Today's post is for a new (to me) challenge. While trading emails on other business, Tamar, Director of Digital Media at Joy of Kosher, mentioned a kosher link-up going on over there. I am very happy to join a group of kosher bloggers! No disclaimer needed for this link-up. Yay!
The theme is (are?) frozen kosher desserts. Except for selecting a recipe this challenge is pretty easy. There are very few frozen desserts containing meat. No, wait ... scratch that last comment. I hear that some people enjoy bacon ice cream. Sorry, not my cup of meat.
My contribution to the challenge today is Kulfi, an Indian style ice cream. Kulfis are traditionally made with whole and/or sweetened condensed milks laced with cardamon (a sweet spice), then frozen into a conical-like shape and topped with crushed pistachio nuts.
My parve version is named after that famous German chocolate and cherry cake, usually draped in billowy clouds of real whipped cream. While a dairy dessert can still be kosher, it would be a major no-no to serve right after a meat-based meal. So that as many people as possible can enjoy it, the base is made with coconut milk and parve nondairy creamer. By the way ... in case you didn't already know it, a cream substitute can contain casein (a milk derivative) yet still call itself non-dairy. Check for a parve hechsher to be sure there are no dairy cooties within because you'll need it without.
A 15 ounce can of drained cherries will save time, but will only make 6-ish servings. Fresh cherries will save money, but will stain your hands as you dig out the the pits that pitifully hid from the pitter.
TIP ALERT! Toss (gently) the can of coconut milk into the refrigerator a hour or so before you start making the kulfis. Freezing time will decrease exponentially, give or take a few nanoseconds.
Avoid letting the kulfis freeze solid. They are best eaten when they can hold their shape yet be easily eaten with a spoon. If frozen solid, leave out on the counter for around 15-30 minutes before serving (depending upon kitchen temperature) to soften them a tad. As an alternative, fill the cups as directed, stick a plastic spoon in the center, freeze solid then call 'em popcicles.
The purpose of freezing and breaking up the mixture several times is to help prevent ice crystals from forming and to help give the kulfis a mouth-feel similar to ice cream. Or make it easy on yourself by using an ice cream maker. The best one I ever had was part of theDaughter's Barbie Ice Cream Shoppe. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon how you look at it), it only made about a cup at a time. I now own a larger hand-crank ice cream maker that churns out a quart of heaven while building strong biceps. I'm not planning to get married again in the near future and my birthday was last month. So unless someone gifts upon me a motorized version in the near future I'll have to settle for hand-crafted kulfis.
Black Forest Kulfis
Yields 8 kulfis
2 cups black cherries, pitted
1/4 cup honey
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk (full fat preferred)
1/2 cup parve liquid non-dairy creamer
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup parve chocolate chips
1/4 packed cup sweetened shredded coconut
parve whipped topping, for garnish
2 Tbl. toasted shredded or flaked coconut, for garnish
Pulse the cherries in a food processor 4 to 6 times until coarsely chopped. Add honey, coconut milk, non-dairy creamer and vanilla; pulse a few more times to combine.
Transfer to a covered container and freeze for about 2 to 3 hours, or until mixture is soft frozen.
Transfer mixture to the food processor and plus 6 to 8 times, or just until the large chunks become slushy. Return mixture to covered container and freeze for another hour.
Remove from freezer a second time and break up mixture a second time, but this time add the chocolate chips and shredded sweetened coconut; pulsing a few times to distribute evenly through the cherry mixture.
Spoon mixture evenly into 8 5-ounce kitchen paper cups. Place the filled cups into freezer for at least another hour. You want the mixture to freeze enough to hold its shape when removed from the cups but without becoming rock hard.
Peel or rip paper cups off kulfis. Invert onto dessert plates. Garnish with whipped topping and toasted coconut, if desired, before serving.