We wanted to film one of our epic YouTube masterpieces and make a pineapple and coconut soufflé which required coconut ice cream. This sounds simple enough but, surprisingly, that particular ingredient was nowhere to be found in the apparent wilds of south London where there are, of course, no people of Caribbean origin who would never dream of eating anything with coconut in it.
So, instead of firing off “Inconvenienced, of Streatham” letters to our local supermarket management – or having a stand-up row with some of the smaller shopkeepers – I decided to make my own.
As for the soufflé, the idea was binned. After a couple of tries we realised that hot pineapple is dubious and the end result was disgusting. This ice cream recipe is delicious however!
400ml can of coconut cream
250ml double cream
300ml full cream milk
1 x 50g sachet creamed coconut
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks
165g golden caster sugar
60g desiccated coconut
Combine the coconut cream, cream, milk and creamed coconut (break up the single piece into about ten smaller chunks to help it dissolve) in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape the seeds into the pan then place pod in pan.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until well combined and lighter in colour; when the milk pan is getting towards boiling, ladle out some of the cream into the beaten eggs and immediately whisk them together – this loosens the eggs and heats it a little which is called tempering and means you’re less likely to turn your whisked egg/sugar mix into scrambled egg when all of the hot cream goes in.
When the cream mix boils, add it to the tempered egg mix, whisking all the time,
Strain into a large heatproof jug, discard the vanilla pod and any small lumps which get caught in the sieve.
Switch on the small oven (if you have a double oven) to 180C should come up to temperature while you carry out the next step
Wash the pan quickly and return mixture to it. Set over a low to medium heat and stir constantly, without boiling, until it is thickened slightly – if you have a thermometer, it should read about 78°C. While the mixture is gently heating, put the desiccated coconut into an oven proof dish/pan big enough to allow the coconut to spread thinly over the bottom and place in the oven. You cannot, however, turn your back on stirring the egg/cream mix for more than a few seconds – and neither can you take your eyes off the roasting coconut as it will go from done to done-in in seconds! Around three minutes is all it will take to go a lovely toasty golden brown and that’s what you’re looking for – so you may need a second pair of hands here. But it’s do-able if you’re prepared to focus and have the confidence. Stir in the toasted coconut and pour into a baking tin, cover and freeze until almost set – 3 to 4 hours approximately.
You could then scoop out the partially frozen ice cream into a large bowl, and blend it for a minute or two with an electric whisk till smooth – but depending on the height of the baking tin sides, you might well be able to carry out this final stage in situ in the tin but you’ll need to judge that for yourselves. My tin had sides about three inches high and, although I did get a few splashes, was able to whisk it up in the tin, which saved transferring it and washing up!
Put in a tin or container that will approximately give you a block shape – like an old ice cream container, or loaf tin, for example – then freeze until firm. The whisking process mid-freeze helps get a bit of air into the mix and so give it a creamier/more scoop-able texture although you’ll still benefit from leaving it for 15-20 mins out of the freezer before serving.