When I was a young girl, my mom would buy 6 half-gallons of Snow Star ice cream at a time, filling our freezer. Snow Star ice cream was inexpensive, which helped when you had two sons and a husband who could handily polish off a carton at a time. I can remember my brothers coming home from high school sports practice and eating a carton each, with chocolate syrup from a bottle that they likewise easily emptied in one sitting. I, on the other hand, could only watch from the sidelines. I’m allergic to dairy and ice cream indulgences were always followed by terribly tummy aches. So I stuck to popsicles instead.
Then I went through many years of simply ignoring my dairy allergy, and turned into the queen of cheese, lattes, and of course, ice cream. Especially during my pregnancies. My husband Pete went through a major sympathy pregnancy stage as well, which meant he, too, needed to eat ice cream every night.
We lived with my parents during most of my first pregnancy, and Pete would head to the store and return with cartons of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and all kinds of mix-ins like candy and cookies. My dad could barely hide his joy. After all, the last time he was allowed to eat that much ice cream was probably back when we were all still in high school.
After my last pregnancy, my ice cream cravings really tapered off. As much as I loved it still, I just couldn’t take the pain that followed. A few years ago, when I re-committed to taking care of my health and acknowledged my dairy allergy (as well as some other allergies I had), I thought I was done with ice cream for good. But because my kids are also allergic to dairy, I felt like I just had to figure out a way for them to enjoy it and not have to live without it.
So over the last few years, I’ve been working on dairy-free ice cream. And I think I’ve finally mastered the creamiest, most delicious versions made with coconut cream. This particular version will remind you of an Almond Joy bar, which happens to be my favorite flavor combination: creamy milk chocolate, toasted almonds, chocolate chunks, and coconut. The best ever, and SO easy! Whether you need to avoid dairy or not, this is incredibly delicious and I think it just might be the best dessert ever.
Dairy Free Chocolate Almond Joy Ice Cream
- Prep Time:
- 20 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 15 Minutes
- 8 Servings
- 2 cans (14 Oz. Size) Unsweetened Coconut Cream (See Note)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 cup Chilled Coconut Milk
- 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips, Vegan And Soy-free
- 1 cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut
- 1 cup Toasted Slivered Almonds
In a small Tupperware or Mason jar, combine coconut milk and corn starch and shake well. Pour the cornstarch combination into the sauce pan while stirring over medium heat. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens, 3–5 minutes. Take the mixture off of the stove top and pour it into a bowl.
Let the ice cream base cool until it is room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions (this will usually take about 15–20 minutes). When there are just a few minutes of churning left, add chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Churn another minute and then stop the ice cream maker.
Transfer the ice cream (which should be like soft serve at this point) to a freezer-proof container and freeze at least 2 hours. Scoop and serve!
Makes about 1 quart.
1. Trader Joe’s carries a great brand of canned unsweetened coconut cream. Do NOT buy Coco Lopez, which is a cocktail mixer.
2. Prep time does not include 3 hours cooling and freezing time.