in my quest for non-dairy ice cream alternatives, as well as random flavors, i made use of a can of coconut milk and my kinda sorta not really favorite spice: anise. to be clear, i don't like licorice, it's a pungent flavor that coats my tongue. but. i love fennel. i mean, really love it, it has a faint licorice taint to it. which i suppose translates to the fact that i like things subtle and minimal: my wardrobe consists of blacks/whites/greys, i rarely wear accessories, my makeup habits as of late has been a naked face (except for last week when, hello 15yr old self, a growth took residence on my chin. don't you hate that?) and i will always choose a simple, crisp white sheet of paper to write letters on over frilly, lace-infested stationary.
nuria once described asian cuisine as complex in flavor, layers upon layers of taste bud inducing orgasms -- oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, sour, sweet -- sometimes all in one dish. she is used to the simplicity of Mediterranean flavors: light use of olive oil and maybe a dash of sea salt. there you have it, i am minimal in appearance but i love my food bold in flavor -- except for that dratted licorice flavor.
so this coconut anise ice cream batch i made last week was supposed to be tummy-friendly, easy, simple and above all else: subtle. can i be clear again? it wasn't. i tasted the hell out of the anise, it made me wrinkle my nose in dislike. however, nuria loved it. she enjoyed the icy particles of the dessert, brought on by the fact that the fridge was set too high and the custard partially froze prior to being added to the ice cream maker, an accidental occurrence. she also thought the anise hint was subtle, so subtle in fact, that she couldn't identify the flavor until i told her what i had used and she was like, aha! i rated this creation a failure and she thought it was one of my better desserts. i think i'll just stick to the usual ice cream flavors for awhile.
Coconut Anise Ice Cream
1 can of coconut milk, full fat
1/4 cup organic sugar
2/3 cup water
4 egg yolks
8 whole star anise
in a small sauce pan heat up the coconut milk with the star anise, bring to boil, remove from heat and leave to infuse until cool.
in another pan, make the simple syrup with the sugar and water. in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and slowly trickle in the hot syrup, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes thick. pour in the infused coconut milk thru a strainer and continue to whisk.
refrigerate at least 2 hours or better yet, over night. pour cold custard in ice cream maker according to machine directions.