This maple and lavender ice cream is the best possible way to celebrate the spring season. It's so creamy, delicious, and full of flavor – it's almost ridiculous. The caramel elements of the maple syrup blend seamlessly with the tropical notes of coconut and then, each bite is elevated by the perfumed bouquet of flavor that only lavender can provide.
Maple and Lavender Cashew Ice Cream [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1/2 cup dark maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons dried or fresh lavender buds
- 3/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked overnight in water
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 3/4 cup canned coconut cream (refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight, the thick creamy part on top is your coconut cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh lavender buds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- Gently heat the maple syrup with the 2 tablespoons of lavender in a small saucepan. Once they're warm, remove them from the heat, cover them with a lid, and let the mixture infuse for 1 hour.
- Strain out the lavender and set the maple aside.
- Drain the soaked cashews and transfer them to a blender with 1 cup water.
- Purée them until completely they're smooth.
- Combine the coconut sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Cook this until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes.
- Whisk in the coconut oil, coconut cream, and salt.
- Heat this mixture until it begins to simmer and the salt is dissolved, then remove it from the heat and add it to the blender with the cashew cream. Blend this on high for 1 minute.
- Add the lavender infused maple, 1 teaspoon of lavender buds, vanilla extract, and xanthan gum to the blender, then blend them on high again for 1–2 minutes until it's smooth and well blended.
- Pour this into a medium mixing bowl and set the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with a little ice and water.
- Stir the mix over the ice bath until cool and then refrigerate until completely chilled (preferably overnight).
- Transfer this to an ice cream maker and churn it until the ice cream is thick and has a soft-serve consistency. This should take around 20 minutes.
- Quickly transfer this to an airtight storage container and freeze it until it's set – at least 4 hours (or eat at soft-serve consistency if you prefer). The ice cream will keep, frozen, for up to 1 week.