1/2 can if you would like it less sweet)

2 cups of low fat milk

2 tbsp rum*

2 bananas-one mashed, one frozen in the freezer (you can put it in the day before)
3/4 cup chopped dates (about 6 large medjool dates)

3/8 cup cashew pieces (you can up this to 1/2 cup or even more if you desire. Try toasting these beforehand for an even richer flavour)

1/4 cup crystallized ginger, minced (I would use 1/2 cup if you want ginger in every bite)

*I used what I had, which was a light Bacardi, but you should really use a good quality dark rum or coconut rum if you want to emphasize the coconut flavour-the Belizean Traveller's coconut rum would be my choice but you can't buy it in the USA. If you don't consume any alcohol this can be omitted.


1. Heat all the different milks (the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk and low fat milk) in a large saucepan, stirring now and then so nothing sticks, until they come to a boil. Add one half of the chopped dates, lower the heat until the milk is simmering, and stir until they begin to break apart.

3. Remove the saucepan from the stove, scrape the mixture into a metal bowl and place it in another, larger bowl filled with ice water and ice cubes. Place in the fridge and allow to cool.

4. Once it is tepid, pour the mix into a blender, add the rum and mashed banana, and blend until completely smooth. Return to the metal bowl and the fridge and this time chill until quite cold. This may take an hour or two, or you can let it sit overnight.

5. Pour this mixture into your ice cream machine and once it begins to thicken, pull the frozen banana out of the freezer and cut it into small pieces. Add the cashews, remaining dates and the pieces of frozen banana to the ice cream as it finishes churning. Then pack the ice cream into a container and place in the freezer to harden up for an hour or two.

This ice cream, just like the key lime pie ice cream from which the base recipe is derived, does not harden up into a lump of ice in the freezer, despite the fact that I omitted the eggs found in Mercede's original recipe. I think it must be the sweetened condensed milk and the rum that does the trick.


Brilynn said...

As soon as I saw the Bacardi I knew this was going to be good... I made maple walnut ice cream today, which plans of a chocolate brownie ice cream tomorrow...

Lyra said...

Too bad you can't ship ice cream via the post, because I bet that maple walnut (and the chocolate brownie) ice creams are fabulous!

Rose said...

Don't get too drunk on your "tropical" ice cream Lyra! It has a lot of flavours going on.

Lyra said...

Well, two tablespoons of rum in 6 cups of ice cream doesn't have any noticable effect except to keep the ice cream from freezing. It is a lot of different flavours, I admit to being a fan of ice creams packed with goodies and hopefully I wont go too overboard!