Hi friends! The Game of Thrones withdrawal is strong! I spent the past two days in a state of perpetual sookiness because there’s no Game of Thrones today! So I decided to curb my craving with a bookish inspired recipe!
I do this really strange thing when I’m reading a book—I actively start to crave pretty much any food that’s mentioned in whatever book it is I’m reading. When I read Harry Potter books three through seven, all I wanted in the world was Butterbeer—I settled for root beer. When I read Breaking Dawn all I ate was eggs. When I read City of Bones I wanted pancakes all day, every day…for about the three days it took me to read that book. You get the picture. George R.R. Martin has some absolutely drool-worthy descriptions of food in his books. But, a lot of them are quite decadent.
One of the simpler recipes from A Game of Thrones hooked me the very first time I read the book. It might’ve had something to do with the fact that I read this book during the summer, but Maester Pycelle’s Iced Milk and Honey was the thing I HAD to be drinking while reading this book. And the next one. And the one after that. Seriously, my family thought I was nuts. I promised some ice cream recipes earlier this summer—like, MUCH EARLIER. But recipes are hard! I’m sure climbing Mount Doom is easier. Well, maybe that’s a tiny exaggeration. Anyways, the recipe I eventually came up with is a Dairy Free Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream with a Browned Honey Drizzle inspired by Maester Pycelle’s Iced Milk and Honey. It took me a while to get the no churn part of this down—and I’m still not 100% sure that it holds up to the ice cream maker method. The no churn method does work fairly well, I just prefer the easy way… because I’m lazy. I literally put about two minutes of actual work into making my latest batch of this. And one minute of that was getting my boyfriend to get the ice cream maker off of the very high shelf that my short a** can’t reach.
Small note before i get to the recipe| I eat a plant based diet. But I’m not calling this a vegan recipe because I did use local honey. However, you can easily make this recipe 100% vegan by substituting the honey in the syrup with maple or agave syrup! Personally, I like to support local businesses and local farmers on top of being a plant-based eater. So yes—that means that I do buy local honey! And seeing as this recipe is inspired by Maester Pycelle’s iced milk and honey… I used honey.
Also | I’m going to apologize for the copious amounts of notes attached to this recipe.
DAIRY FREE COCONUT VANILLA ICE CREAM
• 2 cans coconut milk*
• 2/3 cup honey**
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*I used 1 can full fat and 1 can lite. I recommend using at least 1 can of full fat coconut milk to achieve the correct consistency. 2 cans of full fat coconut milk would yield better results, but I’m trying to be a teensie bit healthy here—vegan, or dairy free in my case, doesn’t automatically mean healthy! ALSO**** look at the ingredients of your coconut milk and try to choose the type with the fewest ingredients. Both of the cans I used had the same three ingredients—including GUAR GUM, which helps the cream hold and churn into that smooth consistency we associate with ice cream.
**If you want to take the extra step and make this a vegan ice cream recipe, sub the honey for maple or agave syrup.
ICE CREAM MAKER METHOD|
The Night Before:
1| Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in a freezer.
2| In a blender or food processor, mix together the coconut milk, honey, and vanilla extract.*
3| Place the mixture in a fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. For better results, chill overnight.
The Next Day:
4| Assemble your ice cream maker, pour mixture into the frozen ice cream maker bowl, cover with lid, and turn on to start churning. The length of time will depend on your ice cream machine, but it typically takes anywhere from 20-60 minutes.**
5| Once the ice cream has reached a soft-serve like consistency, transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for another hour-hour 1/2.
*You can separate the coconut cream and the clearer coconut water, keeping only the coconut cream for this recipe if you want it to have more of a traditional ice cream consistency. The water will make the ice cream more icy and less creamy.
**I churned my ice cream for 40 minutes.
NO CHURN METHOD|
The Night Before:
1| Place a freezer container in the freezer overnight
2| Chill full fat coconut milk UPSIDE DOWN overnight**
The Next Day:
3| Open full fat can(s) of coconut milk and separate the coconut cream from the clear coconut water. Place the coconut cream in a large bowl. ***
4| If using 1 can full fat and 1 can lite—combine the separated coconut cream with the can of lite coconut milk.
5| Whip using a hand or stand mixer—your arms will thank you if you have a stand mixer—until it becomes thick, with stiff peaks forming. This ensures that air is incorporated into the mixture, which helps prevent it from freezing solid.
6| Add the honey and vanilla to sweeten/flavor and whisk to combine. The final mixture should resemble whipped cream.
7| Transfer into chilled container and place in the freezer for a few hours, until it has that ice cream consistency.
*The container should have a lid for storage later on… if you don’t devour the ice cream in one sitting like me! The container should be large enough to allow the mixture to expand a little as it freezes.
**You can use 1 can of full fat coconut milk and 1 can of lite coconut milk like I did, but using 2 cans of full fat coconut milk will give you that more creamy-ice-cream consistency. The lite coconut milk can be chilled as well, if you wish, but make sure to chill any cans of full fat coconut milk upside down.
***You can keep the coconut water for smoothies!
Note| This recipe yields approximately 2 pints of ice cream—I didn’t actually measure it #lazy. I just did an eyeball guesstimation based on how full the 1.5 L container that I stored the ice cream in was. This ice cream should keep for up to 2 months in the freezer—BUT I really, honestly have NO IDEA, because it usually doesn’t last more than two days in my house!
BROWNED HONEY SYRUP
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 1/2 cup milk substitute*
• 2 tablespoon brown sugar
• 2 tablespoon coconut flour**
• 1/4 teaspoon salt***
*I used an almond coconut blend because it’s what was in my fridge. Cashew milk will not have such a strong, nutty flavor as coconut or almond milk, and soy milk will mimic the fatty flavors of dairy milk.
**Since I made this without a full fat product, like full fat coconut milk or coconut cream, a thickening agent will help to make the consistency more like a traditional syrup and has nothing to do with the flavor of the final product. I used coconut flour because I had it on hand, but cornstarch should work just fine to thicken the syrup. If you do use cornstarch, try using 1 tablespoon first and then allow the syrup to cool as it does thicken more as it cools. If it still needs to be thicker, you can reheat the syrup and whisk in another tablespoon of cornstarch and allow it to cool.
***I used Maple Fleur de Sel sea salt simply because I had it on hand. But any salt will work fine, it’s just to cut the sweetness and enhance the flavor.
1| In a medium saucepan on high heat, heat honey for 2-3 minutes, until dark golden brown.
2| Add in milk substitute and bring to a boil, whisking well. The mixture will begin to foam at this point.
3| Reduce to medium heat and whisk in brown sugar and coconut flour to thicken*. To allow the syrup to reduce and thicken, continue to cook for 8 minutes, whisking often.
4| Add the salt and whisk to combine.
5| Transfer to a container and allow to cool before storing in the fridge with an airtight lid.*
*Allow to cool before serving over ice cream.
Note| Yields approximately 1/2 cup of syrup. Don’t let this deter you from making it because you don’t need a lot! This syrup will keep for approx. 2 weeks in the fridge. It can also be warmed and whisked before serving if serving over pancakes or waffles.
When serving, the ice cream may need to thaw for 5 minutes or so, depending on the final consistency. I didn’t need to wait. By the time I had it scooped into bowls it was perfect to eat. I also didn’t heat the syrup before drizzling it on top, so I got to enjoy yummy ice cream right away! If you’re lazy, like me, and just want to buy ice cream and make the syrup, that’s fine too! So long as we’re all enjoying book-inspired yumminess, I don’t really care how you do it. I still had a lot of fun coming up with this recipe! The ice cream pleasantly surprised me. It’s SO good! And the syrup turns out to be the perfect consistency for drizzling, especially over ice cream—it’s not too thick and not too thin! I did actually burn the syrup the first time I made it, but I managed to save it by adding a splash of milk and a drop more of honey and mixing it in.
Now, if you, like me, live in a place where summer is long gone and winter is most definitely coming—DON’T WORRY! I didn’t forget you! This syrup would work great in a homemade latte or milk steamer! Just add some of the syrup to steamed milk (and espresso if you’re crazy like me!) and drizzle some more on top! If you don’t have a milk steamer, just heat your favorite mug-full of milk in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat and sweeten to taste with the syrup! Be careful not to burn whatever type of milk or milk substitute you use! For lattes I personally use soy milk, since it has that same fatty-creamy taste as dairy—reading that sounds really gross, but I swear, it makes sense in my head! Anyways, I’m not here to judge you for your milk-type choices. I just want to share this yummy recipe that I’ve been enjoying! I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. Since this is my very first recipe EVER, pleasepleaseplease let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or if you try this out and have any issues. I’ll do my best to work out any kinks you guys find!