Ta-da!!!!!! Here she is ladies and gents! The new look for Five and Spice! Isn’t it stunning?!
I hope you love it as much as I do because I totally adore it! Sure we’ll still be working out some little kinks and hiccups over the next few weeks be they little spacing issues or some lost subscriptions, but who cares?! It’s here! Yeehaw!
Melissa and Erin did just the most wonderful job working with my ideas and my confusing stream of consciousness feedback and answering my many, many anxious questions. I can’t say enough about what a pleasure it is to work with them or how talented they are. You ladies rock!
So now, take a look around and let me know what you think! The recipes page should be more useful and easier to navigate (and prettier!); all the down to basics post are gathered in one place so you can find them; recipes from here on out (and maybe going back if I have time to fix them) have a nifty button to give you an easily printable version; there are social media buttons allowing you to discover that I have secretly been on pinterest and instagram and all those things this whole time, though I really only started figuring out how to actually use them in the last few months – my days of being a reticent social media hermit may be over, eh? 😉 It’s pretty much the awesomest (that’s the scientific term).
So there you have it. And now let’s celebrate with some ice cream, shall we?
At the start of my pregnancy, somehow I missed the memo that normal pregnant women crave ice cream. I didn’t crave ice cream at all. Or pickles for that matter. But let’s focus on the ice cream. I had virtually no interest in it for 3 or 3 and 1/2 months, which was a very odd feeling for me because normally I love anything creamy.
Then suddenly, overnight, an ice cream craving came on strong enough to make it seem as though it were trying hard to make up for lost time. It was a very specific ice cream craving though. All I wanted, pretty much in the whole world, was goat cheese and roasted cherry ice cream from Jeni’s, the acclaimed ice cream shop in Ohio.
I have no idea why I found myself craving this specific ice cream given that I had never even had it before. But I knew I wanted it. And I discovered that you can mail order from Jeni’s. Big. Trouble.
I filled my virtual shopping cart with over 100 dollar’s worth of ice cream, and then I sat staring at it, trying, trying so hard, to convince myself that I should not press the “purchase” button.
Every rational fibre in my body knew it was a bad idea. But the part of me that wanted ice cream didn’t give a flying rat’s hind quarters what my rational fibres thought. Thankfully Joel walked in, stayed my clicking finger, and told me that it was a terrible idea.
But then Jeni told me it was a good idea! Or, well, the clever marketing and social media people at Jeni’s tweeted to me it was a good idea. In the end, though, Joel won the day because he pointed out to me that I own Jeni’s book on how to make her ice creams (oh, right. That.), and that our ice cream maker was ready in the freezer, and we even had chevre. The clever man whisked me to the grocery store to buy some frozen cherries, and the day was saved!
So, I made the goat cheese ice cream myself, and it was delicious. And then I couldn’t stop making ice cream, so I followed it up with several more batches. This one, though, this absurdly creamy coconut-scented one, flecked with toasty threads of coconut and ribboned with swirls and shards of dark chocolate, wins out over the others. It is definitely our favorite so far.
If you dislike coconut, this is not the ice cream for you. Its base is coconut milk – which keeps the ice cream perfectly scoopable for days (if it lasts that long) – and then more coconut is piled in, after first being toasted until golden and lightly crisp. If you love coconut like we do, you must give it a try. Must!
I’ve tried a variety of coconut ice creams and gelatos in my day, and now that I’ve had this one with the chocolate ribbons, I wonder why all coconut doesn’t come outfitted with stracciatella. The hard crunch of the frozen chocolate that melts into silk as it warms is an ideal pairing for coconut. It has a depth and mild bitterness that brings out the tropical, beachy nuances of coconut. Each flavor makes you want the other, back and forth, back and forth, a positively reinforcing cycle if I ever saw one.
So I do hope you try it. And celebrate!
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 ¼ cups full fat coconut milk
- 1 ½ Tbs. of cornstarch or tapioca starch
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅓ cup honey (preferably raw)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 5 oz. dark chocolate
- First, spread the shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast it in a 375F oven, stirring it up occasionally, until it is toasty and brown – mine took about 6 minutes, but watch yours carefully because when it gets toasty, it can get toasty quickly. Remove the coconut from the oven, transfer it to a small bowl and set it aside to cool completely before using it.
- When you’re ready to make the ice cream base, combine 2 Tbs. of the coconut milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl and stir it well to make a slurry.
- In a saucepan, combine the rest of the coconut milk with the honey, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil gently for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Then, return the whole mixture to the heat and bring it back up to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Transfer the ice cream base to a metal bowl. At this point, you can either put the bowl in an ice bath to chill the base quickly (it should take around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to chill if you’re using an ice bath), or cover the bowl tightly and put it in the fridge to chill over night.
- When the base is chilled, you’re ready to churn your ice cream. First make sure your ice cream maker is completely frozen. Ok? Good. Churn the ice cream according to the ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, melt the dark chocolate. After about 15-20 minutes, the ice cream should be the consistency of thick soft serve and pulling away from the sides of the freezing canister. At this point, drizzle the melted chocolate in with the ice cream maker still churning. The chocolate will freeze on contact and break into chocolate freckles (or more technically, stracciatella). I have a kitchen aid ice cream attachment, and this was a seriously messy process because the chocolate wanted to just get all over the churner, but it turned out fine in the end and was so worth it.
- When the chocolate is all incorporated, turn off the ice cream maker, quickly fold in the toasted coconut, then transfer all of the ice cream to a container you can freeze it in. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and place the ice cream in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving to allow it to set. This ice cream will keep beautifully for at least a week in the freezer. It may be able to keep longer, but ours definitely didn’t last that long.