Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts

This Genius 2-Ingredient Ice Cream Just So Happens to Be Vegan

Three ingredients if you count the cherries on top.

August 28, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Amelia Rampe. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis.

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.


With just two ingredients, you can blend together a cold, creamy ice cream base, then pop back outside for a quick Super Soaker battle (or whatever else you were planning to do with what’s left of your summer).

For this to be possible, the two ingredients in question—which, in Alice Hart’s The Way To Eat Now, just so happen to be vegan—really need to pull their weight.

Coconut milk (ingredient #1!) brings the creaminess and requisite fat to churn up into a light, smooth ice cream. And—in addition to a little more good, nutty fat—marzipan (ingredient #2!) brings its sweet, intoxicatingly almond-y flavor.

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Top Comment:
“Most marzipan that you can buy in the store has egg whites in the ingredients list, so it is not vegan. Which store-bought brand of marzipan is vegan? Please advise. Thank you. It is a "genius" recipe for sure!”
— Eydie D.
Comment

If you’re thinking marzipan is more of a holiday thing, then you’re not alone. But it’s just as delightful in summer, especially against the clean canvas of coconut milk, instead of the hygge hodgepodge of a Swedish Princess cake or stollen.

Boom. 2 ingredients. End of story, right?

Not so fast. Hart also likes to crumble up the marzipan and toast it in the oven until melty and golden first, a trick she’s used to flavor other frozen treats. "This is almonds on steroids—sweet, full-bodied, caramelized, and fragrant," Hart wrote to me. (1)

I don’t know why this never occurred to me before, since toasting any nut is such a well-known way to deepen and develop its flavor into the best version of itself. Nuts mixed into a “candy dough” with sugar are no different.

This little toasting trick gives Hart’s marzipan ice cream a much more intense and stirring almond presence than the toasted almond pops from the ice cream truck, not unlike the difference between listening to your favorite song on your phone’s tinny speaker and a fancy pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

You can find marzipan at lots of grocery stores in the baking aisle (and always online), but Hart even included a bonus hack for making your own all-natural version with almond meal and extract (plus dates for moisture and sweetness). It will taste more like a date shake than a sculpted marzipan fruit, unsurprisingly, but it will still bring this simple vegan wonder into reach if you can’t locate marzipan the day you want it.

And whichever way you make it, cherries on top should be considered an almost nonnegotiable third ingredient.

(1) Hart also recommended scattering untoasted marzipan over the top of a frangipane tart with apricots or other stone fruits so that it toasts up as it bakes, or using the toasted marzipan to spike a custard or crème anglaise (bearing in mind that marzipan will always bring along some additional sugar and intensely nutty vibes, so tweak your recipes accordingly).

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Perhaps something perfect for beginners? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]—thank you to editor, stylist, and Genius super-tipster Ali Slagle for this one!

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Comment
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."

20 Comments

Debby K. September 13, 2019
It turned out pretty well when I made it, although the texture was a bit grainy. It was a fun experiment!
 
RisenWell September 12, 2019
Having made Felicity Cloake's wonderful no-churn ice cream (sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream and 2 Tbs. spirits to keep it smooth and uncrystallized),I'm wondering if those 2 Tbs. of booze (maybe amaretto?) wouldn't be a useful addition here as well.
 
Lmschwarz August 29, 2019
Canned coconut milk or that from a carton?
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
We used canned!
 
Helen M. August 29, 2019
The only place I have ever seen baked marzipan (sold almost like a cookie, and literally just a baked, flattened round of marzipan) is in Brussels - it's unbelievably delicious, so it makes sense to toast it (why have I never tried this at home?!).
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
That sounds soooo gooooood.
 
Anne August 28, 2019
Would you please give the recipe for marzipan made w/ dates. Thnx
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
Hi Anne, it's in the recipe's introduction, and I'll paste it here for easy reference! If you want to make your own marzipan, blend 2 1/2 cups (250 g) almond meal with 1/2 cup (75 g) Medjool dates and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in a food processor to make a paste.
 
Mercedes R. September 11, 2019
Thanks so much
 
Eydie D. August 28, 2019
Most marzipan that you can buy in the store has egg whites in the ingredients list, so it is not vegan. Which store-bought brand of marzipan is vegan? Please advise. Thank you. It is a "genius" recipe for sure!
 
VeganWithaYoYo August 29, 2019
The brand linked to in the article (where it says it's available online), Odense, is vegan. Ingredients are Sugar, Almonds, and Glucose Syrup. Their website even says that they use beet sugar, which is never bone char refined. I was pretty excited to learn all that yesterday, so I'm hoping it helps you too :-)
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
Thanks VeganWithaYoYo—great to know about the beet sugar! This was what Alice Hart had to say about finding good marzipan brands: "I think the key is to look for at least 50% almond content and a relatively short ingredient list—the flavor really will be better than cheaper versions which can be extremely sugary and flavored with almond essence. In the UK, it’s relatively easy to get hold of brands like Odense (who make a Mandelmassa Almond Paste) and Lubecker."
 
Eydie D. September 12, 2019
Thank you. I have a plant based website: gardenofeydie.com
Which promotes plant based recipes with no added oil, salt or sugar.
But the recipe above making homemade marzipan is perfect. Thank you!!!
 
jennifer P. August 28, 2019
Question: what about Halva? Have you tried it with anything other than almond paste?
 
Eric K. August 28, 2019
I love that idea.
 
jennifer P. August 28, 2019
Thanks! I have a ton of it hanging around after buying irresponsibly on a trip. Always scheming to use the Halva!! Been thinking of using it in a German apple cake as a sub for almond paste too...i clearly have work to do!
 
Anne August 29, 2019
Please give recipe for the date sweetened marzipan. I am off sugar and would love to make this. Thanks in advance 🙏❤️
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
Hi Anne, it's in the recipe's introduction, and I'll paste it here for easy reference! If you want to make your own marzipan, blend 2 1/2 cups (250 g) almond meal with 1/2 cup (75 g) Medjool dates and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in a food processor to make a paste.
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
I haven't tried it but I love the idea of halva! We did try it with almond paste once and it worked surprisingly well for not having added sugar (though I liked the sweeter version better).
 
lalocook September 18, 2019
Have you seen the halva brownie recipe in Ottolenghi’s “Sweet”? Looks crazy good.