Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Brownie Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream

Wowza!! That's the only word to describe this rich and creamy frozen treat. Prior to my diagnosis of Celiacs disease, one of my favorite flavors of ice cream was Cookies and Cream. I was sad thinking I might never have it again. But instead of feeling sorry for myself or living without, I took it as a personal challenge and went to work in my kitchen. The result of my creative effort has me smiling again! The base for this ice cream is a rich vanilla egg custard, which is delicious by itself. But when I added chunks of my Chocolate Fudge Brownies and chopped dark chocolate bits to the custard, the vanilla deliciousness reached to near perfection! Of course, as I always do, I added probiotic-rich kefir to the mix to make it even more healthy. You will never believe this ice cream is low carb, sugar free and grain free. It tastes like the real thing to me!

Brownie Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream
Makes eight (1/2 cup) servings

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream Base:

1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream (or use all coconut milk**)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener (or other erythritol sweetener), divided
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
The seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder)
A pinch of salt
1 cup plain, unsweetened kefir or plain yogurt** (to make your own kefir, click here)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon stevia powder, to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
8-10 drops Vanilla Creme stevia (I used Sweet Leaf brand)

Stir Ins:
1 serving of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cups (recipe here), cut into small squares and frozen
4 squares of dark chocolate 70% or higher bar (I used 85% Green and Black bar), chopped

1. In a medium heavy saucepan, stir together the coconut milk, heavy cream, 2 tablespoons LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds (or powder) and salt. Heat on medium-low heat until steam begins to rise from the mixture and small bubbles form on the edges of the pan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sweetener.

2. Meanwhile, in a 2-cup glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of remaining LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener vigorously until light and pale yellow in color, about 2 minutes.

3.  When the milk mixture is heated, use a ladle to slowly add about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid to the egg yolks while whisking continuously, until incorporated. Slowly add another 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking. Then pour the tempered egg yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture, stirring continuously until the mixture has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour the custard through a strainer to remove any lumps. Cool completely, eventually moving to the refrigerator to chill.

4. While the custard is chilling, bake the Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cups until firmly set, about 20 minutes baking time (click here for the recipe). Once cooled to room temperature, cut one serving (1/3 of recipe) into small squares and freeze. Chop dark chocolate and set aside.

5. Once the custard is cold, pour it into a blender with the kefir, stevia powder and stevia drops. Blend briefly until combined. Taste and adjust sweetening, if desired. Cool mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before proceeding.

6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker to churn the ice cream base. When it has thickened sufficiently, add the stir in ingredients (add the frozen brownie squares toward the end of the churning process to prevent them from pulverizing). Serve immediately as a soft-serve ice cream or pour into a container and freeze for about 40 minutes before scooping. (See Notes* regarding leftovers.)

*Notes: Sugar free ice cream is best served at the soft-serve stage or soon after freezing briefly. Once it has frozen completely, it will be too hard to scoop. Spoon any leftovers into ice pop molds and freeze to be enjoyed later.

**This ice cream can be made dairy free by using all coconut milk and substituting either coconut milk kefir or a dairy-free yogurt.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 175 calories, 6.4 g carbohydrate (0.6 g dietary fiber, 1.7 g sugars, 6.5 g sugar alcohols), 15.9 g total fat (8.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 140 mg cholesterol, 64 mg sodium, 74.6 mg calcium, 78 mg potassium, 3.9 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 5.8 grams

Recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate without author's permission.

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