I generally try to keep it pretty healthy here. Not today. This recipe for vegan fried ice cream (with a gluten-free option) is all about SPLURGING. It’s a special occasion dessert. One to pull out for birthdays, anniversaries and such. Or maybe you’ve just had a really bad week and you could use a little food joy.
During college, I was a server at a Mexican restaurant chain called Chi-Chi’s. Fried Ice Cream was a popular menu item. If you’ve ever been a server, then you’re familiar with the term “sidework”. Sidework is a term for the tasks servers are assigned to do in addition to their basic duties. There was no worse sidework than cleaning the dessert station. I HATED it. Imagine a freezer full of crispy coated ice cream balls next to a station with a deep fryer and containers of strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce and honey. Plus the whipped cream, cherries, and cinnamon-sugar fried tortillas. By the end of the day, it was always a giant sticky mess. And it took forever to clean. Maybe that’s the reason I never made fried ice cream at home. Until now.
The process itself really isn’t too bad. It’s the freezer time that makes it so involved—a two step freezing process that requires some patience. The frying step takes the least time, but is essential to creating a warm, crispy shell. Obviously, if you have a deep fryer, it will come in very handy for this recipe. If you don’t, you can use a large pot, which is what I did.
Since the recipe is involved enough as it is, I chose not to make my own ice cream. Instead, I used So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert. (They also offer almond milk and soy milk frozen desserts.) They were kind enough to send me samples of their newest Gluten-Free and No Sugar Added flavors. Hubs and I had a ball taste-testing. We loved them all, but our favorites were Cookies ‘N Cream (Hubs) and Cookie Dough (me). The No Sugar Added Vanilla flavor is outstanding as well—really, really great vanilla flavor. I used Butter Pecan in the photo above because—why not? So Delicious Dairy Free products are all certified vegan and non-GMO. They never use artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or trans fats. Good stuff.
- 2½ cups So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert (gluten-free flavors available)
- 1 Tbs ground flax seed
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2 cups corn flakes cereal
- 1½ Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- vegetable oil for frying
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ½ Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 small flour tortillas (use rice tortillas for gluten-free)
- vegan whipped cream (get recipe here: http://bit.ly/1qNBjSP)
- chocolate sauce (melt vegan chocolate chips)
- strawberry sauce
- honey (not vegan)
- maraschino cherries
- Place two large pieces of Press 'n Seal or plastic wrap on the counter. In the center of each, place 1¼ cups of So Delicious Dairy Free Frozen Dessert. Gather up sides and form the "ice cream" into a ball. Mold the ball as tightly as possible until densely packed. Place the two "ice cream" balls in the freezer overnight (or at least 4 hours).
- When balls are frozen solid, proceed. In a small bowl, combine ground flax seed and water. Whisk with fork until thoroughly combined; set aside. Meanwhile, place corn flakes in a sealed plastic bag and crush until coarsely ground. Pour corn flakes into a medium bowl; add sugar and cinnamon; stir to combine. Line a plate with parchment or wax paper.
- Remove balls from freezer and unwrap. Using a pastry brush, coat each ball thoroughly with the flax seed mixture. Then dip it into corn flake mixture and roll to coat thoroughly until a thick crust forms. Press coating tightly around the ball. Place balls onto lined plate and freeze overnight (or at least 4 hours).
- Meanwhile, prepare Crispy Cinnamon-Sugar Shells. Heat oven to 400°F. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine coconut oil and maple syrup. Brush one side of each tortilla with coconut oil mixture, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, just until crisp. Allow to cool, then wrap in foil until ready to use.
- If using optional vegan whipped cream, prepare recipe; store in fridge until ready to use.
- When balls are frozen solid, proceed. Line a plate with two paper towels. In deep fryer or large, deep pot, add enough oil to submerge "ice cream" balls. Heat oil to 350°F. If using a pot and you don't have a thermometer, add a single kernel of popcorn to the oil; when it pops, the oil is ready. Remove balls from freezer and unwrap. Carefully submerge balls (one at a time if not using a deep fryer) into hot oil (use a large slotted spoon to hold the ball in the oil if not using a deep fryer) for 15 to 30 seconds. Place on paper towel to drain.
- Serve immediately on Crispy Cinnamon-Sugar Shells; garnish with optional extras.