when everyone else is spring-bound…

kahlua ice cream2Homemade Kahlua Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate Gelato
sans Ice Cream Maker

This winter, a friend I met in Vermont last year, sent me a CD with a collection of the songs he had written about in his work. Amongst them was a song called After All  by songwriter Dar Williams.

I won’t forget the first moment I first heard After All – track number five on the CD. I was driving home from a cold, snowy winter hike with my dog. The roads were snow-covered and the sky was white with falling snow. From the moment Dar Williams’ voice filled my car, I felt a physical tug in my heart. I hit the ‘repeat track’ button over and over and over, all the way home. When I pulled into my driveway I sat in the car and listened to it again until the cold finally drove me indoors. I left the CD in my car where I’ve been singing along with Dar ever since.

I love this song. I love the haunting poetic lyrics, the beautiful melody and Dar Williams’ sweet husky voice that reminds me a little of Joni Mitchell. But it’s this bit that really hits home for me…

“So I stopped the tide
Froze it up from inside
And it felt like a winter machine
That you go through and then
You catch your breath and winter starts again
And everyone else is spring bound.”

So this weekend, when winter-like conditions forced us to re-light the pilot lights on the gas fireplaces, haul out winter sweaters again, and bring our plants back indoors, I decided to stay spring-bound.

I had both of my daughters home and wanted to make something special for them. One is allergic to dairy. The other is allergic to chocolate. This makes desserts slightly challenging. We often stick to fruity desserts like homemade fruit pies or fruit cobblers. But I wanted to make something that defied the weather. I decided to make dark chocolate gelato and kahlua ice cream.

homemade dark choc gelato and kahlua ice cream

I only have a small kitchen and I refuse to fill it up with appliances that I would scarcely use. So no ice cream maker for me. I have to say, I’m not sure I’d ever bother with an ice cream maker – because both of these desserts were delicious, simple and turned out perfectly. The kahlua ice cream is based on a coffee ice-cream recipe that a friend in Australia gave me years ago. I just adapted it because it called for raw eggs and that always make me nervous. The dark chocolate gelato, which is suitable for vegans, is adapted from a chocolate sherbet recipe on Chowhound. Both recipes worked well by themselves and combined beautifully for those of us who are allergy-free. I just added something new to my repertoire. But I’ll still be listening to Dar Williams….

Dark Chocolate Kahlua Gelato (dairy-free, vegan)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Chipits Dark Chocolate Chips)
2 tbsp kahlua
1 cup of thick coconut milk (I used Gold Label Coconut Milk which is thick like coconut cream)

Bring the water and sugar to the boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Once the chips have melted, add the kahlua, and stir in the coconut milk. Using a spatula – scrape the mixture into a flat rectangular container with a lid (this will just help it freeze faster – but you can use any container you like). Cover and freeze. After a couple of hours, remove from the freezer and stir well. Return to freezer and remove just before serving. Will take 4-6 hours to freeze solidly.

Kahlua Ice Cream

2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (use the rest to make homemade Bailey’s)
1/4  cup strong coffee (I used de-caf)
3 tbsp kahlua

Whip the cream until stiff. Mix together the sweetened condensed milk, coffee and kahlua and stir into the whipped cream.

As above, using a spatula – scrape the mixture into a flat rectangular container with a lid (this will just help it freeze faster – but you can use any container you like). Cover and freeze. After a couple of hours, remove from the freezer and stir well. Return to freezer and remove just before serving. Will take 4-6 hours to freeze solidly.


16 thoughts on “when everyone else is spring-bound…

  1. Love ice cream, both sound wonderful. The kahlua ice cream sounds like it would be so simple to make, love it. The dark chocolate vegan ice cream is fantastic, never tried the gold label coconut milk I’ll have to find that.

  2. Both of these sound wonderful! And I even have everything on hand to make the Kahlua Ice Cream this minute. 😉 I have yet to purchase an ice cream maker (part because of space and part because of the fear that I will have ice cream in the house at all times and gain 200 lbs..lol). But I love the idea of being able to make ice cream without it! Thanks!!

  3. For some reason, I’ve never liked chocolate ice cream, but I made vegan chocolate sorbet last summer and it was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten. Chocolate definitely doesn’t need any dairy to be tasty at all. These look lovely and I’m glad you were able to give both your daughters unique and special desserts!

    1. Eliza – you’re such a star!! I’d never had chocolate sorbet before – I always choose lemon or raspberry – but this was amazing. Such a clean taste. Goes so well with the kahlua ice cream too – tasted like tiramisu – which i LOVE!

  4. Well, I never eat ice cream as I generally don’t like the garbage that’s added. But, a bowl of both of those and I’d be happy. Especially made with a thick coconut milk. Would never have thought to try that.

    1. Johnny! My replies are disappearing. This is not the first time. I should double-check that my comments are actually appearing on others’ sites. Anyway what I think I said was that I agree wholeheartedly – don’t like to buy too much pre-processed food of any description because of all the strange, unpronounceable ingredients. But yes – the dark chocolate vegan gelato is beautiful. And easy. And sometimes we just need chocolate….

      1. I’ve just lost my reply, oops. WP seems to have gremlins, ATM. Anyway, this is the first comment I’ve received. And none have gone into Spam.
        – Totally agree with buying bought chocolate, although I never do. And organic baked beans I’m okay with. I’ve even started baking my own breads! How nerdy is that!

  5. I played the song as I read your post. If I like a song I like to put it on continuous play much to everyone’s annoyance. I find driving listening to music on my own is the best option as I can have it as loud as I like and repeat to my heart’s content. Very inventive post. Love the idea of the coconut milk. I am going to put it on my list to make for my daughter when she comes as she too has several food intolerance’s.

    1. Maria – you are SO sweet!
      I use coconut milk for a lot of recipes now – such a useful thing to have on hand.
      And I love that you listen to a song to death – I do exactly that! Then I move along. But it’s like a good book you can’t put down – when it ends – it’s so sad. And when I’m finally sick of a song – I’m sad about that too – til the next one comes along.

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