5 Ingredients or Fewer

2-Ingredient Toasted Marzipan Ice Cream From Alice Hart

August 27, 2019
15 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 / Makes 3 1/13 cups (800ml)
Author Notes

Alice Hart writes: A luxurious vegan ice cream made with only two ingredients, if you use store-bought, natural marzipan that is. Hart adds, "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 and Lubecker." 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. (Don't worry if it doesn't hold together, depending on the dryness of your dates and grind of your almond meal.) Toast the homemade marzipan for a little longer, and strain the mixture after blending with the coconut milk to make a smoother base. Recipe adapted slightly from The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food © Alice Hart, 2016, 2017. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 11 ounces (320 g) natural marzipan (store-bought or homemade, see recipe introduction)
  • 3 1/3 cups (800 ml) coconut milk
  • Cherries, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Tear the marzipan into small pieces and spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until turning golden in places. Store-bought marzipan will brown in about 5 minutes and homemade takes about 12, so keep watch. Transfer into a blender with the coconut milk and blend until silky smooth. Chill for 2 hours.
  2. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until the blade stops. Then transfer to a freezable container, cover and freeze for 4 hours, or overnight.
  3. To make without a machine, pour the mixture into a shallow, wide freezable container and freeze for 1 hour, until the mixture freezes in a border around the edge. Break up the ice crystals with a whisk and return to the freezer. Repeat this whisking every 30 minutes, until evenly set and too thick to whip. This should take about 3 hours in total. Cover and freeze undisturbed for 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Soften the ice cream in the fridge until soft enough to scoop, about 15 to 20 minutes, before scooping. Serve with fresh cherries or, when they aren’t in season, frozen or canned cherries simmered in a covered pan for 15 minutes with a splash of water and a little maple syrup, to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gloria Britton
    Gloria Britton
  • Hannah
  • Smaug
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
  • Amy
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

34 Reviews

taxidog November 27, 2019
Has anyone tried Jeni’s cornstarch slurry method? I’m curious if anyone has experience with that. She uses a bit of corn syrup to prevent icing. I’m wondering if that would work with the coco milk instead of her cream cheese/cream base. I love the idea of toasted marzipan.
Smaug November 27, 2019
The cornstarch (or tapioca starch) binds some of the water molecules and prevents them from bonding together to form large ice crystals, and would be helpful with this. Cornstarch needs to be cooked; tapioca is a little more easy going but does need to be warmed to 140 deg. to be effective. Corn syrup (basically glucose) is more effective than sucrose at binding water, but generally in an ice cream the sugars (there are various ways of handling them) are a major factor in reducing iciness, once again by bonding with water molecules. In this recipe, the sugar is tied up in the marzipan and I doubt it will be able to bond with the water to any noticeable extent. Glucose is considerably less sweet than sucrose or fructose, but still, adding enough in this recipe to be helpful would probably be inadvisable. Cooking of milk proteins in an ordinary ice cream recipes causes them to denature and , once again, to bond with water molecules. Coconut milk contains very little protein and of a different nature, so I don't think there's any help to be had there.
taxidog November 28, 2019
Disappointing but good to know. Thanks Smaug!
Regine July 19, 2020
Cornstarch (unless organic) contains GMO corn, and so does corn syrup. 2 ingredients you want to eliminate or you'll end up with a homemade version of poor quality ice-cream.
Marjorie H. October 6, 2019
Came out quite well for my first attempt at non-dairy ice cream. I used 8 oz store bought marzipan and 2 cans of full fat coconut milk. One tip is to turn on your ice cream maker first and then pour in the chilled coconut milk mixture. Coconut milk must have a lower freezing temperature, because the paddle immediately got stuck as the mixture froze at the edges while the middle was still liquid. I mixed in toasted almond slices afterwards for crunch. Much better than the vegan ice creams I've found locally.
Smaug October 6, 2019
In my experience, you always turn on the ice cream maker before adding your mixture, whatever the type.
Renée R. September 25, 2019
Well, this is my first negative review on Food52 and I love the site so much I hesitated to write it, but this recipe was so disappointing I felt the need to share. I should have known better because I make a lot of ice cream and questioned it when I read it. First of all, there is no way this will ever freeze up nicely. It's hard as a rock and waxy due to the fat in the coconut milk. There isn't enough sugar to soften it up. I love the flavor of the toasted marzipan and will use it in other recipes. That being said, I ordered good expensive marzipan and while the flavor is lovely, the consistency of this ice cream isn't what it should be. I left it out to soften for 30 minutes and it was still hard. It will finally just melt without ever being a nice creamy texture. Sorry, but this wasn't a winner.
Gloria B. September 14, 2019
I have the marzipan on hand but no coconut milk, can I sub cream or half and half? I am not vegan
Smaug September 14, 2019
A recent F52 article called "How to Make Ice Cream" gave several fairly adequate ice cream bases; you might try one of those with the marzipan- You'll want to cut out the sugar, which will make the ice cream icier, but it should be OK- the French style base is probably your best bet.
Gloria B. November 27, 2019
Thank you. I just got around to reading the article you mentioned in your reply and it is definately worth reading AND following!
Smaug November 27, 2019
You might also want to look up a similar article on Serious Eats (seriouseats.com)- don't remember the title, but it shouldn't be hard to search out. If you want to get serious, I can't recommend Dana Cree's "Hello, My Name is Ice Cream" enough- despite the cutesy title, it's quite a serious discussion of the subject, and I can attest to the efficacy of her methods.
Hannah August 28, 2019
I would like to know what brand of coconut milk I should make this ice cream base with, as some brands leave an aftertaste I would not appreciate. Otherwise, I will try this recipe with Macadamia nut milk or pecan milk, as both nut milks taste creamy without leaving a strange aftertaste!
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
Hi Hannah, the marzipan flavor is so strong here that I don't think a subtle aftertaste will come through (you don't really taste coconut at all—it's just there for creaminess). If you find a brand you like for this, please let us know!
Hannah August 29, 2019
I should warn people not to use Trader Joe’s coconut milk for ice cream recipes, as it leaves a strong aftertaste even in recipes where a different flavor is supposed to be the star of the show. I’ve yet to find a good brand that can play second fiddle to other flavors.
Smaug September 1, 2019
TJ's coconut milk is also remarkably low fat- in fact even their ""coconut cream" is only 14%, whereas the coconut milk brands I get at the supermarket run 22-23%. As this recipe is depending mostly on emulsifying the fat and water to prevent it turning into a block of ice, using 10% coconut milk could be a real problem.
annaclarice1 August 28, 2019
It doesn’t specify but I’m guessing the recipe is asking for canned coconut milk (for flavor and thickness) rather than refrigerated coconut milk which is much thinner and not as coconutty?
Whitney D. August 28, 2019
That's what I was assuming - but I'm still curious what the preferred canned coconut milk is. I cook with canned coconut milk, and it's amazing how much it varies from brand to brand.
marilu August 29, 2019
I think you’re right. I was just swiping through the photos (there are three) and one shows cans of A Taste of Thai brand canned coconut milk. That might be a good place to start or with any canned coconut milk you love and trust.
judy August 29, 2019
I agree, canned coconut milk varies in taste and consistency. I like brands that don't have additives or emulsifiers, such as Trader Joe's organic or 365. A taste of Thai has good flavor but has bisulfates (or some such thing--I don't have one in my pantry to check right now). some are better for cold preparations like this, and some are better for cooking. There is a brand, whose name I forget, but the label is green, and it is. in a lined can. Nice and clean flavor. And Tropical Traditions, which I get on line, so not as readily available has a whole line of coconut products. They have been out of coconut product for awhile, since hurricanes in the Philippines. They re an excellent rand to try, and very environment conscious. Also very traditional Inthier approach to making their products. Great quality.
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
Thank you all for bringing this up—I believe we mostly used A Taste of Thai brand in testing, but I'd love to hear how other brands work out, if you try them.
Amy August 30, 2019
I think the green label one is by Native Forest. WF usually carries it.
Jeanna August 28, 2019
I'm just really glad one of the ingredients isn't banana!
Kristen M. August 29, 2019
Ta-da! The marzipan was a real curveball, huh?
Smaug August 28, 2019
It may be vegan, but it's pretty high fat- regular ice creams run at 12-16% fat, while coconut milk (at least those I buy) run at 20% and more. I'd like to see some research on coconut milk ice cream- milk proteins and sugars, and their specific properties and handling- are extremely important in achieving proper texture in an ice cream. I have made a few ice creams from coconut milk, and find that traditional emulsifiers and stabilizers can have a beneficial effect with coconut milk too, but my efforts hardy qualify as organized research. I would suggest as a start adding a couple of tsp. of tapioca starch to this base- I think it will improve the texture considerably.
BR95510 August 28, 2019
So you haven't made it, correct? I always like to try "as written" and then tweak from there if needed. I can't wait to try this!
Smaug August 28, 2019
Well, I've tried churning coconut milk with a flavoring- not the same one.
Suzq August 28, 2019
You might try picking up a used Fennema’s textbook on Food Chemistry. As I recall, it discusses ice cream and the properties that make it work.
Smaug August 29, 2019
Does it discuss coconut milk ice cream? I'm pretty familiar with the properties that make regular ice creams work, most of which this recipe lacks. There seems to be no attempt to control free moisture in the base other than making an unstable emulsion in a blender; both theory and experience suggest it could use some help.
Suzq August 29, 2019
No, it just discusses using the traditional method of making ice cream. Have you tried adding a bit of an egg yolk (emulsifier) to the mix? That might help?
Suzq August 29, 2019
In this article they remove some of the coconut water before using the milk: https://www.asaucykitchen.com/coconut-vanilla-ice-cream-paleo-vegan/
Smaug August 29, 2019
Well, sort of- I worked out a coconut based ice cream base with a friend who had lactose problems and we did end up using egg yolks. It also used invert sugar, which is very useful in tying up water molecules, and a stabilizer. I recommended tapioca starch as a stabilizer with this recipe because it's easy, avoids scary sounding chemicals, and keeps it vegan, but usually the moisture problem is approached from several angles.
Suzq August 30, 2019
Cool. I often find most recipes online need tweaks like that to really make them work. Which is why I love Cooks Illustrated, they do it all.
Naina B. September 14, 2019
How much tapioca starch would you add to the current recipe?
Smaug September 14, 2019
Two tsp. is pretty standard for I qt., I'd try that first. It needs to be dissolved in cold liquid and heated to 140 degrees.