The "Rachel True" Ice Creams
The celebrity ice cream challenge continues! This time around, I dive into making ice cream for Rachel True, who is most well-known for her role in the 1996 film The Craft! She is also pretty witchy, and recently created her own tarot deck called, True Heart Intuitive Tarot.
Rachel challenged me with two very different flavors, S'mores, and Lemon with Lemon Pound Cake...and they both had to be vegan. Now, I can make vegan ice cream, but it has never been as great as I 've always wanted it to be. I also try to steer away from using coconut milk, if at all, because I don't always want to include that flavor if I don't have to. So, when Rachel mentioned that she didn't want me to use coconut milk, I jumped at the challenge!
The first thing I had to do was take a look at my vegan base. I had been making and using my own nut milk as the base, but when I decided to play around with my recipe, I decided to cut out nut milk as a whole. I replaced it with a combination of plant-based milk and oat milk, which is truly my favorite milk alternative! By including these two milks, I could keep it creamy, eliminate the coconut flavor, as well as remain vegan and free of gluten, nut, soy and dairy. I wanted to keep the base very smooth and clean tasting, so I opted for grapeseed oil in place of coconut oil. Using coconut oil will make ensure it stays scoopable, but can sometimes leave the whisper of coconut, and that wasn't what I wanted at all.
I started with the S'mores ice cream, something that I really had to get right, or it just wouldn't be good. Vegan chocolate ice creams tend to be a little easier to sell because chocolate has a lot of natural fat content and the flavor is strong. Chocolate, much like something like peanut butter, are great flavors for vegan bases because they tend to overpower and mask the elements that make vegan ice cream taste vegan, which a lot of people complain about. But I wanted the base to be the marshmallow element, so I had my work cut out for me. It would also be easier than trying to make a vegan marshmallow fluff, seeing as that is traditionally made using egg whites. There is a way to make a vegan meringue-style whip/meringue using aquafaba, but I didn't know how that would freeze, so I didn't attempt to make it. I will give that a try one day...I am curious.
I opted for an organic marshmallow extract, in addition to vanilla extract, and used that to flavor my vegan base. I mixed in a vegan fudge ripple (or swirl...is there really a difference between the two?) I also, whenever I can, choose to make my own inclusions from scratch, otherwise, it feels like cheating. If I make something from scratch, I can keep it as clean as possible, control the amount of sugar, salt and unnecessary additives that I prefer to stay away from. I made my standard graham cracker recipe and swapped out the butter for Earth Balance butter, which works pretty well in baking as a substitute.
I surprised myself with this flavor and it turned out to be irresistible!
The next flavor Rachel challenged me with was a vegan lemon ice cream with chunks of lemon pound cake, which of course, also was vegan. I returned to my vegan base, and opted to use a ton of lemon zest to create the base flavor. And I mean a lot of lemon zest. I reserved the juice to make the vegan pound cake and saved a bit to make a lemon simple syrup to soak the cake once it was baked. Lemon is one of my favorite fruits, anything citrusy really...so I was wild about this one. It had to be good...really good, especially because the base wasn't protected with the bold flavors of chocolate. In the end, the lemon flavor was bright, and the pound cake was punchy, tart and chewy. Maybe not something Auntie would serve, but just as good, if not better, and hopefully teeming with nostalgia.
Just look at how smoothly that spoon slices into that scoop!