Coconut Crunch Ice Cream – Asian-Style

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This recipe is a little bit of kitchen serendipity. I was developing a recipe for a contest sponsored by Scharffenberger that included a number of exotic ingredients. I got distracted and didn’t notice that my adzuki beans were al dente as opposed to soft and mashable. I continued on, covered them in chocolate, chopped them up and added them to the ice cream anyway.

Adzuki beans play a key role in Asian sweets as fillings and frostings. They are remarkably similar to almonds in this recipe! In fact, this ice cream tastes just like an Almond Joy. It’s not very sweet at all, and it would be lovely way to end an Asian-theme meal.

Asian-style ice creams typically have a base with some other thickener besides eggs, in contrast to the custard-style bases. In this recipe, I am substituting whipped coconut milk for the melon in my melon peach ice. When it comes out of the ice cream freezer swirl in the chopped chocolate. If you don’t have an ice cream freezer you can do it old-school, follow the freezing directions here.

Coconut Crunch Ice Cream, Makes six generous servings

Two large cans of full-fat coconut milk, very cold

1/2 c. sugar

1 packet of unflavored gelatin, softened in 1/4 c. cold water

1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 T. shortening
1/2 c. adzuki beans, cooked al dente

1 t. almond extract

Whip the coconut milk to soft peaks, then whip in the sugar and gelatin mixture. Pour the whip into your ice cream freezer and follow the recommended directions (or see my note above).
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Cover your adzuki beans with water and boil until they are al dente, about one hour. (You can pre-soak to shorten the cooking time.) Let them cool and dry them off as best you can with paper towels.

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Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a bowl and microwave for one minute or until the chips begin to get glossy. Stir until smooth. Stir in the adzuki beans and pour the chocolate out onto a piece of parchment. When it has hardened, chop it into small pieces.
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Pour your frozen coconut cream out.

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Swirl in the chocolate crunch and the almond extract.

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The gelatin does help keep this softer but like most homemade ice creams it gets harder the longer it sits. You can add a few tablespoons of vodka or an almond liqueur to help keep it softer.

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