September 05, 2007

Another Reason to Buy Vanilla Beans


When I posted about the virtues of using real vanilla beans, one of the comments I got intrigued me. It came from Cindy of Where’s the Beef? who directed me to a vegan vanilla cashew ice cream that she had made with vanilla beans that, (as she put it) really knocked her socks off! I went and immediately had a look at the recipe and as soon as I saw that the sweetener used wasn’t sugar but maple syrup, I was sold; vanilla beans, cashews and maple syrup? Heck yeah!

I made a few changes to the recipe and decided to call it a Vanilla Cashew Sorbet, to trick more people into making it. Sometimes the word vegan can throw you for a loop but this ‘ice cream’ is easy to make, doesn’t require any weird ingredients and tastes so amazing you’ll forget it’s not full of animal product goodness. Even though I will never give up bacon or cream or eggs, those crazy vegans are onto something with this recipe. If you’re unsure at all of my devotion to meat, then you should check out this post that I wrote for Get Your Grill On, it's steak-errific.



Vanilla Cashew Sorbet (Adapted from Vegan Vanilla Cashew Ice)


2 cups roasted, unsalted cashews

3 cups water

1 cup maple syrup (none of this "maple-flavoured syrup", you need the real Canadian thing!)

2 vanilla beans,


In a medium, heavy bottomed pot, combine the cashews, water and vanilla beans, (which you should first slice in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out of, adding them as well) and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let sit for about 2 hours.

Add maple syrup and blend, preferably in your super strength K-Tec blender under the mixture is completely smooth. If you don’t have a K-Tec, (I pity the fool who doesn’t have a K-Tec) you can do this in a regular blender or food processor, but I don’t think you’ll get the same smooth results, I could be wrong though, so please do try it and let me know, (regardless, it’ll be delicious).



Once everything is blended, just put the blender container right in the fridge to chill completely, preferably over night. Before pouring into your ice cream machine, give it another little whirl in the blender and then proceed as per usual. It will get quite hard in the freezer, but if you let it soften for ten minutes on the counter, the creaminess comes right back.



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21 comments:

Cindy said...

Brilynn, I'm so pleased that you tried and enjoyed this! I am quite the dairy addict myself, but I reckon this recipe stands up as a worthy dessert in its own right. Just the thing for those last summer fruits...

Peabody said...

Yeah, Vegan does throw people off. I know when someone makes one of my recipes on their Vegan website and it gets linked I aways go "oh yeah, I guess that was vegan." I just never think about it. I like the idea of vanilla and cashews.

ley said...

I've read about your love of bacon, so I thought I'd alert you to this (if you weren't already aware): http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/product/bacon_exotic_candy_bar/exotic_candy_bars.

Sorry I can't figure out how to make the link more concise. Technology hates me.

-Ley

Lydia said...

Any ice cream-like product made with maple syrup would be a big hit with my Canadian husband. Will definitely have to save this recipe for him!

Danielle said...

Oh, yum! Think I could make it with different nuts instead?

Hannah said...

Oh, that just looks so incredible! Being a huge fan of vanilla myself, I just might have to try this one out. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

veron said...

I just told the hubby that we really should start making more ice cream. Yeh...vegan just discourages some people . This looks really yummy...specially seeing those vanilla specks.

Deborah said...

This looks so good!! I love cashews!

Mallow said...

How interesting! I wonder if it would work with almonds? Of course, it would be hard to beat cashews. It looks great!

Nan said...

Hey Brilynn,I'm new to your site, but I really love all the ice cream posts! I, too, am an ice cream fanatic. It's really impressive that this recipe comes together...I would never have expected that from the ingredients.

Cate said...

I love vanilla ice cream when you can see the vanilla bean flecks, and yours looks nothing short of fabulous.

Anita said...

Brilynn,
Doesn't matter it's vegan, looks perfectly scrumptious to me!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Wow, that does sound amazing! I won't be giving up my omniverous ways, but I will be willing to try this.

Rasa Malaysia said...

I have always loved sorbet, and with cashew nuts...mmm mmm good.

Susan said...

I just bought vanilla beans last weekend and made some poached fruit with them. They impart such an intense flavor, don't they? Yours is definitely another reason to buy more vanilla beans. Looks fabulous!

Truffle said...

What a fantastic idea! I absolutely love the sound of this. What a fantastic post!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Great idea. I love real vanilla. You're making me fancy having a vanilla late right now...

Kelly-Jane said...

That is a fantastic looking ice, cashews are one of my fav nuts, top equal with pecans, followed closely by almonds!

Evelin said...

this is so so so me:)

I have made nut and oat milk and had the idea of making ice cream out of them, but haven't got to it yet.
I think I just found the perfect reason for doing it - this looks fab!:)

ylimuuli said...

Looking superb! And suiting my non-dairy diet soooo well, I'm craving for ice-cream like mad. My question; d'you think this would work without an icecream machine? Maybe I should whisk it every once in awhile when freezing? Please say it would work :-D Got to have it.

Luckily the frozen banana icecream works like a dream for me as well... the one where you freeze the banana and then whisk it in a blender to form a beautiful creamy mass that you can spice up with cinnamon or whatever :-P Helps me to survive.

ylimuuli said...

Cheers Brilynn for replying! I'll give it a try and let you know what happens... And even if you DID spoke several, several languages I doubt whether Finnish would be in top 20 :-D It's not much of a use outside Finland's borders ;-) Even tho it is a unique and beautiful language, in my bias opinion. :-)