Vanilla Date Caramel Ice Cream (Vegan, Gluten & Refined Sugar Free)

I know the weather is starting to get cold around the world, but not where I'm from. I started exploring a variety of vegan ice creams using fruits and dairy free milks, but this one is definitely a treat you will die for! caramel and chocolate go so well together, and medjool dates have a very similar caramel taste. Combining it with a simple vanilla base using cashews and coconuts, which is decadent and delicious.

Being healthy does not have to be boring. I have definitely figures that out after trying these ice creams. It's my favourite go-to dessert at home after lunch.

Cashews tend to be the best creamy replacer in vegan recipes, even with cheesecakes and icing. I have experienced a lot with cashews, making even a 'vegan mayonnaise' sort of dip.

The Filling

Firstly, to filtered room temperature water, soak the cashews overnight to get them soft and smooth.

On the day, rinse the almonds and add to a food processor with the coconut milk and pulse until smooth and creamy.

At this point add your vanilla and maple syrup to taste, my measurements are according to my tastebuds, but if you like the ice cream base to be sweeter, add more maple syrup.

fill the ice cream molds with the base and freeze until the top layer is had (1 hour should be enough)

The Caramel Layer

While your ice cream is freezing, prepare the delicious caramel layer by adding 6-7 medjool dates into the food processor.

Once the dates are soft and gewy, add the coconut cream, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Beat until mixture is easier to spread.

This is how your caramel mixture should look like once everything is well incorporated

Now add the caramel mixture to the cashew base and spread evenly. Freeze for another 2 hours or until ice cream has full hardened.

The Chocolate Shell

For the 'magic chocolate shell' that hardens once in contact with ice cream ( as seen in McDonald's), it is a fun and flavourful addition to the ice cream.

Add maple syrup to your coconut oil and mix well. Then gradually add your cacao and mix until a ganache like texture is achieved.

This is the fun part! Take your ice creams and dip it into the cup and then use a spoon to fill in any spots that still reveal and ice cream.

You will notice it hardens so fast so you want to be quick with your toppings. My favourite is almond shreds. If you find that it is too hard to stick, just add the almonds on top and then drizzle more of the chocolate on top to seal the toppings in.