Genius Recipes Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts Vegan What to Cook

This Genius 2-Ingredient Ice Cream Just So Happens to Be Vegan

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.


With just two ingredients, you can blend together a cold, creamy ice cream base, then pop back outside for a quick Super Soaker battle (or whatever else you were planning to do with what’s left of your summer).

For this to be possible, the two ingredients in question—which, in Alice Hart’s The Way To Eat Now, just so happen to be vegan—really need to pull their weight.

Coconut milk (ingredient #1!) brings the creaminess and requisite fat to churn up into a light, smooth ice cream. And—in addition to a little more good, nutty fat—marzipan (ingredient #2!) brings its sweet, intoxicatingly almond-y flavor.

If you’re thinking marzipan is more of a holiday thing, then you’re not alone. But it’s just as delightful in summer, especially against the clean canvas of coconut milk, instead of the hygge hodgepodge of a Swedish Princess cake or stollen.

Boom. 2 ingredients. End of story, right?

Not so fast. Hart also likes to crumble up the marzipan and toast it in the oven until melty and golden first, a trick she’s used to flavor other frozen treats. „This is almonds on steroids—sweet, full-bodied, caramelized, and fragrant,” Hart wrote to me. (1)

I don’t know why this never occurred to me before, since toasting any nut is such a well-known way to deepen and develop its flavor into the best version of itself. Nuts mixed into a “candy dough” with sugar are no different.

This little toasting trick gives Hart’s marzipan ice cream a much more intense and stirring almond presence than the toasted almond pops from the ice cream truck, not unlike the difference between listening to your favorite song on your phone’s tinny speaker and a fancy pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Meera Sodha’s Cardamom & Rose Kulfi

You can find marzipan at lots of grocery stores in the baking aisle (and always online), but Hart even included a bonus hack for making your own all-natural version with almond meal and extract (plus dates for moisture and sweetness). It will taste more like a date shake than a sculpted marzipan fruit, unsurprisingly, but it will still bring this simple vegan wonder into reach if you can’t locate marzipan the day you want it.

And whichever way you make it, cherries on top should be considered an almost nonnegotiable third ingredient.

(1) Hart also recommended scattering untoasted marzipan over the top of a frangipane tart with apricots or other stone fruits so that it toasts up as it bakes, or using the toasted marzipan to spike a custard or crème anglaise (bearing in mind that marzipan will always bring along some additional sugar and intensely nutty vibes, so tweak your recipes accordingly).

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Perhaps something perfect for beginners? Please send it my way (and tell me what’s so smart about it) at [email protected]—thank you to editor, stylist, and Genius super-tipster Ali Slagle for this one!

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