Monday, October 15, 2012

Vegan Win!: Almost Coney's Frozen Custard

It used to be my favorite treat.  A chocolate cyclone with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a caramel swirl from Coney's Frozen Custard.  Back in the good ol' days when my dad lived nearby and would look after my kids once a week so I could run errands and do my grocery shopping, I would often treat myself to this decadent indulgence in lieu of lunch.  Although I no longer feel that desperate need for my dairy fix, I still miss my old fave sometimes.  I have recently been experimenting with vegan ice cream, and one day I was tinkering with the basic chocolate ice cream recipe from Veganomicon when I came up with this:

I haven't had frozen custard for some time now, but the first bite was very reminiscent of a Coney's treat.  My first attempts at vegan ice cream were not particularly satisfactory, and I think I may have discovered the reason why--and it's the same reason that commercial non-dairy ice creams are often disappointing (especially considering how expensive they are).  Most vegan ice creams focus on one main ingredient to replace the dairy fat of traditional ice cream.  You have your soy ice creams, your almond milk ice creams, your coconut ice creams.  Some of these are fairly decent, but I've found that including some of EACH of these substitutions, along with a healthy dose of cocoa butter fat, makes for a well-rounded and delicious dairy-free creamy frozen treat.  Taking the lead from Veganomicon, I based the recipe on the powerful triumvirate of almond milk|silken tofu|coconut cream and then added more vegan chocolate, more maple syrup, and cocoa powder to create a velvety, rich, sweet chocolatey ice cream much like Coney's chocolate frozen custard.  I threw in some basic vegan caramel sauce and peanut butter cookie dough (which is very similar to the filling in Reese's PB Cups) to give it extra texture and sweetness.

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