It's the first official snow day of the winter: no school, no driving, and no reason not to spend the day in pajamas. It's simply too dangerous out there to leave the warmth of the kitchen, where I've been working on some holiday dessert ideas. Ice cream might be the furthest thing from your mind during a blizzard, but I've been dreaming of frozen eggnog since before Thanksgiving. I am in love with nutmeg, but don't enjoy eggnog's thick, gluey mouthfeel, and I can do without the egg yolks, too.
My solution? Lots of nutmeg, lots of cream (coconut and soy), some sugar and a smidge of rum, swirled around in the ice cream maker until light and fluffy. You could make ice cream out of commercially available soy or rice nog, but this from-scratch version is just as easy.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, put one on your Christmas list—it'll open up a whole new world of dessert.
Veganog Ice Cream
1 14-oz can coconut milk
1 cup soy creamer
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional, but alcohol improves the ice cream's texture)
Makes about 3 cups.
Delightfully rich and spicy on its own, veganog ice cream is perfect sandwiched between gingerbread cookies. In my gluten days, I liked this vegan gingerbread recipe (see last winter's Gingerbread Graemes). To make them gluten-free, I replaced the all-purpose flour with the following:
2/3 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
I based my mix on Bette Hagman's Featherlight Flour, which I learned about here. The dough behaved normally; I was able to roll it out and cut it into shapes. The cookies looked perfect coming out of the oven, but their undersides were cakey and undercooked, and they clung to the baking sheet. Since my cookies were destined for ice cream sandwiches, this didn't matter.
What's wrong here?
They taste like normal gingerbread, but they leave a film on the roof of my mouth. Is it the xanthan gum, the cornstarch, or the tapioca? I'm too new at this to know. Fortunately, we like gingerbread, so I'll be able to test out this recipe with a different flour mix.
I'm going to assemble a bunch of these puppies and stick them in the freezer for instant, effortless dessert down the road.
Okay, I've had my fun. Time to shovel.