Avocado Ice Cream (#47-E)

2 02 2013

Organic avocados were on sale this week for $1 each.  While I typically pounce on sales, I’ve always been a bit cautious with sale avocados.  Will they be a perfect creamy green inside or a brown icky mess?  It’s always been a bit of a gamble for me… until I recently stumbled upon this neat little tip from The Kitchn on how to tell if an avocado is perfectly ripe inside.  Pop off the dry button on the stem end of the fruit.  If it’s green underneath, the avocado is ripe.  If it’s brown, it’s past its prime and most likely brown and stringy inside.

Avocado

Score.  That little trick from The Kitchn worked!  Perfectly ripe inside!

So, what to do with three perfectly ripe avocados?  Ice cream of course!

Avocado Ice Cream might sound rather bizarre, but in Southeast Asia, avocados are typically used for sweet rather than savoury dishes.  When I was travelling in Vietnam, when I wasn’t sipping an iced Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk (cà phê sữa đá), I had an avocado milkshake (sinh tố bơ) in hand.  Avocado milkshakes are rich and buttery in taste and ultra smooth in texture.  Surely avocados would work well in ice cream.

This egg-free ice cream recipe is super simple: blitz four ingredients in a blender, chill, churn, done.  I would suggest that you churn the avocado mixture as soon as it is thoroughly chilled (about four hours), otherwise the mixture will start to discolour and darken from contact with air.

Results?  An amazingly smooth, creamy, and pillowy soft ice cream with the rich taste of avocado and just a hint of caramel from the condensed milk.  Be careful with this one, it might be hard to stop yourself from eating the whole batch in one sitting!!

Avocado Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

2.5 cups half-and-half cream
3 avocados
Juice of half a lemon
225 mL (3/4 can) sweetened condensed milk (save the rest for cà phê sữa đá)
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)

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Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream (#28)

20 09 2012

Last weekend, while making cà phê sữa đá — iced Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk — it occurred to me that this would make for a fantastic ice cream flavour.

Since my trip to Vietnam last year, I have become rather addicted to Vietnamese style coffee.  Why?

  1. Vietnanese coffee is a blend of robusta, arabica, chari and catimor beans — it’s a wonderfully aromatic combination and has a very unique flavour.
  2. It is brewed using a phin — a small, simple drip filter shaped like a top hat.  You watch your coffee slowly drip, drip, drip for four to six minutes through the filter into your glass.  The slow drip results in coffee with the strength of rocket fuel.  You can read more about brewing a perfect cup of Vietnamese coffee here.
  3. You can optionally serve it with ice and sweetened condensed milk.  For me, that’s about 99% of the time!
Iced Vietnamese coffee

One of a many, many iced Vietnamese coffees I had during the trip.  Yum!

Cà phê sữa đá just begs to be turned into ice cream!  For this ice cream recipe, I used Trung Nguyen coffee, Vietnam’s national brand.  If you can’t find Trung Nguyen coffee (or another brand of Vietnamese coffee) from a local Vietnamese market, you can substitute a strong French roast coffee.

Trung Nguyen coffee

The last of the huge stash of Trung Nguyen coffee I brought back from Vietnam last year.

I also used Longevity Brand sweetened condensed milk, which you should be able to find at most Asian grocery stores.  Longevity is my brand of choice as it doesn’t contain any oil, fillers, or other strange ingredients.  Plus it has a cool label that screams wise choice.  Longevity also happened to rank #1 in a condensed milk taste test by Serious Eats.

Longevity Brand condensed milk

Wise men (and women) choose Longevity Brand!

Results?  The ice cream has a strong, rich coffee taste with notes of butter and caramel from the condensed milk.  Using condensed milk also results in an extremely malleable ice cream.  Even after 24+ hours in the freezer, the ice cream was ready to scoop, requiring no softening time in the fridge or on the counter.  I’ll be eating this ice cream for breakfast for the next week!

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)
Adapted from Serious Eats

2 1/4 cups half-and-half cream
1/4 cup ground Vietnamese coffee
2 eggs
1 300 mL can sweetened condensed milk

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