I love ice cream and always have since I was a kid. But now, as an adult, and less intrigued by all things dairy and sugar, I have, through experimentation, found that one of the best ways to create an ice cream-esque dessert is by swapping dairy milk for blended nuts mixed with coconut oil.
Now, this isn’t the kind of ice cream that you scoop, but rather the kind that freezes amazingly well into bars.
Below, I’ve mixed up a bevy of my favorite Indian flavors: rose, pistachio, and cardamom, resulting in a semifreddo that reminds me of the delicious Indian dessert, kulfi (which is made from condensed milk and dehydrated milk powder) and is a dense and chewy frozen treat.
The outcome is so great dairy consumers won’t believe it’s free of any animal products!
STRAWBERRY ROSE PISTACHIO SEMIFREDDO INGREDIENTS
2 cups Raw Cashews, soaked overnight
¾ cup Melted Coconut Oil
1 cup Fresh Strawberries
4 tablespoons Raw Honey
3 tablespoons Rose Extract*
1 teaspoon Fresh Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
⅓ cup Raw Shelled Pistachios
Dried Rose Petals, for garnish
Pinch of Ground Cardamom, for garnish
*Rose extract comes in various potencies and the one I used for this recipe wasn’t super aromatic. So, if you prefer a less floral rose flavor, feel free to amend the quantity.
STRAWBERRY ROSE PISTACHIO SEMIFREDDO ASSEMBLY
1 | Line a 6×3 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap so the sides of the plastic wrap hang over the pan.
2 | In a food processor, add the cashews, coconut oil, strawberries, honey, rose extract, lime juice, vanilla extract, and salt.
3 | Process until a thick and smooth cream forms (about 3 minutes).
4 | Pour ⅓ of cream into the bottom of the loaf pan, and place ½ of the pistachios evenly atop the cream.
5 | Pour ½ of the remaining cream atop, and cover with the remaining pistachios. Add the remaining cream and smooth with a knife to completely cover the pistachios.
6 | To garnish, sprinkle with cardamom powder and rose petals.
7 | Transfer to the freezer and freeze for at least four hours.
8 | Uncover the plastic wrap and remove the semifreddo from the pan. Let it sit for five minutes before slicing, then serve.
*Makes 1 6×3 inch block.
Kat Odell is the entrepreneur behind the plant-based food and drink brand, Unicorn Food, as well as a food and travel journalist. She was the inaugural editor of Eater Drinks, and was the Editor of Eater LA for five years. She has been published in Vogue, New York Times’ T magazine, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit, amongst others. She has also served as a judge and expert at a variety of food-related events. Kat Odell and Unicorn Food can be found at @kat_odell and @unicornfoods.