Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Chunk & Coconut Ice Cream

ice cream close up

StrudelSummertime is here, and in my world that’s not defined not as bathing suit season, but rather, as ice cream season (I understand these are not mutually exclusive items, but but I like to keep them separate in my head). During the summer months, I like to find whatever excuse I can to try my hand at new flavors… happily, we went to dinner at our friend’s house this weekend, so I got an opportunity.


We’ve got some good pals, Aimee and Will, and they have a gorgeous baby girl. Since they’ve had their daughter and it’s become harder to go out to dinner, so we’ve come up with a system of getting together – they provide the house, the wine, and the appetizers, and we bring dinner and dessert. It’s actually pretty perfect, because I get to cook but don’t have to clean my house.


Before I go on, though, a disclosure about this recipe: it was entirely my dad’s idea. 100% created by Dad. We were having a lengthy conversation about ice cream, and I was strategizing flavors when Dad said, “You know what sounds good? Coconut ice cream. With macadamia nuts. Ooohh… and chocolate!” And thus, the flavor was born.




guide to CCM


The key to this deliciousness is steeping the coconut in the vanilla base, so that it’s creamy, rich, and full of flavor. The nuts and chocolate chunks add great texture and flavor. My dad is a smarty-pants (and David Lebovitz’s is pretty smart, too).


Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Chunk and Coconut Ice Cream

recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop

idea by my dad



1 cup dried shredded or flaked coconut, preferably unsweetened

1 cup milk (David recommends whole milk, I used 2%)

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

Big pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

5 large egg yolks

1/2 cup chocolate chunks

1/2 cup unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped into bite-sized pieces



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring it frequently so it toasts evenly. Remove it from the oven when it’s nice and fragrant and golden brown.


2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt and add the toasted coconut. Use a paring knife and scrape all the vanilla seeds into the warm milk, then add the pod as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.


3. Rewarm the coconut-infused mixture. Set a mesh strainer over another medium saucepan and strain the coconut-infused liquid through the strainer into the saucepan. Press down on the coconut very firmly with a flexible rubber spatula to extract as much of the flavor from it as possible. Remove the vanilla bean halves (rinse and reserve them for another use), and discard the coconut.


4. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set the mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.


5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Pour the custard into a freezer ziplock bag, squeezing all the air out before sealing. Submerge the bag in an ice bath for 30-45 minutes until mixture is cold.


6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.




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