IMAGINE…a balmy breeze is blowing. Your skin is warm in the late afternoon sunshine, it tingles with the feeling of perfect health and a ten hour sleep. Toes kick in and out of the crisp, clear water of the rim flow pool as you float on a floaty thingy that resembles a banana. The dolphin was taken by the blonde that keeps looking at her compact at dinner. Below, the azure waters of the (insert fantasy tropical island name here) glint and wink, as the waves gently roll back and forth. You feel nothing but peace. A state of such relaxation.
Slurp. Well, that’s the last of the frozen watermelon cocktail. No matter. The pool-side bar is very well stocked.
You paddle to the edge and hoist yourself out. Water droplets fall like pearly beads off your body. You hear the collective gasp of admiring lookers-on. Someone licks their lips. It really was worth splurging October’s salary on the Gavin Rajah monokini. Panther in the jungle black. An old lady on a lounger peers over her magazine, squinting through her cat eye shades.
“Paleo” you say confidently, taking your sky high wedges over to the bar.
Smiling at the bar man you order a chilled coconut water. The coconut is stored in the fridge, the top hacked off with a machete and served in its own body. Genius!
Bar man smiles, his chest bronzed and chiseled in the fashion of a Men’s Health cover model. He’s from Naples he says, with strawberry lips that were meant for a summer romance. “Hmm, pity so young,” you think, a bit too loudly.
He inserts a white straw into the coconut and hands it to you.
You tilt your head back, smell the sweet coconut flesh and take a long sip. Three weeks of this bliss still lie ahead….
Well, I won’t pretend to be able to bridge the gap between a Mills and Boons-esqe holiday fantasy and this humble coconut ice cream. But I will let you know that this ice cream is easy (to make) and perfect with left over Christmas cake or pud. I almost prefer it to custard. (this will depend on whether it’s hot or cold where you are right now)
This recipe for coconut milk ice cream consists of just two main ingredients (and can successfully be made with only the coconut milk and sugar), is diary free and suitable for vegans. And, I suppose this is the real draw card: it’s smooth and creamy. The startling white colour, an indication that no eggs are used is evocative of the coconut flesh itself.
I add the salt to balance the sugar and sweetness of the coconut milk and the corn flour to thicken and add to the creaminess as it churns.
Even if you are not on a tropical island holiday right now, you could be transported there just with a lick or two of this. Alright, you may have to close your eyes tight.
Add 60-80 ml Malibu or coconut flavoured liqueur to transform this into a celebratory, boozy ice cream.
I hope you had a very merry Christmas!
2 x 410 g cans of coconut cream or milk
3/4 cup caster sugar
60 g fresh coconut, sliced thinly (optional)
1 t maizena or corn flour
1/2 t salt
1. Add coconut cream, sugar, maizena, coconut and salt to a pot and bring to a simmer, whisking with a wooden spoon to ensure the sugar dissolves.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Pour through a sieve and remove coconut pieces (can be reused or dried and toasted – serve with the ice cream).
4. Churn in ice cream machine for 40-60 min and freeze in suitable container for 4 hours or overnight before serving. May also be made manually, following David Lebovitz’s method.