I have been making this dessert for years, but only recently adapted the cardamom ice cream into a vegan and sugar free recipe, and I can tell you right now that not only is it just as good as the old version filled with milk and eggs and sugar, I think its even better! And the best part… it is so much easier. I read this blog post about making vegan coconut milk ice cream from Serious Eats and will now always be using a combination of coconut milk and coconut cream, which eliminates the need to add any starch and results in perfectly creamy vegan ice cream.
This recipe as a whole is a great one for entertaining, especially if you have a moroccan or turkish or even indian theme going on. But of course, you can just make the ice cream without the figs, or vice versa. The figs are great served over yoghurt with the syrup drizzled on top, and the bonus with that one is that it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast!
Cardamom Ice Cream with Poached Figs
For the ice cream
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 can full fat coconut cream
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthways (can sub for 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 6 cardamom pods, bruised (can sub for 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the cardamom swirl (recipe adapted from A House in the Hills)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the poached figs (recipe adapted from The Food of Morocco by Tess Mallos)
- 250 grams dried figs
- blanched almonds, one per fig
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 cardamom pods, bruised
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon quill
- thinly peeled zest of half a lemon
For the ice cream and the swirl
Pour the coconut milk and cream into a small saucepan along with the vanilla bean and cardamom pods and heat gently, whisking continuously.
Remove from heat, add ground cardamom and stir until cooled.
Place mixture in the fridge until completely cold, overnight if possible, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
While the mixture is in the ice cream maker, make the cardamom swirl by mixing the maple syrup and spices together.
Transfer a quarter of the ice cream from the bowl of the ice cream maker and stir through a little less than a third of the cardamom swirl, repeat with the rest of the mixture, reserving a few teaspoons of the cardamom swirl for the top of the ice cream.
Cover and freeze until ready to serve.
For the Figs
Rinse figs then place in a bowl and cover in water. Allow these to soak for 8 hours.
Drain the soaking water into a saucepan and set aside.
Insert one blanched almond into the base of each fig.
Into the saucepan filled with the soaking liquid, add the maple syrup and whole spices (you can tie these in muslin cloth to keep them out of the way if you like) and bring to the boil.
Add the figs, turn the heat down to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
Serve the figs over the cardamom ice cream with the syrup poured on top.