I guess by now you all know that I have an obsession with making ice cream. I just can’t help myself! I love the creamy texture and how it cools me down on these hot and humid summer days in New York. I used to think that all ice cream was fattening and unhealthy but by making my own, I’ve been able to control my ingredients and really create exactly what I want without the questionable ingredients on the side of the carton. I’ve recently decided to try out a gluten free lifestyle and while this ice cream recipe is not completely gluten free, the custard itself does not contain any gluten. The Graham Cracker Toffee, on the other hand, is obviously not gluten free but let me tell you something…this homemade toffee is addictive! Seriously addictive. You might want to double the recipe. If you are avoiding gluten and sugar, you can definitely make the sweet potato ice cream without the added crunch of the homemade toffee. And if you eat gluten, go ahead and devour!
Sweet Potato Toffee Ice Cream
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup (3-4 whole) smashed sweet potatoes
1 cup heavy cream (or non-dairy whipping cream)
1 cup graham cracker toffee (recipe below)
Graham Cracker Toffee
1 package (8 whole crackers) graham crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
dash of salt
I usually don’t write this tip on my ice cream posts but I suddenly realized that I should probably mention this: keep your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer at all times! You never know when you will want to make ice cream and it takes at least 12 hours for the bowl to freeze completely. So before starting on this ice cream, make sure your ice cream maker bowl is in the freezer!
Before making the ice cream custard, I cooked the sweet potatoes in the microwave until they were very soft. Check out these Guatemalan sweet potatoes! They are actually white on the inside and much more mild in flavor than a regular sweet potato. You can definitely use a regular sweet potato for this recipe. I peeled away the skin and smashed the potatoes until smooth. You can also blend them in a food processor.
In a medium pot, I warmed the coconut milk and brown sugar over medium-low heat and whisked until the sugar dissolved, around 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, I whisked the eggs. I added a 1/4 cup of the warm coconut milk and brown sugar mixture to the eggs to warm them up slowly, whisking the eggs constantly. This process of warming the eggs without cooking them is called ‘tempering.’
I slowly poured the warm egg mixture into the pot with the coconut milk and brown sugar, whisking constantly. I raised the heat to medium and stirred constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickened slightly and coated the back of the spoon, around 4-5 minutes. Make sure not to let the custard boil! I strained the custard through a fine mesh sieve to remove any small bits of egg that may have cooked. I added the sweet potato puree, heavy cream, spices and vanilla and whisked.
I refrigerated the custard for at least 4 hours. You want your custard to be completely cold before placing it in the ice cream maker. While I waited for the custard to cool, I made the addictive Graham Cracker Toffee. It seriously doesn’t get any easier than this! I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F. I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper then placed the graham crackers side by side on the pan. I melted the brown sugar, butter and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes then poured the mixture over the graham crackers.
I baked the graham crackers for 10 minutes then set them aside to cool completely. The brown sugar mixture became nice and chewy. I broke most of the graham crackers toffee in to small pieces for the ice cream and snacked on the rest.
When the custard was completely cold, I turned on the ice cream maker and poured the custard in to the freezer bowl. The ice cream churned for 20 minutes, until it was thick and the texture of frozen yogurt. Every ice cream maker is different so follow the directions from your machine. It should be anywhere from 20-25 minutes. I stirred a cup of the graham cracker toffee to the finished ice cream.
You can eat the ice cream right away or you can spoon the ice cream into a loaf pan, cover the top and place in the freezer to become the texture of traditional ice cream. Scoop and enjoy!