As a first grader, my son takes turns with his classmates bringing in the daily snack. Last month he chose to bring popcorn, and instead of just popping it ourselves, we purchased a few bags from the store. We may have purchased a bag for ourselves too. The ingredients on the bag read: “popcorn, coconut oil, and salt”. Pure goodness here. The coconut popcorn combo was both unexpectedly and expectedly delicious all in the same. I’m very fond of the buttered version, but on the flip, coconut oil is pretty much amazing on anything, and that certainly proved to be true here. But after mentioning this deliciousness to some friends, it seems as though this combo has been around for awhile. But hey, I’m just happy I know about this deliciousness now. One thing I bet you all didn’t know though…popcorn and coconut are friggin amazing in ice cream. I know becuase that’s what I made this week’s flavor – Coconut Popcorn
Not an ice cream with chunkers of coconut though. I like having a creamy ice cream that is a full infusion of its components. Infusions make it fun trying to decipher and pin point the different tastes that you’re experiencing. Occasionally the infusion becomes a “sum of its parts”, meaning the components have basically mingled together to make one single flavor. Regardless, the infusion usual doesn’t disappoint. For this coconut infusion, I wanted to double down and really get a nice coconut flavor, so I used both toasted coconut and coconut oil. The coconut gets toasted in a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes and then added into our cane sugar base during pasteurization. The coconut oil is blended into a small amount of ice cream base to emulsify the fats. It’s easiest to do the emulsification before adding the toasted coconut into the base.
Next, the popcorn. Over high heat, canola oil gets heated in a pan along with popcorn kernals. The pan is covered, shaken up once and awhile, and popped. After popping the corn, I need to condense it so I can get enough flavor into the cream. The popcorn gets chopped up in a blender or food processor. The popcorn’s volume is reduced by 50%. The ground popcorn is added into our ice cream base with toasted coconut. The base is pasteurized, and the toasted coconut and popcorn steep for 5-10 minutes before the base is strained through a fine mesh strainer. The base is given and final salting, is cooled, and is ready to churn.
Coconut popcorn says, “We make a great snack, but an even better ice cream”. So true coconut popcorn. So true.
2 Tablespoons popcorn
2 teaspoons Canola oil
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 cup Milk
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup Toasted coconut
2 Tablespoons Coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1. Prepare the popcorn: In a medium sized sauce pan, heat canola oil over high heat. When oil is shimmering, add popcorn and cover. shake sauce pan occasionally to keep the popcorn kernels moving around. Once popping, remove from heat when popping slows down. Pour popped corn into a blender. Pulse blender until popcorn is chopped into small pieces. Reserve 1 cup of blended popcorn for ice cream base.
2. Toast coconut: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place coconut on a sheet pan and toast in oven for approx. 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.
3. Make ice cream base: Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk fully. Add cane sugar and whisk. Add heavy cream, milk and sea salt. Whisk until ingredients are combined.
4. Cook/pasteurize ice cream base: Over medium heat, whisk or stir base continuously until temperature reaches 110-120 degrees. Remove from heat. Take one cup of the warmed ice cream base out and place in blender. With blender running, slowly add the melted coconut oil until emulsified. Pour emulsified mixture back into sauce pan with ice cream base.
Add toasted coconut and 1 cup of popcorn to the base. Resume whisking or stirring base continuously over medium heat until temperature reaches 165-170 degrees. Remove from heat, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain base through a fine mesh strainer. Cool ice cream base to room temperature (an ice bath will do this in about 15-20 minutes). Cover base, and chill in refrigerator overnight.
5. Churn ice cream base in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store ice cream in air tight container in freezer until chow time.
*Yields approximately 2.5 pints
If you’d rather not make it, you can be one of two lucky winners of this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. Two winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 11/6/15 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally in Minneapolis. Prizes must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!