Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream | Dairy-Free

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Has there ever been a better flavor combination? Sweet chocolate and salty peanut butter were made for each other. Combine them for a dairy-free Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream and you have (almost) heaven in a bowl.

I have been dairy and egg free since February, but ice cream in the summer is one of my guilty pleasures. There’s nothing better than very cold ice cream when it’s super hot outside. (I’m in Texas so last week’s 95 degree weather felt like a major cold front!)

When late Spring rolled around, I started getting a hankering (I’m channeling my grandmother…) for chocolate peanut butter ice cream. I began experimenting with different recipes and finally combined several ideas to come up with this one.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Ingredients

Creamy Base

So how do you make ice cream without dairy or eggs that is still creamy? It’s actually easier than you might think. Full fat coconut milk has a very similar thickness to cream. Actually the cream part does and the thinner coconut milk at the bottom mimics whole milk so together you are actually getting the similar milk to cream ratio of regular ice cream. Regarding eggs, only custard has eggs in it and the egg-y flavor diminishes the chocolate anyway, so they are not missed in this recipe at all. I add a little almond butter to make it creamier even still. Feel free to use peanut butter if you want more of that flavor.

Sweetener

Honey is the sweetener in many dairy-free ice cream recipes, but again, I think the floral nature of honey overpowers the chocolate, so I have chosen to use maple syrup. Feel free to use either.

Chocolate

I have found that dutched process cocoa somehow makes the ice cream a little creamier, but if you only have regular cocoa powder, don’t NOT make this ice cream. Use what you have on hand because this stuff is good and you don’t want to have to wait til you go grocery shopping next time to make it.

Peanut Butter

Getting the peanut butter strategically into the ice cream evenly is key here. I found the easiest method is to make tiny balls (I just drop a tiny bit off the end of a knife or spoon) and freeze them. Some people add sweetener to it and I tried adding some of the ice cream base as I had seen in other ice cream recipes, but the straight up version is best and offers the most flavor contrast.

Sea Salt

Why is there salt in my ice cream? A little salt brings out all the flavors and also amps up the cocoa flavor and even makes the syrup a little more balanced sweetness over the tang offered by this healthy sweetener.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Equipment Note: Don’t even attempt making this ice cream until you have chilled the freezing container of your ice cream maker for at least 48 hours. You will be disappointed for sure. Don’t have an ice cream maker, see the no churn ice cream version below.

2 cans coconut milk

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tbsp almond butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup peanut butter

To Serve (totally optional):

Easy Chocolate Drizzle, recipe follows

Peanut Butter Drizzle, recipe follows

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in refrigerator for an hour or two if you can to make sure the mixture is very cold. (High speed blenders can heat up liquids. Chilling the mixture first helps make the ice cream smoother during the churning process.)

Using a 1/4 tsp measure or the very tip of a knife or small spoon, make 1/4” balls of peanut butter on a plate and place in the freezer.

When your container is adequately frozen, set up your machine and turn it on. Immediately pour in the ice cream mixture while it is churning to give it a head start. Most countertop ice cream makers take about 25 minutes. If you’re using an old-school ice and salt version, it might take longer.

When the ice cream has reach soft serve consistency, you can either drop in the peanut butter balls or if you’re container is about to overflow like mine almost did, you can scoop about a third into a freezer container and scatter a few peanut butter balls around then repeat this process two more times until you have emptied the container. Freeze for 2-3 hours before serving for optimal consistency. Let stand for 5 minutes for easier scooping.

No Churn Ice Cream

Pour ice cream mixture into a 48 oz container and place flat in the freezer. Stir every 30-60 minutes to keep it from freezing into a rock hard block. When it has reached soft serve consistency, fold in the peanut butter balls.

Easy Chocolate Drizzle

Combine 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp coconut oil in a small bowl. Heat in a small saucepan if your coconut oil is solid.

Peanut Butter Drizzle

Combine 3 tbsp peanut butter and 1 tbsp coconut oil.