October 20, 2008

the ice dream cookbook

Just as I was headed for Alaska, I was offered a chance to review Chef Rachel Matesz's new dessert cookbook The Ice Dream Cookbook. I was intrigued by the concept of making frozen desserts from coconut milk using agave and stevia rather than sugar. It sounded like the recipes would be very close to SCD compliance than many others.
I was very excited when the book arrived and set out to read it right away. Despite the fact that it is a dessert book, the Trainer was impressed by it as well. Chef Rachel does a wonderful job explaining everything. She gives detailed information about all of her ingredients, their uses and nutritional benefits. She writes a very informative section on gluten free grains alone which is probably the most comprehensive and useful I have seen in one place.
After reading the book I was presented with a challange: while I could easily make the base 'custard', slightly modified for SCD, I don't have an ice cream maker. This is not a kitchen tool that I can buy and hide easily. I am running out of places to store tools, and the Trainer would surely figure out what it was. In stepped by wonderful new friend S along with her kitchen and ice cream maker.

On my day off I was able to prepare the base on the sl
y, without the Trainer poking his nose in and asking questions. I wanted to start with a simple recipe before trying anything too fancy. As much as I love vanilla, I decided that I really wanted cinnamon. After spending my whole afternoon preparing burgers and other foods I was about to sit down and relax when I realized I had completely forgotten to prepare the Ice Dream. I dashed around the kitchen, expecting the Trainer to walk in at any moment, and prepared the vanilla recipe with some added cinnamon. I finished just in time, tucking the container of base safely into the back of the fridge just as the Trainer walked in the door.

Saturday, with S, we set the Ice Dream to churning before we heated up the kitchen with our little bake-a-thon. The result was a creamy, delicious icy treat. I could definitly taste the coconut, but the flavor was mild. My result was a bit icy, but S and I think we left it to churn to long. The only change I made to make the recipe SCD was to use a little extra honey instead of stevia (which is not permitted)

I left some of the Ice Dream with S, brought some to my coworker whose son is lactose intollerant and managed to make my remaining portion last several days.
I will be making this again, although I think it was a little early for me to introduce coconut into my diet. When the weather warns up again I will try making my own SCD coconut milk to try more flavors. I was unable to try any of Chef Rachel's gluten free desserts, since they are so carefully balanced various blends of gluten free flours I did not want to arbitrarily substitute almond meal for everything.


Stacy LaRoche said...

I'm proud to be Vittoria's friend S!

Liz said...

Too cool! I am totally asking for this book for Christmas... that's if I can wait long enough and don't buy it myself.

Gluten free Kay said...

Mmmmm . . . cinnamon ice cream!

The coconut milk I have found contains guar gum. Since I have legume issues, I don't use it in baking. Have you found any brands that contain only coconut milk and no other ingredients?

Chef Rachel said...

About guar gum...

It is my understanding that guar gum is a powder made from the seed of the plant Cyamopsis tetragoncelloba. Many companies add small amounts of it to their canned coconut milk to emulsify it and reduce separation. It is not a member of the legume family.

Vittoria said...

Kay- Since I follow the SCD guar gum is forbiden to me as well. I hear that Trader Joe's coconut milk is acceptable, though I was unable to verify that this weekend. You can make your own: 3 cups water, 2 cups dried, unsweetened shredded coconut. Bring the water to a boil in a kettle. Place the coconut in a blender and pour in water. Blend for 3-4 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth and discard remaining coconut. ( From Raman Prasad)

Vittoria said...

Liz- it's a fantastic book. Don't wait.