Rich, chocolatey and incredibly creamy, this chocolate coconut ice cream recipe will knock your socks off. And if you eat dairy-free, no problem, I’ve got you covered for a summertime treat. There is no dairy in this recipe. The secret is canned, full-fat coconut milk.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream
Summer means homemade ice cream around our house. While I like to make standard ice cream and sherbets that use dairy milk once in awhile, I wanted to create a recipe for my lactose-intolerant, dairy-sensitive friends, plus we’ve been trying to minimize dairy.
No Sugar Added
For sweetening instead of sugar, I used liquid chocolate stevia drops made by Sweet Leaf. You can find them at health oriented markets and online in lots of great flavors. While there is a little sugar in the bittersweet chocolate, there is no added sugar in my recipe.
Soft Serve Style and Why
This ice cream is best right out of the maker or after a short sit in the freezer. Because this recipe has no added sugar, it freezes rock hard if left in the freezer too long. That is because sugar and common ice cream ingredients like corn syrup do not freeze. They help ice cream stay softer, make it less icy and provide a softer texture once frozen.
Ice Cream Prep Work
Chop chocolate using a long, serrated bread knife. You know, the one that came with your knife set that sits around and usually does not get any action. Chop the chocolate into small piece so that it melts easily and quickly.
Next, set up a double boiler and melt the chocolate. Add a few inches of water to a large 4-5 quart pot or pan. Place a stainless steel or glass bowl on top. it should fit inside a little bit but not touch the water. This provides gentle, even heat for melting chocolate.
Next, bring the coconut milk to almost a boil in a small (2 quart) pan. Beat the egg yolk in a medium bowl until smooth, then very slowly add a little of the hot coconut milk and whisk quickly. Go slow so you don’t scramble the egg yolks. Stream in a little at a time and keep whisking. When about 1/3 of the milk is added, add the rest at once and stir until smooth.
For really smooth ice cream, pour the coconut milk mixture into the melted chocolate through a fine small strainer to catch any yolk bits. Stir until completed mixed and smooth.
To chill the ice cream base quickly, place the bowl in a sink full of ice and cold water. When it’s very cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, then add it to your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturers directions.
Plan to serve it right out of the maker or after a brief sit in the freezer.
Ingredients Tips – Chocolate and Coconut Milk
Be sure to buy good quality chocolate. I usually buy Valhrona, Scharffen Berger, Theo, or Guittard. I’ve been buying Valhrona at Trader Joes, stocking up on the dark bittersweet 3.5 ounce bars for my chocolatey projects, and it’s a good price too. Go for the 70% – 85% dark bittersweet chocolate.
Native Forest has been my standard coconut milk for years. I like the quality and the BPA-free can.
What if it Gets Rock Hard
If you do leave it in the freezer too long and it gets rock hard, let it stand for an hour, then break it up with a table knife and stir well. I’ve done this twice to see how it came out. I was able to get the ice cream back to a softer consistency, but it is a lot of work when you just want a bowl of ice cream.
The other thing I did was after it sat out awhile and softened up, I put it back in the ice cream machine and set it to churn and freeze. That smoothed it all out, but again, it’s extra work. Just enjoy it soon after it’s made.
Post Note 9/11/15
Well after this post, I found a small container of this still in the freezer. It was rock hard of course. I let it thaw in the fridge and it softened into an amazing rich pudding like consistency, so we ate it! It was terrific. Can’t waste good chocolate, can we?
Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream | Dairy Free
- 12 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate 72%-85%
- 2 1/2 cups whole coconut milk 20 ounces
- 4 large or extra large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 15-20 drops liquid chocolate stevia made by Sweet Leaf
- a pinch of salt
- Ice cream maker
- Fill a 4-5 quart pan with a about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Chop chocolate into small pieces. A long serrated bread knife makes it easy.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium stainless steel or glass bowl and place the bowl on top of the pan with the water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.
- Turn the heat to low and allow the chocolate to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.
- When the chocolate is almost melted, heat the coconut milk in a small, 2-3 quart pan to almost a boil. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. When coconut milk is hot, whisk a little of the hot milk into the eggs. This is called tempering. Add just a little at a time so you don't scramble the yolks. When about a third of the milk is added, add all of the rest at once. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour the hot coconut milk through a small, fine strainer into the melted chocolate. Discard and yolks bits left in the strainer. Stir the vanilla, stevia and pinch of salt into the chocolate until smooth.
- Fill a sink half full with ice and cold water. Nestle the bowl into the ice bath to chill the ice cream base. When the base is below 70° (measure with a digital thermometer), pace it in the refrigerator to chill further, about 30 minutes. When the base is very cold, pour into your ice cream maker and process by manufacturer directions. Serve soft, right out of the maker or after a brief sitting the freezer. Any longer than a brief sit and it might turn rock hard (because it has no sugar).