I have Kelly at Life Made Sweeter to thank for today's tasty kitchen experiment. A week or so ago, she posted some delectable-looking toasted coconut banana bread ice cream sandwiches and I spied a recipe for coconut ice cream within it that I just had to try.
The ice cream takes 3 ingredients to make: coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Who can resist something that simple! Clearly not me because I was pulling out my little ice cream machine in no time.
This may be an odd time to say that I'm actually not a huge fan of coconut...but I just love coconut milk. The aroma and taste of it is nothing short of intoxicating.
While I have been getting into the habit of cooking with light coconut milk and it works really well in many cases, this is definitely not the time for it. You need to use full-fat coconut milk since you're making ice cream and want as much creamiest as possible. I went digging in my pantry and actually found a can sitting there waiting for me so it was surely meant to be.
True to expectation, the finished product tasted like delicious coconut milk in ice cream form! If you love coconut milk, there's nothing not to love about the taste of this. And you'll love that it takes little more effort beyond dissolving some sugar in the coconut milk and letting it chill before churning.
I do want to point out that, in my experience, the ice cream freezes very hard (it comes out like soft-serve fresh out of the ice cream machine if you'd like to dig in then) so you need to let it sit out for a bit to soften before scooping. I did make a small batch using only one can of coconut milk so maybe that didn't help my case. I needed to give it a few really good scrapes to pull my ice cream together. Assuming that's not a deal-breaker for you, the flavor is sensational. (I do wonder if a little alcohol like vodka would soften the texture but that's an experiment for another day...)
And in the spirit of simple and easy, I decided to whip up some sweet sesame seed wonton crisps to go with the ice cream. They are really easy to make! Take a few wonton skins, lay them on a baking sheet and brush them with a little egg wash before sprinkling with sesame seeds and a bit of sugar. Then bake until browned and crispy.
The sesame flavor really pops in these wonton crisps and went really well with the coconut milk ice cream. The two pack a lot of flavor individually but worked well together to bring each forward. You could serve one alongside or even lay some ice cream right on top of one like I did. It's fun either way because it ends up being finger food. And when you're done, you can take your extra wonton wrappers and make a batch of savory wontons like I did!
Just warm the coconut milk up in a pan and stir in 1/4 cup of sugar until dissolved and add a touch of vanilla extract (which makes everything better). As you can see, it's not a lot of extra sugar and I thought it was just the right amount even though more sugar in an ice cream recipe would help give it a softer texture. If you use superfine sugar, you could probably dissolve the sugar without even heating up the mixture. And instead of sugar, Kelly says you can use honey but I wanted the full-on flavor of the coconut milk to shine without interference so I opted for basic sugar.
Chill this mixture and then churn it in your ice cream maker, keeping an eye on it so that it doesn't over-churn (particularly if making a half-recipe like me). You end up with coconut milk in ice cream form. After it sits in the freezer, the ice cream becomes quite hard, in my experience, so let it sit at room temperature for a bit before scooping. The texture may seem very icy after it's been in the freezer but is actually very creamy in your mouth.
As for the wonton crisps, I adapted Martha's recipe. You just lay wonton wrappers on a lined baking sheet (you could cut each into 2 triangles if you want smaller crisps) and cover them with an egg wash. I didn't have cream on hand so I used an egg yolk with a bit of milk. Then sprinkle over some sesame seeds and a little sugar.
It took about 12-14 minutes for mine to brown and crisp up fully in a 350 degree oven. Since the sides curled up a bit, I had the notion of using them to hold the ice cream like a plate or little bowl.
They are very easy to make and a fun little adornment for ice cream like this, or for sorbets. You could even skip the sugar and make these sesame wonton crisps into a savory snack or accompaniment.
Coconut Milk Ice Cream
From Life Made Sweeter
- Approximately 1 quart -
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool and chill before churning in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with sesame wonton crisps (recipe below), if desired.
Sesame Wonton Crisps
Adapted from Martha Stewart
- For 6 crisps -
6 square wonton wrappers (you could slice each into 2 triangles, if desired)
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons milk (or use 1 tablespoon of cream if you have it on hand)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (I used a mixture of white and black)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
Place wonton wrappers on a lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make an egg wash by whisking the egg yolk and milk together. Brush egg wash over each wonton wrapper, sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds, and about 1/8 teaspoon of sugar. Bake until golden and crisp, roughly 10 to 12 minutes or so. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with coconut milk ice cream (above) or other ice cream/sorbet of your choice.