Tag Archives: dairy-free ice cream

Mini Pastry Puff Banana Splits with Dairy-Free Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Brent Herrig, 2012

I love food, I love to eat, and I love to host.

So my FoodBuzz 24×24 Gluten-Free Puff Pastry Party was a whole lot of fun.

But no matter the occasion, I always scheme up dessert first.  I want my desserts to look pretty and be layered with as many flavors and texures as possible.  A friend at the party (a private chef whose job I may be taking over) told me my savory flavors are spot on but I have to work on my plating.  Rightly so.  I find cooking as comfort and, while I savor the artistry in what others do with it, it’s medicine and sustenance to me.  Dessert is where I play.

I wanted two gluten and dairy free dessert recipes for my shindig, and decided on tiny takes of both a banana split and a strawberry shortcake.

Both results made me extremely happy.  Like, tiny dance of joy when no one was looking happy.  They’re incredibly simple, and nostalgically delightful.

As spring has finally come to NYC, it was also time to store the crockpot and bring out my little ice cream churner, a yearly move I always look forward to.  I decided on a dairy-free mint chocolate chip ice cream for this go around, but my Coffee, Honeybun or Pomegranate Lime variations would be fun too – all dairy-free, of course.  And the basic coconut milk to egg mixture and method would obviously work with a whole slew of flavors.


Brent Herrig © 2012

Gluten-Free Mini Puff Pastry Banana Split

Makes 12 mini splits


  • 1/2 recipe gluten-free puff pastry
  • 1 recipe Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream (recipe follows)
  • 2 bananas, cut into thirds lengthwise and then into six wedges
  • nuts, chocolate chips and fruit for garnishing

Um, you know how to make a banana split, right?  Have fun tossing things together.  I used a small cookie scoop to portion out the ice cream, with two scoops on each split.  Adorable.

Dairy-Free Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk (about 3 cups)
  • 8 yolks from large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch,
  • 1 3oz bar of dark, dairy-free chocolate, chopped (I used Endangered Species, which I love)


In a bowl, beat the egg yolk with the honey.

In a medium pot, bring 3/4 of the coconut milk up to a steam / very low simmer, then turn off heat.  Temper the egg yolk by slowly whisking in some hot coconut milk, about 2 Tbsp at a time, until it’s thoroughly warmed (basically you’re trying to heat the eggs without cooking them).  Add the egg mixture to the milk, and begin to heat on low.  Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining coconut milk, then whisk into the egg/milk mixture.  Whisk in extracts and salt.  Continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken into a soft custard, about 5-8 minutes.  It won’t get fully thick, but should get to the point where it will coat a spoon.

Remove to a bowl and chill until thoroughly cold.

Add to ice cream maker and churn until thick, about 20 minutes, adding the chopped chocolate as soon as the mixture begins to thicken and freeze.  Remove to freezer until frozen.

GF Honey Layer Cake inspired by Once Upon a Mattress

Layers of downy gluten-free cake with fruit-laden creams

“I come from the land of the foggy, foggy dew ooh-ooh-ooh!
Ooh-ooh-ooh! Ooh-ooh-ooh!
Where walking through the meadow in the morning is like walking through glue!
The swamps of home are brushed with green and gold at break of day.
The swaps of home are lovely to behold from far away.”

So sings Winnifred, the heroine of Once Upon a Mattress, the musical based on the fairy-tale The Princess and the Pea.  I first discovered Sarah Jessica Parker’s recording when in high school, and fell for the slapstick comedy and crazy belting of the tiny star.  Then I heard Carol Burnett tackle it in the original recording.  For any gal who grew up reading princess fairy tales, this one kicks butt; a story of a princess so genuine all fall in love with her for her crass attitude, humble upbringing, huge heart, and ability to drink and dance them under the table.

This recipe was inspired by Kelly at IngestedRead, a submission for her September Fairytale Challenge of The Princess and the Pea. She originally inspired me to utilize whatever I was reading into a recipe (and so created my smoky, sexy American noir Big Sleep Cupcakes) as she does on her blog across the pond.  In turn I evidently inspired her to open a page up to her readers and blogging friends.  Please check her out – what’s better than books and sweet things?

So in daydreaming about this recipe I obviously thought of layering a gluten-free cake with, well, something.  And while I wasn’t about to use real peas or kill my blood-sugar by making little ones out of fondant, I figured I could incorporate pea-like ingredients.

Pomegranate seeds.  Yes.

And blueberries.

Oh, and I have some dried cranberries and ground walnuts on my shelf.  Perfect.

So I whipped up this moist, slightly-sweet honey cake with a blend of rice flours and starches, using the basic method that I used when making my Little Red Velvet Cupcakes.  A few days before I had made some Pomegranate Lime Coconut Milk Ice Cream – completely dairy free, it’s smooth, creamy and delicately citrusy – one of my new favorite ice creams on its own, adding just the amount of cold-creamy-sweetness I wanted for this dessert.  I also whipped up some coconut milk whipped cream, and layered them all together in a trifle glass with some fresh blueberries and pomegranate seeds.

Result?  Let’s just say I’m one happy allergy-ridden gal.  It’s extremely rare that I get a more complex dessert that I can eat all of.  Cookies and cupcakes are great and all, but this has everything I love about dessert: ice cream, fruit and whipped cream (one of my favorite things on the planet are those Italian tarts with custard and glazed fruit, which I miss horribly), and a not-too-sweet cake.  Put them all together and it feels special.  Not the fanciest combinations of desserts in the world, but one that makes me extremely happy.

View from my window

Oh, and the princess of the swamp was definitely channeled today as I took these pictures: I took the ice cream out to defrost, took the dog on a quick walk and returned to a black sky and pouring rain, making it impossible to take exciting photos.  I was miffed.

But it didn’t stop me from enjoying the crap outta the subject matter after.


Mmmmm... cake...

Check out my post on Pomegranate Lime Ice Cream for that recipe and how to make coconut milk whipped cream.


  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar, white sugar or sucanat
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 rounded tablespoons Tofutti “sour cream”
  • almond or soy milk (directions below)
  • 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp distilled white vinegar, separated
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda.


  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Butter / spray your desired cake pan of choice
  • Add Tofutti cream cheese to a liquid measuring cup and fill to just shy of one cup with almond or soy milk.  Whisk thoroughly with a fork until smooth.  Add 1 Tbsp white vinegar and continue mixing.
  • In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt thoroughly.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix sugar, honey and oil thoroughly on medium speed.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Turn speed down to low.  Add the flour in three additions, alternating with 1/2 of the milk.  Make sure to mix thoroughly between additions.
  • Mix baking soda and remaining 2 tsps vinegar until foamy.  Add and beat for 10 seconds or until incorporated.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before removing to cool on a rack, or cool completely in pans.
  • To assemble, use a round cookie cutter (fitted to whatever serving glass you’re going to be serving in) to cut the cake out in circles.  Half the cake length-wise (or in thirds depending on the thickness of your cake – you want thin layers).  Place one layer of cake in the glass, then top with whipped cream and few fresh blueberries.  Add another layer of cake and then some ice cream.  Then a final layer of cake with a jot of whipped cream and some fresh pomegranate seeds.
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