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*Slightly* less magical than Disney…

Last weekend was supposed to have been hot as all get-out and since turning on the oven to bake sounded less-than-appealing, we decided this was our opportunity to try one of those copycat Dole Whip recipes that proliferate on Pinterest. Who needs a passport and a plane ticket when one can recreate all the magic of a Disney park in one’s own kitchen?

If you search out “copycat Dole Whip” online, there are tons of recipes to choose from. I went for this one, which seemed the most true to the recipe released by Disney a couple of years ago and didn’t include any weird add-ins like sugar (the pineapple and ice cream are full of it already, thanks) or lime juice (just…what?).

I had no idea that frozen pineapple even existed until I sought it out for this recipe. We used about half the package (or 2 cups-ish), plus a “big scoop” (~3/4 cup) of vanilla ice cream, and 1/4 cup of pineapple juice.

This view of the blender holds promises of infinite riches, of creamy, tropical bliss. Now, the recipe says that the frozen pineapple chunks should be set out “a few minutes ahead of time”, without really specifying what “a few minutes” is. Diligently photographing my packaged ingredients and then measuring them all out and adding them to the blender surely took “a few minutes”; what the recipe did not tell us is that that was not nearly enough time, and that trying to blend everything now would result in a solid, seized-up frozen chunk that would need to be poked with a stick like some sort of dead body in the woods in order to start moving around the blender.

I feel like if the four kids in Stand by Me had been on a quest to look at frozen pineapple, the movie would never have been a success. Ahem.

After much poking and pulsing, everything more or less came together and looked like the pictures I was seeing online. The recipes almost unanimously agree that to get a classic soft-serve look, this should be spooned into a piping bag and swirled into your cup or bowl.

What they don’t tell you, however, is that any pineapple chunks that escaped the blender’s blades will block the piping tip, resulting in more poking with a stick (a chopstick this time, and not a wooden spoon).

Me: Do you want to just spoon this into the bowls and eat it?

Him: Yup.

It might not have been much to look at, but it was cool and refreshing. Shockingly, the stick-poking didn’t deter us from wanting to try it again – albeit with slightly thawed pineapple next time.

Thanks for looking! 🙂

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Who needs the Good Humour man?

I did this a couple of weeks ago and only just downloaded the picture from my camera…oops!

Back in June, I scored a Cuisinart ice cream maker at a garage sale for $30.  Sweet!  And then…it sat in the basement for a couple of months, occasionally being moved if I needed access to something under/behind it.  I understand now why I never bought one before: it’s a bit of a one-trick pony, and takes up space (oh, the space!) when not in use.

While flipping through Hannah Kaminsky’s Vegan a la Mode, I found the perfect recipe to break in my new treasure: double chocolate fudge chunk.  Only I decided to leave the chunks out.  Why waste time making chunks if the base itself wasn’t going to work out?

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Well, it did, so darn it, I cheated myself out of chunks!  It was quite a simple recipe, and used both cocoa powder and melted semi-sweet chocolate for an extra rich flavour.  A single scoop makes a perfectly decadent mini-dessert.  And now that I’ve got my feet wet, more involved recipes await!

Thanks for looking!

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You put the lime in the coconut

When I was just a wee tyke, the Grade 3 class in my school would learn songs from the Anne of Green Gables musical – Canada’s longest-running musical; who knew? – in music class, and as part of this curriculum, would actually get to make ice cream, just like they sang about*.  This was probably the most hotly anticipated moment of my entire educational career, particularly when my cousin, who was a year ahead of me, got to do it and I got to hear about it in greater detail than ever before.  For reasons I still don’t understand, her class was the last to do it, and I felt sorely robbed of the opportunity to waste valuable class-time making ice cream, of all the crazy things.

I eventually got over this snub, and really hadn’t had much of a burning desire to make ice cream since, because you can buy it at the store/I don’t eat dairy anymore/you can buy non-dairy ice cream at the store, too.  Besides, ice cream is just not one of those things I really crave too frequently.  But…every so often, in perusing a cookbook or website, I’d see an ice cream recipe and think, “Dang!”  Since we’re having a heatwave (a tropical heat wave), I finally took the plunge this weekend.

This product is particularly awesome for three reasons (besides the taste!):

1. It’s homemade (duh – who blogs about store-bought ice cream?)

2. It’s vegan

3. I made it without an ice cream maker

Yes!  Thanks to the Brown-Eyed Baker’s handy tutorial (found here), I was able to experiment with homemade ice cream without having to shell out for an ice cream maker that would sit and collect dust in the basement roughly 360 days out of the year.

Oh, the recipe?  Just a little gem from Hannah Kaminsky’s Vegan Desserts, “Toasted Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream”.  I’ve fiddled with key limes exactly once in my life, decided they weren’t worth the trouble, and employed one standard lime instead to get the necessary juice and zest.  It yields approximately one pint once all is said and done, which was the perfect amount to slake that cold-n-creamy craving.  The texture was nothing short of velvety, and it tested very well with omnivores.  Although the coconut milk makes it rich, the tartness of the lime provides the perfect balance.

Oh, yeah.  This opens up all sorts of possibilities….

*”Ice cream!  Is anything more delectable than ice cream?  Why, even the most respectable eat ice cream!  It’s wonderful on a summer’s afternoon in June,” etc.