For our first ice cream post, we conducted a ton of testing to achieve the consistency we wanted. Because, if ya didn’t know, ice cream’s a difficult thing to master, which is especially true when you remove the eggs and dairy. Regardless, I knew I could make a rich, creamy, and stable ice cream without the addition of xanthan gum, which creates a minor stringy quality, resulting in a confection that feels more like a $4 pint instead of an $8 pint.
Now, most people don’t notice the stringiness as commercial ice creams contain far more fillers, stabilizers, and gums than just a little touch of xanthan gum. Nevertheless, I had to get rid of that stringiness to achieve the premium texture my perfectionist heart desired. A few astute calculations later and I’m here, presenting you with frozen dessert perfection!
Ice Cream Game = Leveled Up
Let’s take a quick look at how I got here:
- Fat – In order to nail the fat content, I found the average amount of fat in Philadelphia style ice cream (ice cream made without eggs) and calculated how to achieve that same percentage using coconut products. To do that, I replaced the coconut milk from our previous recipe with coconut cream, which has an average of two extra grams of fat per serving. Then we reduced the volume by a third, thus removing 14 ounces of water and raising the fat percentage by 33%.
- Xanthan Gum – This stabilizer adds viscosity, allowing more air to be incorporated into the mixture. However, xanthan gum adds stringiness – an undesirable characteristic – which brings us to our next point…
- Coconut Milk Powder – This product, literally made from dehydrated coconut milk, brings viscosity to our base without adding stringiness. The result is a thicker base that holds onto air without any decrease in quality.
- Alcohol – I used alcohol in our first ice cream recipe as a softener as well as a flavoring agent; because alcohol doesn’t freeze, it creates a softer, more scoopable consistency at freezing temperature. The downside is that it thins out the base and melts faster at room temperature. While it’s an important part of many ice cream concoctions, this base stays scoopable without alcohol.
At this point you’re probably thinking “isn’t this a milkshake recipe? All this blabber has been about ice cream!” to which I say that a good milkshake is nothing more than soft serve beaten to a smooth, spoonable consistency. Basically, to get a good milkshake we need good soft serve, which is simply ice cream straight out the churner.
“Okay… but I thought milkshakes were made from scoops of ice cream blended with milk!?” to which I say… not really. At least, not good ones. Milkshakes made from solid ice cream have that watery edge and thick center, like you’d find in a fruit smoothie, instead of that cohesive, spoonable texture throughout. That’s because milkshakes made with solid ice cream have to be thinned out with enough for the blender to get ahold of things. But then, by the time it’s smooth, all of the air’s been beaten out of the ice cream, resulting in a flat & runny shake. Boo. To avoid that, we place our fresh soft serve into a standup mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat it until it’s smooth – no milk or blades needed.
“Alright, fine. Can we just get to the recipe already?” Good idea, I’ve surpassed my nerd limit for the day.
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My Milkshake Brings All The Boys to the Blog
Vegan Peppermint Coconut Milkshakes w/ Sweet & Salty Chocolate Pretzel Pieces
Aromatic & cooling soft serve with crunchy mix-ins forms the base of this classic American treat.
- 3 cans (4 ½ cups) coconut cream
- 254 grams (3/4 cup) agave
- 24 grams (3 tbsps) coconut milk powder
- 3/4 tsp peppermint oil
- 3/4 tsp coconut flavor
- pinch of salt
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (60-70%), chopped
- 3 oz pretzels (we used squares)
- Place ice cream maker bowl and paddle into the freezer over night (at least 14 hours).
- Bring coconut cream to a boil in a large soup pot over high heat. Lower heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until overall volume goes from 4 ½ cups down to 3 cups; about 15 minutes.
- The best way to do this is to use weight instead of volume. In the beginning, weigh your pot plus the coconut cream. After cooking for 13 minutes, periodically place your pot on the scale to take note of its weight – once it’s 14 ounces less than your starting weight, you’re finished.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together agave, coconut milk powder, peppermint, coconut flavor, and salt. When coconut cream is done reducing, whisk in about a cup with agave mixture until smooth. Pour into pot with coconut cream and whisk to combine.
- Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher or other large container. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, place a piece of plastic wrap right against the surface of the cream, and set in fridge to cool overnight (at least 8 hours).
- 30 minutes prior to churning ice cream, gently melt chocolate in a double broiler. Use a fork or chopsticks to dip pretzels in chocolate, then lay them out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in fridge to set for 15 minutes.
- Once set, chop pretzels into small pieces (for squares, cut each pretzel into quarters).
- Start up ice cream maker and slowly pour in chilled base. Churn until it reaches soft serve consistency (about 20 minutes). It’ll cling to the paddle when it’s ready. Remove paddle and fold in pretzel pieces with a spatula.
- For milkshakes, place soft serve ice cream in the bowl of a stand-up mixer or medium mixing bowl with an electric hand whisk and beat on medium speed until ice cream is soft and smooth; about 1 minute. Spoon into a glass and enjoy!
- For traditional ice cream, immediately place soft serve in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve. Good for 1 month.