One of the many joys of aging for me has been an intolerance to dairy that isn't wholly alleviated by taking lactase. As a lover of all things dairy, this has been a huge loss, especially in the summer when I usually eat ice cream almost every day. A lot of non dairy ice cream recipes call for coconut milk, and I really don't like coconut. I've been curious about cashew cream--I've found it used as a vegan substitute for sour cream and to make creamy salad dressings--so I decided to try it in ice cream. This ice cream is very rich and creamy and chocolatety--my favorite qualities in an ice cream. —drbabs
fresh brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
cocoa powder (either natural or Dutch process)
The day before you are planning to make the ice cream, place the cashews in a bowl, cover them with filtered water, and refrigerate overnight.
The day you plan to make the ice cream, strain the water from the cashews and place them in a high speed blender (at least 4 cup capacity) with about 1/2 cup of the coffee. Blend on high (liquefy) until the cashews form a smooth puree. (If it's not entirely smooth, the ice cream will have tiny chunks of cashew in it, which will leave your ice cream somewhat grainy. It will still taste good, but may not have the texture you want. You can strain out the little pieces, but you will lose some of the thickness and body of the cashew cream, and will have a product that's more sorbet than ice cream.)
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add the chocolate to the cashew mixture and process on high, scraping the sides and bottom as necessary. Add in the rest of the coffee, and continue to process. Add the cocoa powder mixture, and continue to process on high. Add vanilla extract. Process until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy.
Pour the mixture into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least an hour. Process in ice cream maker according to instructions.
Serve right away or freeze in a separate container. The ice cream will not be scoopable from the freezer, so let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.