Mooz. Remember that name should you ever venture to tropical Cairns, far North Queensland in Australia. We’ve spent most lunches and pre-diners having a scoop or two or more of their luscious, silky and creamy ice-cream. In spite of their amazing offerings we managed to be unfaithful to them twice when we visited a random gelato place offering additional flavours and on a different occasion we went to Mövenpick to try their salted caramel and Swiss chocolate ice-cream. But quite honestly, they didn’t match in any way Mooz ice-cream, thus why we’ve returned from our holidays a little bit heavier than when we left.
I’ve always enjoyed ice-cream. From a very young age I would queue up at the local lodziarnia (ice-cream place in Polish) to enjoy my favourite flavours. The cones would be different to the ones we have these days. But the taste was always amazing. And the more the traditional the ice-creams the better they tasted. Over the years I’ve somewhat lost interest in ice-cream. The fault to the industrial brands that monopolise the fridge of major supermarkets. Traditional gelato or ice cream shops are rare in Melbourne, unless of course you travel to specific suburbs, mainly with a big Italian community. So now every time I travel overseas I try to taste at least one ice-cream throughout my visit. Salted Caramel is my favourite but not everyone get it right.
This week I was particularly excited to find out that the main theme was ice-cream. The main reason was that it would allow me to dust off my ice-cream maker machine that has been sitting, unused, in my garage for over a year and half now. Before that it was at a friend’s place, yet again unused for more than a year. My husband is always burning my ears with his “return on investment” jargon. Not sure if he is really interested in getting a “return” or it’s all about me making ice-cream at home more often. I tend to think it’s the latter. During the holidays he would generally clean up mine and my daughter’s ice-cream cone after having eaten his. And then he would complain that he has eaten too much. Ironic!
For this week’s challenge I had in mind to make a pistachio ice-cream. There was, indeed, no other flavour that crossed my mind. Now you might think: “hold on a sec she said earlier that salted caramel was her favourite!” and you might be right to think this way. Salted caramel was my favourite until Mooz! Every day I would have a combination of flavours for my two scoops but one of them would always have to be the pistachio ice-cream. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed eating it up north in Cairns and it was only logical for me to attempt at recreating those relaxing flavours. At the same time, after having eaten ice-cream everyday and being right back on my diet again, I thought I would try a healthier option. One with reduced fat, if possible vegan and with at least one ingredients that I haven’t used or tasted before in an ice-cream.
The vegan option would come in the form or pistachio and coconut milk and the quirky unusual flavour would be cardamom. I’ve got cracking at making this particular ice-cream from Friday night, soaking the pistachios and preparing the ice-cream maker bowl. I’ve got one of those machines where the bowl needs to be stored in a freezer for at least 12 hours before used. The ice-cream was made on Saturday but I still had to let it set for overnight to make sure it tasted fantastic. But this was without thinking that my husband would come up with this “fantastic idea” or making one more ice-cream so that we can play with the contrast in colours when taking pictures. So here I was, soon after diner, preparing another lot of ice-cream, salted caramel this time. Everything was going according to plan until I poured the mixture into the ice-cream maker! I had it in the bowl in the freezer for 3 hrs and thought that it would be enough to get it up and running. Unfortunately the instructions were very clear and 12 hrs it is and 12 hrs it should be resting in the freezer.
Anyhow I had to put everything back in the freezer, move the salted caramel mixture in the fridge and wait for Sunday morning to give it another go. In the meantime we were invited for dinner (brunch) at our friend’s place. To make a long story short, I ran out of time to complete the other ice-cream. So in line with my original idea, I’ve gone all in with my pistachio cardamom and coconut ice-cream. I taste absolutely amazing not too sweet but very creamy and soft on the tongue and the fact that I’ve left some rough bits of the pistachio it take plays a fantastic music on your taste buds. As for the cardamom you can definitely smell it but it’s very subtle on the tongue and is quite pleasant to be honest.
Good luck to everyone.
I hope you enjoy it!
- 255g unsalted shelled pistachios
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 3.4 cups Coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Rose Water
- 8 tbsp Maple syrup (or Agave syrup)
- Soak pistachios in water for at least four hours, then drain the soak water. Blend the pistachios with 90 ml of coconut milk in a high-speed blender until a smooth mixture is formed. Set aside.
- Use another 90 ml of coconut milk to mix with cornstarch. Whisk thoroughly until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
- Pour the rest of coconut milk into a sauce pan on medium-low heat. Add cardamom, maple syrup (or agave syrup) and salt. Stir constantly to make sure everything is fully dissolved.
- Add the pistachios mixture and the cornstarch mixture into the sauce pan and whisk gently until mixture is well combined.
- Continue to cook for 5-8 mins, until the coconut milk mixture is thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon, then remove from the heat. Never bring the coconut mixture to boil.
- Add rose water into the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a container. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature before refrigerating. Cover the container and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Remove the container from the fridge. Add the mixture into the ice-cream machine and start the machine. Depending on your ice-cream machine, it normally takes about 20-30 minutes until the mixture is creamy and has the texture of soft ice cream.
- Transfer the mixture into a freezer container, cover the mixture with a sheet of baking paper to prevent the surface from forming ice crystals. Freeze the mixture for at least 4 hours before serving.
- If the ice cream is too hard, wait for a few minutes, then serve.