Is it possible to have it all? I knew vegan ice cream was possible. I knew no-churn ice cream was achievable. But could it be both those things? Could it also be creamy and scoopable and wildly indulgent? Also, no bananas, please. So many vegan ice creams rely on bananas for texture and sweetness. So many recipes say, “You won’t even be able to taste them!” Lies. Bananas are gross and I’ll always know they are there.
Coconut-based ice creams have their own issue in that they…taste like coconut. Coconut is delicious, but do you want every ice cream to have a vaguely piña-colada-vibe going on? No. The remedy? Cashew butter. It has an assertive enough flavor to tame the coconut milk into something more neutral while bringing rich, creamy goodness to the party.
You could just add hazelnut to the mix and call it a day. A perfectly wonderful hazelnut ice cream. But, no. It wasn’t enough. One day I will learn to not gild the lily. Today is not that day. So I had to go and made a vegan chocolate hazelnut spread and swirled big ol’ dollops of it in there. Funny thing – when everything freezes, it becomes less of a swirl and more of a CHONK. Call it Hazelnut CHONK ice cream if you wish.
I’m not gonna call it anything at the moment. It’s rude to talk with your mouth full.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- 420 g raw unsalted hazelnuts
- 100 g dark chocolate
- 30 g refined coconut oil
- 60 g maple syrup
- 115 g unsweetened non-dairy milk hazelnut milk if you can find it; I used oat milk
- 15 g vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt or half as much table salt
Preheat oven to 300°F (150C).
Spread hazelnuts out on a baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes, until they are fragrant and lightly brown. Remove from the oven, and place into a food processor or high-speed blender. Processing them while they are still quite warm will make them easier to blend and allow for a smoother finished product.
In my humble food processor, it took about 10 minutes to have a thick and creamy nut butter. I stopped and scraped the bowl a few times along the way. Your timing will vary depending on the power of your processor or blender.
While the nuts are processing, finely chop the chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl with the coconut oil. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between each blast, until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir to combine. Next, pop the nut milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds just to remove the chill if it has been refrigerated.
Once the nut butter is ready, add the melted chocolate and coconut oil, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and salt. Blitz for another couple of minutes, until everything is completely mixed together and smooth.
Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to a month.
Hazelnut Swirl Ice Cream (vegan, no-churn)
- 140 g hazelnuts raw, unsalted and skinned
- 225 g cashew butter salted is OK, but without added sugar
- 225 g unsweetened coconut cream or the solid part of chilled unsweetened canned coconut milk you’ll need 2 cans to get 1 ½ cups
- 115 g maple syrup up to 170g if you like it sweeter
- 115 g non-dairy milk of your choice I like oat milk and find it to be the most dairy-like
- 1 tbsp whiskey optional
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup homemade vegan chocolate-hazelnut spread or as much as you’d like
Preheat oven to 300°F (150C).
Spread hazelnuts out on a baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes, until they are fragrant and lightly brown. Remove from oven and allow them to cool.
Put cashew butter, coconut cream, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, whiskey, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor. Blend on high speed until smooth and airy. Pour ice cream base into a freezer safe container, and place in the freezer to begin to cool.
If using whole hazelnuts with the skin still on, once the nuts are fully cooled, rub them in a clean dishtowel to remove as much of the skin as possible. Don’t worry if there’s a bit left – just remove as much as possible. Give the nuts a rough chop.
Once the nuts are fully cooled, add them to ice cream mixture. Use a spoon to stir the mixture and distribute nuts evenly. Cover container and let it cool in the freezer until firm-ish (about 6 hours). For best results, give the mixture a stir every hour or so as it chills. When the mixture has firmed to a spoonable texture, fold (don’t stir) in dollops of the chocolate-hazelnut spread.
After the ice cream has been frozen overnight, let it thaw for about 15 minutes before scooping.