Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream; and how to make ice-cream without an ice-cream machine.

chocthymeplateIt’s chocolate thyme! Ha ha, okay, that was pretty bad. But it’s weird and wonderful flavour combination day at My Wholefood Romance – so I’m a little excited. In keeping with my promise last week, I wanted to show you how to make DELICIOUS ice-cream without the use of an ice-cream machine. Chocolate is fairly universally accepted as being awesome, but to give it a little something something, why not crazy it up a bit with other flavours? Chocolate and chilli, chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and any warming spice like ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom, chocolate and mint, chocolate and orange, Heston Blumenthal’s chocolate cauliflower risotto, you get the idea, the list is endless.

Today I have paired it with thyme, which gives the ice-cream an earthy, ‘adult’ kind of edge, that is still incredibly delicious. If that’s not your bag, feel free to substitute another flavour, or stick to chocolate straight up. This recipe is an egg based ice-cream, but I have kept it dairy free using coconut milk for its creaminess and nutritiousness (not sure if that’s actually a word….). It has only a few ingredients, and provides you with a nourishing sweetness that is full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein.

In terms of health benefits, we normally think if thyme as a respiratory herb, used to assist chest infections or congestion. It is also antimicrobial and antioxidant. In a savoury sense, thyme is great with any vegetable, bean or egg dish, or in any stock, stew or soup. It is easy to grow yourself in a pot, so you can just harvest what you need as you need it.

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Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream

10-12 sprigs of fresh thyme

550ml full-fat coconut milk

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder

4 egg yolks

A pinch of sea salt

Place the coconut milk and thyme sprigs into a small-medium saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature to give the thyme time to infuse into the milk. You can leave this for several hours, or overnight at this point if you like – I am much too impatient…

Whisk together the egg yolks and the coconut sugar in a small bowl. Strain the thyme leaves out of the coconut milk, and warm it the back up in a saucepan. Once warm, pour the milk into the egg yolk and sugar mix, whisking the whole time. Transfer back into a clean saucepan and whisk in the cacao powder and salt. Cook over a low heat until the mix thickens up to a custard like consistency that will coat the back of your spoon.

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Transfer the finished mixture to a shallow-ish tin or dish and gently press a piece of baking paper over the surface. Pop into the freezer for about 30-45 minutes, or until the edges begin to freeze but you still have a soft/slushy middle. The time will vary depending on your freezer and the sort of ice-cream you are making. Remove from the freezer and whisk well to make a nice smooth mixture and get rid of any ice crystals or hard bits. Pop the baking paper back on top and back into the freezer. Repeat this process 2-3 times until you have a lovely uniform consistency. Freeze for one hour to finish, and remove and allow to sit a room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Alternatively, you can go for the Italian option of semifreddo, which has a soft, melted ice-cream style texture, and this means that you can enjoy after the first freeze-whisk process.

*If you are vegan, replace the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder. Initially, add all but 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to the pan with the sugar and thyme, and use the remaining 1/4 to mix with the arrowroot to make a slurry. Once you have brought the milk/thyme to a simmer, add the arrowroot mix and cook for another couple of minutes before allowing to cool. Then cool in fridge for several hours or overnight and follow the rest of the instructions above. You can also have a look at last weeks post for a fruit based vegan ice-cream.

chocthymefinishedAlso, just to let you know, there is still time to grab 20% off the amazing Fresh Start 21-day Cleanse, so click on down if you are interested in knowing more, or I have spoken about it here last week.

Have a wonderful, delicious week! x