Got milk? Well, there are those who believe that cow’s milk isn’t quite the stuff of healthy children and strong bones. In fact, there seem to be plenty of reasons to remove dairy from our diet. My reasons for eliminating cow’s milk and most other dairy goods include a certain degree of lactose intolerance and acne.
But cow’s milk is everywhere, hidden in other foods right under our noses. That’s the reason why this chocolate ice cream is only almost dairy-free. See, even dark chocolate contains some quantities of dairy product. If you’re fortunate enough to access dairy-free dark chocolate, then use that instead for a truly dairy-free ice cream.
Otherwise, I guarantee that this ice cream will not make you miss dairy in the slightest. In fact, it’s a whole lot richer and creamier than traditional dairy-laden ice creams.
The main ingredients to substitute are milk and cream. Cow’s milk substitutes are readily available in grocery stores these days. You can use any nut or rice milk, or even soy milk. The chocolate component in this ice cream is so strong it should mask the taste of any substitute milks.
Cream is a little tougher to replace. In some places, you can get soy cream. If not, I use blended-up tofu. Even then, it’s not super creamy, so I help thicken up the ice cream base with a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch.
Once you’ve got the substitute ingredients, you put everything together as you would for a traditional ice cream. If you want to know why each step in ice cream-making is needed, I do give a lengthier explanation in my Strawberry Ice Cream recipe.
1 block (300g) silken tofu
200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), dairy-free if available
1-1/4 cup almond milk or other milk substitute, unsweetened
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (opt.)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (opt.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Drain the tofu of its storing liquid and blend in a food processor until smooth.
Step 2: Break the chocolate into small pieces and add to a saucepan. Pour over the almond milk and tofu puree, and heat everything over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts and mixture begins to bubble. In the meantime, whisk together the remaining ingredients (except the vanilla extract) in a separate bowl until pale yellow and thickened.
Step 3: Pour about a-third of the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk vigorously to bring the yolks up to temperature without curdling. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and whisk continuously over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens or reaches 80°C (175°F). Remove the mixture from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Step 4: Stir in the vanilla extract and store the ice cream mixture in your refrigerator overnight. The next day, churn the mixture in your ice cream machine to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store your ice cream in an air-tight container in the freezer for at least 2 hours to firm up before serving.