When I was young I loved the texture of the coconut chocolates sold at the Fannie Mae kiosks in the local mall. The coconut was very finely cut and all throughout the chocolate. The texture was sublime. I wanted to recreate that sensation in an ice cream that was as rich as I remembered that confection to be. If you don't have a vanilla bean use extract. In order for it to be the right texture though, you have to have (unsweetened) desiccated coconut. Leaving the untoasted coconut in the base overnight really intensifies the coconut flavor. - NicoleCLang —NicoleCLang
Test Kitchen Notes
Coconut ice creams are often too rich and too sweet -- not this one! NicoleCLang's toasted coconut gelato hits all the right notes: with layers of fresh and toasted coconut, the freckling of vanilla bean and a milk custard that keeps it all nimble. - A&M —The Editors
Toast one cup of the coconut in an oven at 350 until golden, stirring 2 or 3 times to get it evenly browned. In a bowl combine sugar and eggs, stir until incorporated.
Heat milk and vanilla bean over med heat, add sugar/egg mixture, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup of the (non toasted) coconut. When mixture is thick and glossy and coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat and cool. Keep in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight if you can.
When you are ready to freeze the mixture, strain out the vanilla bean and coconut. Discard. Pour into ice cream maker and follow the instructions for the model, When it reaches the consistency of soft serve add the toasted coconut. Put into a container and freeze until ready to eat.