Sometimes I get stuck on replay. Now, if I’m stuck on something like putting off exercise for days on end, that’s not a good thing. On the other hand, if it’s a replay of something like using a vanilla graham cracker base ice cream for every single ice cream I make, or say, coconut in everything … well then, that’s not such a bad thing at all. So when my husband, Randy, requested homemade ice cream late on the evening before his birthday last week, I quickly whipped up this custard-less vanilla graham cracker base, then added his favorite, coconut, plus some chocolate chips for good measure, to create this Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
I mentioned before how much I enjoy a custard base ice cream. They really are hard to beat, but when I’m in a hurry, this vanilla graham cracker base has quickly become my go-to, because it’s so easily mixed up and ready to chill in no time. The crushed graham cracker not only adds flavor, but also thickens the texture a bit. It’s a really good ice cream base that lends itself well for so many mix-ins.
Last week I shared a Lemon Pie Ice Cream Recipe using the same base, with lemon curd swirled in once it’s churned. When I purchased the lemon curd, I snagged up a jar of coconut curd. I’ve never used coconut curd before, but as soon as Randy requested homemade ice cream, I knew I had to try it with the vanilla graham cracker base. A bit of sweetened shredded coconut was also added to the base during warming and “steeping” for some extra coconut love, and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips were added during the last minute of churning, followed by the layering of the coconut curd before freezing it all to firm up. Of course, you can’t forget to top it with some toasted coconut. That would be a sad thing to skip.
As I said, I purchased coconut curd, but you can make your own. I’ve seen a few recipes that I’d like to try when I have more time to plan ahead. This Coconut Curd recipe from Wanna Be a Country Cleaver looks good.
It turned out that this ice cream was his favorite birthday gift (it was my favorite of his birthday gifts too). It was decadent and rich and so perfect for a birthday. I totally should’ve made a double batch. There’s always next year.
If you’re a coconut fan, try this one real soon!
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 vanilla bean (optional, but if not using, add 2 more teaspoons of good vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 graham cracker, pulverized (totally. smash 'em up.)
- ⅓ cup sweetened, shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate (delete chocolate for a pure coconut treat)
- 8 ounces coconut curd (store bought is fine, or make your own)
- optional: toasted coconut (for topping it all off)
- In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of heavy cream, sugar, and salt. If using vanilla bean, cut it in half and scrape seeds into mixture along with the vanilla bean pod. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let it "steep" for about 15 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pod.
- Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup milk, vanilla extract, and crushed graham cracker.
- Refrigerate mixture until thoroughly cooled, at least 3 hours, but the longer the better.
- Add chilled mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to directions.
- In the last minute or so, gradually sprinkle in the chocolate chips.
- Once churned, layer the coconut curd and ice cream in a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm.
- Served topped with toasted coconut or more chocolate (or both), then dig in!