Here’s a decadent plant-based dessert, ideal for impressing dairy-free guests. It’s based on coconut icecream (available at the supermarket), jazzed up with berries and chocolate. There’s a bit of fiddling to assemble it but you can do this a week ahead of time so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.
A few tricks make a difference in this recipe. The raspberries have maple syrup and vanilla essence added, both of which help keep the berries softer when frozen — sugar and alcohol (in the vanilla essence) both lower the freezing point.
The chocolate ripple also has another ingredient, guar gum, which improves the texture. It’s one of the vegetable gums often used in icecream, and is made from the ground endosperm of guar beans. You can find it in specialty shops, especially in the gluten-free section. You can also buy it online by googling guar gumnz. If you can’t find any I’ve given an option using chia seeds which can provide a similar gummy result.
Why not use real chocolate? Because it goes really hard and waxy when frozen — not so enjoyable. I’ve used cocoa powder in the ripple but you can use cacao (the raw, expensive version) instead. Cacao tastes milder to me so it works well as a coating on the outside of the log, but it’s not worth losing sleep over which one you use.
|6 Tbsp||Coconut sugar|
|2 Tbsp||Cocoa powder, or cacao powder (Main)|
|½ tsp||Guar gum, or 1 Tbsp chia seeds|
|2 tsp||Vanilla essence, alcohol based|
|1 ½ cups||Frozen raspberries (Main)|
|2 Tbsp||Maple syrup|
|2 tsp||Vanilla essence|
|475 ml||Coconut ice cream, vanilla flavour (Main)|
|1 Tbsp||Cocoa powder, or cacao powder|
|1 punnet||Strawberries, to garnish|
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- Place the coconut sugar, cocoa, guar gum, water and vanilla essence in a blender and whizz for about 15 seconds until well combined and the sugar is dissolved. If using chia seeds instead of guar gum, blend these with the water first, put through a strainer to remove rough seed fragments, then add remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill thoroughly in fridge before using. This is the chocolate ripple.
- Put the frozen raspberries in a bowl and add the maple syrup and vanilla essence, stirring until evenly coated.
- Transfer the coconut icecream to a big bowl and allow to soften for a few minutes, then break apart and mash roughly. Add the frozen berries and mix just enough to spread the berries evenly without colouring the icecream any more than necessary.
- Line a small loaf tin (ideally 9x15cm) with baking paper. Spoon in half the icecream mix then spread very evenly with a spatula. Pour on the chocolate ripple and spread evenly, then put loaf tin and remaining icecream mix into freezer for an hour to firm up. Top with remaining icecream mix and press down evenly. Freeze another hour.
- To serve, remove from freezer and unwrap from baking paper. Dust all over with cocoa or cacao powder then slice and serve with fresh strawberries. It's good to allow the slices to soften for a few minutes so they are easy to eat with a spoon.