I adore carrot cake, it’s possibly my favourite cake. I just love its spicy flavour, chewy raisins, little chunks of nut and how it’s all topped off with a creamy frosting – yum. I was dreaming about carrot cake and decided to see if I could make carrot cake ice cream!
“Hmmm carrot cake ice cream, I bet she crumbled up some carrot cake into her ice cream…” NOPE! I actually added all the major flavour components, separately into the ice cream base. Cinnamon, mixed spice, sultanas, pecans, lemon zest, date syrup for sweetness and… 200g of freshly grated carrot! I lightly blanched the grated carrot first to soften it and release some of its natural sweetness, no one wants to be chewing on raw carrot in their ice cream.
Now before you think I’ve gone do-lally, trust me it works. It works really well. I was so excited creating this ice cream and then seeing into come together. That first softly set spoonful was amazing. OMG best ice cream ever!
The ice cream base was just sweet enough while still retaining some of its creamy freshness which emulated the cool creamy frosting often found on carrot cake. The nuts added the occasional crunch while the sultanas went fantastically chewy and sweet, like little chips of toffee hiding in the ice cream.
The spices came through well without being overpowering and the date syrup helped give that characteristic spicy orangey-brown colour to the ice cream as well as a lovely naturally fruity sweetness. The strands of carrot themselves were soft enough not to cause a problem yet still whole enough to be detectable. They weren’t crunchy in any way, but they had retained their shape which I loved.
I just couldn’t get over how much it tasted like real carrot cake. It completely satisfied my carrot cake craving and I’m now plotting even more concoctions. Move over Ben & Jerry’s!
Carrot Cake Inspired Ice Cream
250g sweetened custard base (homemade or shop bought)
200ml double cream
200g carrot, peeled and grated
75ml date syrup
2 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
Zest of ½ lemon
Start by peeling and roughly grating your carrots. Place them in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water, cover the top with clingfilm and cook in the microwave for 1½ minutes. Leave the clingfilm on the bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge until cold.
When reading to start, mix your custard base, double cream, date syrup, lemon zest and spices together in a bowl. Whisk gently until combined.
Roughly chop the pecans and add to the bowl along with the sultanas and blanched and chilled carrot. Add any carrot liquid to the mix too as this will contain lots of intense carrot flavour.
Stir until well incorporated before churning in your ice cream machine until thick and softly set.
Scoop out and enjoy straight away or transfer to a Tupperware box and freeze until required.
Makes about 700ml ice cream