I thought I was safe making ice cream because Pittsburgh has had some uncharacteristically warm weather these past few weeks.
However as I’m writing this, the last of the snow is melting off of the roof.
Ooooh well. Ice cream tastes just as good in cold weather as it does in warm, right?!
If you spend about 10 seconds with Mark and me, you’ll know that we’re tea and coffee-obsessive. Mark’s the coffee guy, and I’m the tea queen all the way. Nary a moment goes by without us having a warm cup of something in our general vicinity.
So a thought popped into my head: the weather is getting nice, but we still love our hot drinks. Let’s have Hot/Cold Date Night In! Filled with fun tea experiments and gadgets via Uncommon Goods and a creamy, dreamy vegan no churn chocolate coconut ice cream!
First: The Hot.
Uncommon Goods is like a tea-lover’s fantasy. I literally just sat on my computer saying, “Ooh I want that! Oh and that, too! Gahh and I need that!” Over and over and over. So when my box full of tea-inspired delights was finally delivered, you can imagine the little happy dance that occurred in front of the UPS guy. #awkward
I’m always looking for ways to diffuse the bags upon bags of looseleaf tea we’ve curated throughout the year. Apple Cinnamon, Coconut Green, English Breakfast, Oolong…we’ve got it all. That’s why I was pumped to see this tea diffuser TRAVEL MUG (omgomgomg), and this cute little tea stick, perfect for diffusing all of the looseleaf tea your heart desires.
This travel mug is seriously the bomb. You just put the looseleaf tea in one side, pour the water in, then let it diffuse through the little strainer, flip, and drink! Mark also drinks about 5 gallons of water each day, so I can see him making some lemon water in this too! And it’s awesome if you have a cat that likes to stick her head into every and any mug she sees. ? Lids = no unwanted cat heads in your drink.
The tea stick is super cute; you just push one side in and the other side reveals a little nook you fill with your looseleaf tea. Just set it in some hot water and some glorious tea diffusing happens. And it’s super easy to clean, which is always a plus.
This chai kit. Guys, Mark will not shut up about how incredible this chai is. And I totally concur. This stuff ROCKS. Like, we’ve made 4 batches in 3 days. I love it because it comes with all of these one-off spices like star anise and cardamom, PLUS three types of black tea, all of which would cost me an arm and a leg at the grocery store to procure on my own. And while it comes with a recipe (which is epic), you can customize it to your tastebuds. You be the tea queen. ?
And the mug? Obsessed. It’s a healing stone mug that has a small quartz gem in the handle. But it’s also just a beautiful mug that keeps your tea hothothot. And it just feels cozy. I love it so much.
Second: The Cold.
Aka. the main attraction. Aka. the vegan no churn chocolate coconut ice cream that Mark said he could “bathe in.”
Yeah. That happened.
I mean, this ice cream has all the makings for a truly incredible homemade ice cream:
- it only requires SIX ingredients!
- it’s sweetened with dates!
- it’s dairy free, vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free!
- it’s topped with a simple 3-ingredient CHOCOLATE SHELL!
- and…it’s delicious!
It has a unique texture, as the bulk of the ice cream is made up of coconut cream. It’s mousse-y and creamy and packed with chewy coconut shreds. Mark and I both went cuh-raaaazy over it, as we snuggled on the couch under a blanket gobbling it down.
And don’t skip out on the chocolate shell. You know that stuff that came in a squeezy bottle that magically hardened as it hit your ice-cold ice cream? I don’t know about you, but I loved that stuff as a kid. But this homemade version is soooo much better. (and not to mention so much healthier ?)
And the fact that I got to serve this ice cream in these ice cream bowls was like the cherry on top. Admittedly, these bowls are kind of ridiculous. But I seriously couldn’t pass them up! I mean, how freakin’ cute are they?! The dark bowl is make from soapstone which keeps your ice cream ridiculously cold while the wood outer bowl keeps your hands warm! Unnecessary? Perhaps. But super fun, totally beautiful, and a great splurge for your Date Night In? Absolutely.
Our Hot/Cold Date Night In was a huge delicious success! We loved stuffing our faces with this homemade ice cream, and then getting all warm and cozy with a mug-full (or two) of our favorite tea. Take it from someone who knows: one of the best ways to wind down after a long day is with chocolate, warm tea, and your guy. ?Print
Vegan No Churn Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream
- FOR THE ICE CREAM:
- 2 15-oz. cans coconut milk, put in the fridge overnight
- 10 large medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- splash vanilla extract
- scant cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more for topping
- FOR THE MAGIC SHELL:
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- unsweetened coconut shreds, for topping
- Remove coconut milk from the fridge. Flip the cans over, and open it from the bottom. Pour out the liquid and save for another use. Scoop the coconut cream (the thick white stuff) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip with the whisk attachment (alternatively, you can use a bowl and a hand mixer!). Whip until smooth and fluffy.
- While it’s whipping, add soaked dates to a food processor. Add a little hot water and blend until smooth. You can add hot water by the tsp. until the mixture comes together into a smooth paste.
- Once the coconut cream is smooth and fluffy, add half of the date paste, cocoa powder, vanilla, and almond milk. Whip until smooth and well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and add more date paste if you’d like it sweeter!
- Mix in coconut flakes by hand, and then dump into a parchment-lined container. Smooth out the top with a spatula and add more coconut flakes if desired. Wrap with plastic wrap and stick in the freezer.
- Freeze for a few hours for a mousse-like texture (recommended) or freeze overnight for a sold ice cream. If freezing overnight, it helps to put the ice cream in the fridge a few hours before serving to allow it to thaw.
This recipe was slightly adapted from Minimalist Baker.
A special thank you goes to the awesome people at Uncommon Goods for supplying me with some of their unique products that I love for this post! All opinions are my own.
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