Almond Joy ice cream makes an unforgettable edible gift

Ice cream sundae on a black background

I melt with you is a new ice cream column from The Takeout. I’ll be here all summer with new ice cream recipes, unique ingredients, equipment recommendations, and ways to make your home ice cream experience as easy and fun as possible. I’m always up for a challenge so don’t hesitate to send flavor requests at If you’d like to see some of the flavors I’ve made for you, feel free to stop by my IG @ stacey.ballis and scroll back for some serious ice cream content.

Of all of my ice cream experiments, this variety is the most popular overall, the recipe requested by everyone who has tried it. I compare it to an Almond Joy because it contains the best parts of a rich coconut ice cream, refined with chewy roasted coconut, crispy roasted almonds and flakes of dark chocolate.

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I originally made it for my mom as a Mother’s Day gift. She took a test bite and then quickly hid the liter in the freezer all to herself! If you’ve got a serving of ice cream this summer, this should be it. Important props for Rose Levy Berenbaum and her book Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss, which initially gave me two great ideas to customize and move on: topping the milk with coconut and using coconut cream in the mixture as a flavor enhancer. Get ready to spread the (almond) joy.

Makes about 1½ liters

  • 1 ½ cups (360 g) whole milk

  • 1 ¼ cups (100 g) unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 3 tbsp (20 g) milk powder

  • 2/3 cup (100 g) white chocolate chopped

  • ½ can (245 g) coconut cream (Coco Lopez or another sweetened coconut cream for cocktails, not Coconut milk or coconut cream for cooking)

  • 1 ½ cups (350 g) cream

  • 2 TBSP. (40 g) coconut syrup or honey

  • 2 TBSP. (30 g) vodka (Note: this will keep the ice cream from freezing too hard. If you prefer not to use alcohol, allow the frozen ice cream to sit for another 5-10 minutes before scooping for optimal texture .)

  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract or paste

  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

The story goes on

Heat the milk with milk powder to a simmer, stirring constantly, then add the unsweetened coconut flakes. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, then let it cool to room temperature in the saucepan and let it steep for at least 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. (Longer steeping adds to the coconut flavor and is what I prefer, while less steeping time gives a more subtle coconut flavor.) Strain well and squeeze out as much liquid as possible, you should be around 1 ounce. When you are short of this amount, add more whole milk to help reach this level. (See note on coconut flakes below.)

Heat the cream with the white chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes to melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the remaining basic ingredients and mix with the hand blender to a perfectly smooth mixture. Once the mixture is well mixed, give it a try to make sure you like the balance. If it doesn’t feel sweet enough or a flavor doesn’t come through well, add more of what you need. It should be intensely flavored as the flavors stay mute when frozen. If it’s right, pour it into a sealed container and refrigerate for 6-24 hours to let the taste cure. Should be very refrigerated before stirring.

Prepare the chocolate before stirring the ice cream: Melt the dark chocolate, coconut oil, cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla and salt together in the microwave or on the stove. Let it cool down a bit, but keep it liquid. I put it in a squeeze bottle and re-melt it in the microwave if necessary.

Take the ice cream base out of the refrigerator and stir according to the machine’s instructions for a soft texture. Fold in the mixes, then pour in the cooled chocolate mix while the machine is running to make chocolate flakes. Transfer to containers and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight for the best texture.

Note: After soaking them, I lay out the used coconut on a baking sheet and dehydrate it for a few hours in a 200-degree oven before putting it in the freezer and using it in cereal or biscuits, or as a topping for chips. It won’t have the usual taste of coconut, but its milder taste and good texture are worth saving for your future kitchen experiments.

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