Amandes Salées Joie Ice Cream
I know, I know, it is just salty almond joy (coconut base and salt-chocolate-coconut-almond clusters) ice cream so why the fancy name? Well: fries, toast, kisses, ticklers!? Everything is better French! Everyone who knows Matt and me knows that that statement is all Matt! So, back to the ice cream (all foodie business on my end!), Amandes Salées Joie… we got the idea after visiting Gifford’s in Washington, DC where we had an absolutely delicious coconut ice cream with lovely bits of toasted coconut. We immediately decided to make a similar ice cream, but to add almond and chocolate clusters. We were recently re-inspired by Matt’s colleague, John, who mentioned that he had been enjoying coconut sorbet as a lovely summer treat.
For the Ice Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (whole eggs, yolks and whites)
1/2 cup sugar
14 oz. can of coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Coconut Almond Clusters:
2/3 lb almonds
4-5 oz. dried unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon sea salt
350 grams (or 10 oz) dark chocolate
Directions for making the Coconut Almond Clusters
Toast the almonds at 350 for 5-8 minutes. [Toasting nuts is always something that makes us nervous--we have ruined enough batches that we now watch the oven like over-protective parents might watch their offspring in a buzz-saw factory.] Once they have cooled a bit, chop them into rough halves.
Then toast the coconut at 250 for 5-8 minutes. [Same words of caution apply for this as the almonds, and possibly more so! The coconut turned from a blinding white to a golden brown in a surprisingly short time.]
Remove 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and place in the refrigerator — this will be added to the batter just before freezing.
To the remaining toasted coconut (should be 3/4 to 1 cup), add a teaspoon of sea salt and mix thoroughly.
Melt the chocolate in a large bowl in a microwave and alternately add the chopped almonds then the remainder of the coconut. Mix until completely incorporated. Smooth the chocolate mixture onto a wax paper lined baking sheet — try to make it a fairly thin layer so that it can easily be broken into clusters.
Directions for making the Ice Cream
Place cream in saucepan and bring to steaming.
Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup of sugar and pinch of salt. Slowly temper the egg mixture with hot cream. Return mixture to saucepan and heat until thickened (but not scrambled).
Run mixture through sieve and let cool. Add coconut milk and vanilla extract. Cover, pressing plastic wrap on surface, and refrigerate overnight.
Just before pouring the ice cream batter into your machine, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the reserved toasted coconut. We think that waiting until the end might help to preserve the texture of the toasted coconut.
Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions to freeze the ice cream. While it is churning, break and chop the refrigerated chocolate-nut clusters so they are fairly small, perhaps the size of a finger nail. If your machine can handle it, add the coconut almond clusters to the all-but-finished ice cream and allow the machine to thoroughly incorporate them into the ice cream. If you are worried about the machine, wait until the ice cream is ready to be be removed and mix the coconut almond clusters by hand.
Ice cream machine used: Lello Musso Lussino Ice Cream Maker
Matt: With his colleague John: not coconut-y enough. About 1/2 of the way through the serving, they no longer registered coconut. Matt also fears that the coconut almond clusters steal the show and may be “cheating.” The salt in the clusters is absolutely the key to the whole thing.
Matt’s Dad: Like that the flavor was pleasantly coconut-y without being overwhelming. He loved the coconut almond clusters.
Holly thought it was delicious, but does agree with Matt and John that the coconut flavor does diminish. She is not sure, however, that she minds. And the coconut almond clusters are amazing … yummm, they are better than most candy I have ever eaten. Matt added the sea salt to the coconut before combining with the almonds and chocolate and voila (again with the French), a culinary masterpiece!
Possible changes for next time:
Use 4 egg yolks rather than the 2 whole eggs.
Try a different brand of coconut milk.
Try using sweetened coconut rather than the unsweetened (we have a theory that the sugar will caramelize beautifully).
Add more of the remaining coconut to the ice cream.