real deal chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans (vegan, paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

I screamed when I finally cracked this recipe. What can I say? I scream for ice scream.

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I especially like to give a long, piercing cry of happiness for rich, smooth, ridiculously chocolatey ‘real deal’ chocolate ice cream sprinkled with crunchy chocolate-covered espresso beans which pack an intense coffee punch. With a side of chocolate-covered frozen banana slices topped with chopped salted peanuts. With a side of chocolate, naturally.

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When it comes to vegan, Paleo ice cream, I’ve tried it all. Avocado, coconut milk, cashews – they were good, and they were definitely eaten, but they just weren’t right. A grainy texture, a funny aftertaste, or just simply odd, they didn’t live up to my chocolate ice cream expectations.

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So, naturally, I tried about twenty different variations of chocolate ice cream. All in the name of research, of course. Call me fastidious, but this is some seriously good ice cream. And the chocolate-covered espresso beans? Don’t even get me started.

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Rich, creamy, full of chocolate and deliciously healthy ice cream studded with bursts of full-bodied roasted Cambodian espresso beans. Silky smooth melt-in-your-mouth ice cream with crunchy nuggets of flavour – it really does call for the obligatory closed-eyed ‘mmm’ face. It only takes three ingredients, doesn’t require an ice cream maker, and is 87 calories with 2g of fat per serving. Read: you can eat the entire two-serving recipe without feeling the tiniest bit guilty.

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What are you still doing reading this?!

 

real deal chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans

by Alessandra Peters

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

    For the Ice Cream

    • 225ml unsweetened almond milk
    • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
    • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

    For the Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

    • 20 espresso beans, roasted
    • 50g dark chocolate, melted

    Instructions

    For the Ice Cream

    1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large microwave-proof bowl.

    2. Microwave for a minute, then whisk again until completely combined.

    3. Pour in to ice cube trays and freeze until solid, about 2-3 hours.

    4. Blend ‘ice cubes’ of chocolate mixture in a high-power blender until you get rich and creamy ice cream, scraping down as needed! It will turn in to a sort of chocolate shaved ice at first, but keep blending and it will come together.

    5. Freeze in an air-tight container until ready to use.

    For the Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans

    1. Dip the espresso beans individually in to the melted chocolate, then set on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.

    2. When all of them are dipped, place the tray in the fridge for ten minutes or so until the chocolate sets.

    3. Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge until ready to use!

    To Assemble

    1. Scoop large scoops of ice cream into bowls.

    2. Sprinkle with chocolate-covered espresso beans.

    3. Serve and enjoy!

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    banana passion fruit sorbet (vegan, Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

    Nothing says summer like sorbet. Sticky, messy, deliciously cold, and healthy banana passion fruit sorbet.

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    People say that fire is humanity’s greatest invention. But when it’s blisteringly hot outside, I dissent;  it’s got to be the freezer. I mean, it has to take one pretty wonderful invention to turn a few spotty bananas and some wrinkly tropical fruit in to this creamy, frigid, slightly sweet ice cream dotted with intensely tangy seeds encased by an orange gel which burst under the pressure of teeth crunching down on them.

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    I first came across passion fruit sorbet about a year ago in Indonesia. The wrinkly, purple outsides of the South American tropical fruit had never intrigued me before then, but when I tentatively licked the sorbet which was served as dessert that night, it was love at first taste. Tart yet sweet, sharp yet complex; I was hooked. I may or may not have eaten about thirty of the fragrant fruits in the first week I was at home, sprinkled with a light touch of raw cane sugar or the gelatinous small orange and black seeds scooped into my morning yoghurt. This sorbet captures its taste perfectly, and the sweet, creamy banana balances it out wonderfully to create a blend of flavours so intense yet so simple.

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    I could live with this sorbet being my 5-a-day for a while; after all, it is healthy…

     

    banana passion fruit sorbet

    by Alessandra Peters

    Prep Time: 20 minutes (4 hours chilling time)

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    • 3 ripe passion fruit
    • 2 overripe spotty black bananas

    Instructions

    1. Peel the bananas, then cut them in to 1-inch pieces. Freeze for about 4 hours or until almost solid.

    2. Using a food processor, whizz the frozen banana chunks until they start to become grainy. Scrape down the sides, then process again, until the mixture starts to form a lump. Scrape down the sides again, then keep blending and scraping until it suddenly becomes a creamy, soft-serve like texture.

    3. Transfer the banana sorbet to a bowl. Cut the three passionfruit in half and scoop the seeds of two of them into the bowl along with the banana sorbet. Reserve the pulp of the third passionfruit and place aside for garnish. Remember to keep the halves if you want to serve the sorbet in them!

    4. Mix in the passion fruit, then pop in the freezer for another 10-15 minutes before serving. To serve, scoop large balls of the sorbet in to the empty passion fruit shells (or, if you prefer, a glass or bowl). Divide the leftover passion fruit pulp over the sorbet servings, then serve!

    5. Enjoy!

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    chocolate mousse (vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

    Chocolate mousse. Delicious, healthy, lusciously smooth, rich, velvety chocolate mousse. Seriously. 

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    Sometimes, all you want is a thick, sleek spoonful of indulgence. The deep, dark notes of chocolate enriched with the light, sweet, airy tones of creamy whipped coconut, unique, fragrant vanilla bean seeds which speckle everything with tiny black flecks and the crunch of bitter cacao nibs dance with the tongue in a slow, romantic waltz as this creamy chocolate mousse rolls around your mouth. Ribbons of indulgent sweetness mixed with thick, lusciously rich chocolate create a real magic moment in these busy, bustling summer days.
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    The abyssopelagic flavours meld together in a way as beautiful as a child’s imagination. I couldn’t believe it when I first tasted it; starting off as a simple coconut whipped cream to top the remnants of the raspberries I picked a few days ago, my affinity to chocolate led me to throw in a handful of cacao, and from that moment onwards, things just got better and better in that kitchen.
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    I’m absolutely not ashamed to admit that I’ve taken a liking to inhaling the entire recipe within a few minutes; it’s quite incredible.

    chocolate mousse (GAPS, SCD, coconut milk chocolate mousse, vegan, Paleo, health, organic)

    by Alessandra Peters

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients (serves 2)

    • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
    • 1/2 cup cacao powder
    • 4 tbsp agave nectar
    • 1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped out with the back of a knife
    • cacao nibs, to serve (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Take the two cans of coconut milk out of the fridge. Turn them upside down, then open both with a can opener. Pour the coconut water into a container for later usage – I love using it for smoothies in the mornings – then scoop out the thick white coconut cream at the bottom of the can and place into a large bowl.

    2. Using a hand whisk, whisk for 1-2 minutes until you achieve a fluffy mixture which holds stiff peaks. Alternatively, use a stand mixer and mix for about 20 seconds.

    3. Take out around three tablespoons of coconut whipped cream and put it in a separate bowl to use as a garnish. In the larger bowl, add the cacao powder, agave nectar, and vanilla bean seeds, then whip again until fully incorporated.

    4. Divide the mixture between two large ramekins or glasses. Take the coconut whipped cream which was set apart earlier, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle with the mixture, and pipe a swirl on top of each serving of chocolate mousse. Set the mousses in the fridge to set for an hour or so before serving. If using, sprinkle with cacao nibs at the last minute.

    5. Enjoy!

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    simple caramel sauce (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan, grain-free)

    Caramel sauce makes everything better – it’s quite alike to peanut butter, which has the same property. Moving on from my attempt at chemistry, this sauce is utterly delicious and is even easier to prepare than it’s dairy-filled counterpart, making it a definite contestant in my top-10 ‘I’m hungry’ list.

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    It’s a perfect companion to banana chunks, the aforementioned chunks but frozen and chucked in the food processor to make glorious ice cream, almonds, and of course chocolate pecan cookies. Is it sad that I can verify each and every one of those claims?

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    I’ve taken to keeping at least 6 cans of coconut milk in the fridge for caramel sauce emergencies; that’s how scrumdiddlyumptious this sauce is. (My lexicon consists of Roald Dahl vocabulary. Don’t judge.)

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    Attack it with a spoon, dig out a scoop of it or spread it on anything within a 2-foot radius – have sauce, will (most likely) share.

    Simple Caramel Sauce (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan, grain-free)

    by Alessandra Peters

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Keywords: dairy-free egg-free gluten-free grain-free paleo vegan

    Ingredients (1 cup)

    • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
    • 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

    Instructions

    1. Take the can of coconut milk out of the fridge. Open it, then scoop the thick white coconut fat at the top into a separate bowl until you are left with just the coconut water. Reserve 1/4 cup of the water and put it into a small saucepan.

    2. Add the sugar to the coconut water in the pan, then heat on medium heat until it is fully bubbling, about 3-4 minutes. Teaspoon by teaspoon, add in chunks of coconut fat and whisk after each addition until no lumps remain. Keep adding coconut fat until you have finished it and the caramel is a light golden colour.

    3. Let the caramel come to a boil again (3-4 minutes) until it starts to thicken a bit. Take off the heat, pour into a glass container, and let the container stand, lid open, until the caramel is completely cool. Transfer to the fridge and let set for at least 3 hours.

    4. Enjoy!

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    Enjoy!