About a month ago we had a slight … incident … with an egg. No-one got sick, no-one swore off eggs completely, but we decided to take a break for a bit. They are not always refrigerated in stores here and that can get a slightly disconcerting especially when the weather turns warm. Case in point: DW had picked up an enormous flat from the little market across the street when I needed some and they were fine (I’d forgotten about the whole refrigeration issue in the moment so used them without a qualm. Err.). Turns out, it depends on the origin of your egg as to when they should be put in the fridge and how long they can stay out. When I bought my bi-weekly dozen at the Fillmore Farmer’s Market from the guy who became my friend over the many years I went there, I never much thought about how long the eggs had been sitting outside. I put them in the fridge when I got home and all was always well; perhaps I was naive but I trusted his family’s farm. But here — I don’t know. Are the eggs organic? What does that even mean in Morocco? And how long have the dubious-looking eggs on the shelves in Carrefour been sitting out there? Are they OK to use?
Anyway, those eggs from the nearby market may have been as organic and free range as they come (we didn’t ask) and in any case they tasted and looked great. But the second time we picked up a flat … let’s just say they were not as healthy and leave it at that. I had made a sort of brown rice and vegetable risotto for dinner and fried up a few eggs for a hit of protein but when it came time to eat them my occasional weird egg-aversion cropped up and I just couldn’t. Something seemed off. DW felt a little funny after eating his. And so I’ve used eggs sparingly since — and if we’ve bought them we’ve gotten them from the refrigerated offerings at Marjane — just until I feel better about them (if I do). Basically — bummer, man. Oh well.
But after all there are many, many vegan or egg-free things to make and enjoy and I’ve been doing so as much as possible, including this really surprisingly good chocolate ice ‘cream’ with a swirl of peanut butter that I made last week.
I used coconut milk in place of milk or cream and there was no custard base, which – yes! – meant no eggs. And not only is it an easier ice cream to make but because you use coconut milk it’s still very, very rich tasting (if you go for that). Initially I was worried it would taste too coconutty, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the dark chocolate flavor definitely overrides it. I will mention, however, that there is still a coconut vibe going on so if you absolutely and truly hate coconut try soy or almond milk here, though I will then mention that it won’t be quite as creamy because those don’t have the same fat content as coconut milk. (It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: please don’t use ‘lite’ coconut milk.)
It’s a breezy day here in Casablanca and I’m propping my eyes open with a late cup of tea after Sierra’s multiple wakings last night. I have lentils going on the stove, and a pot of roasted tomato sauce. I made a batch of granola earlier with dried cherries and cranberries, walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin, sunflower, and chia seeds, all bound together with olive oil and maple syrup. I’m thinking about what to make for dinner and feeling in decent shape both for the coming week and my parents’ visit in a few days. And I still have a bit of this ice cream stashed in the freezer so — I think I’m set.
As I like, this is not too sweet and with a nice hint of peanut butter hiding behind the velvety chocolate. Omit the peanut butter for a traditional chocolate ice cream, or add more chopped bittersweet chocolate or chips during the churning process.
2 cups full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
In a medium heavy bottom saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, then remove from heat. Stir in the chopped semisweet chocolate and the vanilla, let sit for a minute, and then whisk very well to melt the chocolate.
Place mixture in the refrigerator until very cold, or preferably over night.
Whisk the maple syrup into the peanut butter and make the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. When ice cream is about half-way churned, drizzle in the peanut butter mixture. Place in freezer and freeze until firm.