The best meeting of the minds is over ice cream.
This is Ben Van Leeuwen, a young and more appetizing variety of the ice cream man (not really what my childhood ice cream man looked like am I right ladies!??) He started Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream with his brother Pete, and Laura O’Neill, out of a painfully cute, yellow ice cream truck, which would park around New York and Brooklyn neighbourhoods selling artisan ice cream to the unsuspecting.
I have been a fan of them for awhile for they were my neighbourhood ice cream truck when I first moved to New York. What started as an ice cream truck, has now turned into a national ice cream company, reaching all the way to Hollywood! They are committed to the finest quality ingredients, and exceptional taste. So naturally, we made an ice cream together.
But first, I needed to try all of their vegan flavours before I could decide on the unique Haut Appétit flavour I wanted to create – vegan because I’m lactose intolerant, not because they don’t make the full-cream gelato!
I decided on Vegan Coconut Chocolate Chip. Ben created the Van Leeuwen special recipe, and I made it at home to share with all my dear readers (and of course I’m sharing the recipe!) Its rich, creamy, and perfectly sweet.
Haut Appétit x Van Leeuwen
Vegan Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
*This recipe turns out much better if you use an ice cream maker…!
400g Organic Coconut Milk (Native Forest Brand)
90g Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
120g Organic Cane Sugar
30g Chocolate Chips
30g Shredded Coconut
1/8 tsp salt
- In a sauce pan heat the coconut milk sugar and salt to 135 degrees until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved, then add the coconut oil until is it fully melted,
- Transfer warm mix to a quart container or something similar and hit with an immersion blender or put into a vita mix type blender and run on high for approximately 60 seconds (this will emulsify the coconut oil into the mix)
- Transfer quart container into refrigerator and let cool for 1-2 hours
- Transfer mix into an ice cream maker
- When mix is close to achieving soft serve ice cream consistency add shredded coconut and chocolate chips and run until soft serve constancy is reached.
- Transfer into quart container and place in freezer.
Ben Van Leeuwen’s Notes:
– “You can eat it immediately – it will be very good and more like soft serve or “gelato”. When you transfer it into the freezer after a few hours you will have the classic scoop-able ice cream constancy.”
– “Native forest brand is good for Coconut Milk, because we know it is free of guar gum and it is 14-16% fat, the fat content which this recipe is based on.”
– “For chocolate chips, we recommend making your own out of a fine chocolate like Michel Cluizel, Askinosie, Mast Brothers, or anything you like really…” (I used dairy-free chocolate chips)
Read more about Van Leeuwen Ice Cream (pronounced van-loo-wen), their yellow ice cream trucks, and where to buy on their website HERE.
Photos of Ben Van Leeuwen and Elizabeth Minett by Sidney Bensimon.