Salted double chocolate ice cream

Salted double chocolate ice cream

You never realize how heavily you lean on someone until you kiss him goodbye and find yourself trapped in a running shower with no one to grab the face wash you always leave above the bathroom sink. When your bike tire goes flat and you’re forced to wheel it a mile and a half to the bike shop because you still don’t know how to replace a tube (and you’re too stubborn to take the bus). Or when you decide to paint the very small, 30 square foot entry way and not even a quarter of the way through taping the trim you give up because This is far too much work for one person (but really it had more to do with the fact that I picked an awful shade of Benjamin Moore sea green). I lean on him. I lean on him so heavily. Part of me wants to apologize for what appears to be a minor codependence, but part of me is over-the-moon thankful for the newfound appreciation.

On his first night out of town, I went to the mall. But it only took about 20 minutes of being surrounded by people walking aimlessly and more people with kids on leashes (seriously, WTF?) for me to realize that I didn’t need anything, I was just filling a void. So I left and took some of the money I saved at the mall and spent it on almondmilk and granola. I’m not usually the granola buying type because, not only is it insanely expensive, it’s stupidly easy to make at home – but I was feeling particularly lazy and I had a fierce granola craving, so I caved. I took the rest of the money I saved and spent it on a big bag of dirt and an assortment of overpriced succulents. Succulents my black thumb will probably end up killing within a matter of months, but that’s ok because I’ve learned to accept this cursed thumb as an inherent part of my being. And before you try sending me links on how to keep these hardy creatures alive: There is no amount of plant education capable of turning my thumb green. I’ve tried everything. Literally, everything.

I rode home with all my new plants and almondmilk and recently-mended tire, and I shoved handfuls of crunchy granola into my face as rain fell from the heavy sky. I parked my bike in the garage then hurried through the front door, where my first instinct was to shout HEY MISTER! but the absence of his favorite pair of Zuriicks quickly reminded me that I was alone. It was just me and the succulents and the flat screen, tonight.

Salted double chocolate ice creamWaffle conesCalifia Farms vanilla almondmilkSalted double chocolate ice creamSalted double chocolate ice creamSalted double chocolate ice cream

We put the television in the bedroom so that we’re less tempted to watch reruns of The Office or Rick Steves Europe. That’s a lie. We put the television in the bedroom because a) that 46” black mass is a total eye sore and b) we have an unusually large bedroom so it was only natural to turn part of it into a sitting area. We made a rule – rather, I made a rule – that we wouldn’t watch it in bed but what did I do the first night I hooked it up? I watched TV in bed. Shamelessly. I gathered all the pillows from around the house and threw them onto the freshly washed sheets, then climbed in with my recently shaved legs (shaved legs + clean sheets = heaven) and sat the bag of granola where Thom’s body would be and a bowl of ice cream went right in my lap. And my god, it was the most gloriously indulgent and relaxing night I’ve had in I don’t know how long. To be able to lay down the middle of the bed and not have to share the granola or ice cream or remote with anyone else? It was nice.

But now it’s Monday and I’d very much like to have Thom back home because there have been four straight nights of eating ice cream in bed. And although I could probably get used to it, I’d like to kiss him and thank him for leaving so that I could come to the realization that a) I can’t do everything on my own (although many times I prefer to think otherwise) and b) it’s ok to lean on someone, as long as you’re letting them lean on you, too.

Salted double chocolate ice creamSalted double chocolate ice creamSalted double chocolate ice cream

Notes: Using Califia Farms almondmilk is a pretty crucial component to this recipe, as they make their milk by pressing the almonds, not by blending them with water. This makes for an extremely smooth, ice crystal-free ice cream, which has not been the case when I’ve attempted frozen treats with other plant based milks. The number of dates you add will determine the sweetness of the ice cream. While I prefer it on the less-sweet side, some people may want something a bit more sugary so add up to six dates if you’d like. Or, if you’d prefer to avoid the whole date situation, replace the dates with 3-4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. If you don’t have full fat coconut milk, you can replace it with 3/4 cup of raw cashew pieces that have been soaked for at least four hours (although overnight is best if you’re using a normal blender). Simply add the soaked cashews to the blender at the same time you would add the coconut milk, but instead of blending the mixture for 15-30 seconds, you’ll want to blend it for upwards of 2 minutes (or until the mixture is completely smooth).

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions are my own, and I think Califia rules.


Ice cream base
4 ounces good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 cups Califia Farms vanilla almondmilk
1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
4-6 medjool dates, pitted

Mix ins
1 ounce good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cacao nibs, optional
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the chocolate and almondmilk. Cook until chocolate is completely melted then add the dates and cook for one additional minute. Transfer mixture to the base of a high speed bender, such as a Vitamix, then scoop the thick, white layer of coconut milk fat off the top of the can of refrigerated coconut milk and add that to the base; blend on high speed for 15-30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least four hours, or until thickened and chilled. Once ready, transfer the mixture the the bowl of your ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the ice cream starts to really thicken, add the mix ins and let the ice cream machine do it’s thing for another 5 minutes. Serve ice cream immediately  or transfer to a freezer safe container. Thaw for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Yield: 1 1/2 pints


  • Reply Ashley 30 June 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Your ice cream photos are THEE best! Always! I so hear you on this post. :) We only have 1 TV in our house and sometimes I wish it was in the bedroom so I could do the exact thing you talked about. This recipe sounds so so perfect. Love the mix of almond + coconut milk!

  • Reply Jess Jo 30 June 2014 at 9:27 AM

    I love this!!! What’s coconut milk fat? :)

    • Reply Ashlae 30 June 2014 at 9:11 PM

      Hi Jess Jo –

      It’s the the creamy white layer that separates itself from the coconut water and collects at the top of a can of refrigerated coconut milk. I added a link to a photo of it within the recipe. :)

  • Reply Lan | morestomach 30 June 2014 at 9:27 AM

    last week i decided to splurge on califia farm’s mocha at whole foods because i recognized the label from this space. i have since appealed, on twitter, to wegmans and mom’s organic market to carry their products, as they are the two markets closest to me. this isn’t to say i won’t trek it to WF for my fix.
    anyway, i know what you mean about leaning on someone, on doing random things that seem to be very independent but it’s so much more fun to do with a beloved, and the overwhelming thankfulness of having that someone to turn to.

  • Reply Jade Sheldon-Burnsed 30 June 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Ice cream can only fill up so much of that kind of void. Here’s to your love being back in your arms sooner rather than later…

  • Reply Maja 30 June 2014 at 10:19 AM

    YUM! I just don’t have any space left in my kitchen for another appliance.
    And I totally get it…these single evenings in bed with junk(-ish) food and junk(-ish) shows or movies are so good for the soul. But having him back after a few days is even better :)
    Also, malls are weird. Haha.

  • Reply Merissa 30 June 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Lovely post. I’m going through a breakup, and noticing where he is no longer, too. I’ll definitely try that recipe :)

  • Reply supal {chevrons & éclairs} 30 June 2014 at 11:14 AM

    I’ve seen so many ice cream posts as of late and it’s making me itch for an IC machine. And I know what you mean about leaning on someone. I dated someone for a little over a year and it was my first time I was in love and was so smitten with him. Over the course of 1 month we were apart (geographically), I realized I was so dependent on him and needed him that it made me scared. I was worried about very little things and had lost confidence in myself and my abilities. I decided that I needed to change that and he actually didn’t like it. After we broke up because of it, it was quite nice to get my ground back. I took the following summer off and backpacked on my own through Spain. I think it’s important that we learn to be alone, that time is precious. We’re here for you :) x

  • Reply Anze 30 June 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I got an ice cream maker of my own last week, so I now make organic ice cream for my family every day, so they don’t eat the crap from the supermarkets. I’m so making this ASAP aka in 15 minutes, but I think I’m going to add a bit of dark rum, since I always add a bit of alcohol. It prevents the ice cream from freezing completely. It will be a very peaceful run thinking about the ice cream that’s already in the machine just waiting for me to come home and taste it.

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 30 June 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Funny, I’m going through the same thing! My man left on Thursday and isn’t back until tomorrow and I have eaten so, so, much ice cream!! I dang well wish I had this flavour!

  • Reply Adrienne 30 June 2014 at 1:08 PM

    This looks so amazing. Thanks for the details about almond milk. I happen to already super love that brand ++++ shaved legs and cleans sheets do, in fact = heaven. I’m glad I’m not the only one who knows that.

  • Reply shanna mallon 30 June 2014 at 1:21 PM

    This post made me laugh out loud. You say so much of what I have felt with Tim, but you say it so good!

  • Reply Renee (will frolic for food) 30 June 2014 at 2:20 PM

    oh GIRL chillin and being lazy with granola and ice cream in bed with a great show is one of the best things in our modern, western cultured world. and daps for being on the califia farms train! i preach about it to all of my nut milk drinking friends. i didn’t know they pressed the almonds vs blending them. the texture is so much better than all of the other nut milks! and i love that they sweeten it w monkfruit. and this recipe… yum. sweetened w dates? perfect.

  • Reply Barb@ThatWasVegan? 30 June 2014 at 2:28 PM

    What a sweet post… both the sentiments AND the ice cream treat! I really do need to get off my butt and buy an ice cream maker…

  • Reply Medha @ Whisk & Shout 30 June 2014 at 2:59 PM

    My love for salted chocolate is literally eternal. And it’s always in warm brownies or cakes (which are amazing of course) that are a little too hot for summer. Cheers to ice cream and not turning on the oven! :)

  • Reply Alicia Webster 30 June 2014 at 3:37 PM

    What a gorgeous post, so well-written and lovely to read…I’m new to this blog…looking forward to reading more of your musings, and trying my hand at some of these recipes…thanks…

  • Reply Katie @ Butterlust 30 June 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Girl, I’m super impressed you were able to ride your bike with groceries AND dirt AND succulents. And I just pumped my tires for the first time ever (due to the absence of my manfriend) so don’t feel too bad about your tube codependence! Speaking of manfriends, mine is lactose intolerant and would go bonkers for this ice cream – beautiful work!

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  • Reply Meg 30 June 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Beautiful post! As I write this, I’m sitting in my empty apartment while my roommate is off on a road trip to Texas, missing her and our lovely nights full of kombucha, (vegan) ice cream cake and Girls re-runs. But, like you, I appreciate some things I can’t do when she’s home (ie. no pants, all the time). The ice cream looks absolutely DIVINE! I really need to invest in an ice cream maker because, seriously, vegans need them. For reals.

  • Reply Chrissy 30 June 2014 at 7:55 PM

    I just started using that brand of almond milk and love it. I was worried to use it in an ice cream base because of the crystals, but I’m happy to hear that when mixed with trusty coconut milk that won’t happen. I’m excited to try it with flavors where I don’t have to try and hide the coconut flavor (not that i dislike coconut but sometimes you don’t want to taste it, ya know?). And it’s raining out and I totally had ice cream and granola for dinner. #girlswhodowhattheywant :)

  • Reply Joyti 30 June 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Oh, but I think that vulnerable and slightly mutually co-dependent feeling is a good thing (something I really struggle with)…good for the relationship and building trust and all that jazz.

    The ice cream looks really delicious. I just recently tried Califia almond milk in a matcha latte. Delicious stuff :)

  • Reply Heather 30 June 2014 at 8:22 PM

    It’s always the shoes, isn’t it? Seeing the shoes when you walk in the front door really makes all the difference. I feel ya, girl. Enjoy your granola and succulents, and maybe even enjoy the flat tire. You know that thing people say about distance and the heart and all that stuff?

    Well, that. <3

  • Reply Kasey 30 June 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I could so relate to this post. Sometimes I think I’ve lost my ability to do things myself (like jumpstart my car, or hang up a picture frame) but it’s so nice to know you can lean on someone like that :) This ice cream…oh girrrll.

  • Reply Jess @ Sweet Menu 1 July 2014 at 4:18 AM

    Oh this looks incredible! I just want to grab a big spoonful!

  • Reply Yized | Prose & Chocolate 1 July 2014 at 5:15 AM

    This ice cream. OMG this ice cream! O_O

  • Reply Erica 1 July 2014 at 6:40 AM

    My partner recently went out of town on business and I’ve been feeling much of the same. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to eating dinner alone or going to bed without him each night, but it is nice to have this time to gain perspective and appreciate how fortunate we are just to be able to share our lives with other people. Savor your alone time.

    p.s. I hope you got to enjoy ice cream in bed for a fifth night in a row. ;) I think that’s a habit I’m going to have to pick up.

  • Reply Emma Harris 1 July 2014 at 3:04 PM

    I’ve recently found out I’m allergic to dairy, which is mortifying as an ice cream addict, your recipe has made me very happy

  • Reply Nik@ABrownTable 1 July 2014 at 5:27 PM

    I think you summarized my feelings so well, every time my husband is away I realize how thankful I am to have him in my life. BTW, I love Rick Steves’ show, though I also love almost anything that PBS televises. Now about that ice cream, it is freaking gorgeous!

  • Reply Erica 1 July 2014 at 5:33 PM

    I adore your writing. Can you just write, all day, every day? K thanks.

  • Reply Amy B in Portland 1 July 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Ashlae, Thank you a million thank youse (yes, I’m from Central PA) for sharing this recipe. Mine is ripening in the freezer as we speak. Thank you for giving the soaked cashew option for those of us who are not coconut fans. I can’t wait to dive into it tonite! Enjoy your solo time. Amy

    • Reply Amy B in Portland 1 July 2014 at 8:11 PM

      Wow, flavors are spot on. YUM! The texture was a little grainy. Could it be from using a regular blender (vs a Vitamix- style appliance)? Using cashews instead of coconut fat? Would love your feedback. Thanks again Ashlea!

      • Reply Ashlae 1 July 2014 at 8:38 PM

        Hi Amy –

        Happy you like it! How long did you soak the cashews? If using a normal blender, as opposed to one that’s high speed, the longer you soak them the less grainy the end result will be. I recommend a minimum of 12 hours, but 24 would be best.

  • Reply Sarah @ SnixyKitchen 2 July 2014 at 12:28 AM

    OMG Can I relate to realizing how much you need that someone when he’s out of town and you drop the milk on the floor and while you’re cleaning it, you knock over a glass, and now the cats are both tiptoeing through the shards across the dining room. So instead you leave it and go eat ice cream (wow – this ice cream looks delish). And stay up way past your bedtime because apparently he’s the only reason you go to bed at a reasonable hour. The ice cream is good, but I agree – it’s nice to have someone to lean on.

  • Reply Amanda - A Cookie Named Desire 2 July 2014 at 1:36 PM

    In my relationships, the only time I was apart from my SO was when we were no longer together. That changed with my most recent ex, who I had a child with. We were separated geographically and by force due to visa reasons. It was earth shattering when I realized how much I needed him, and devastatingly heart-breaking knowing how far away he is and that it would be a long time before I would ever see him again (3 1/2 years on and we still haven’t seen each other). We eventually ended things because I needed to be able to mentally move forward.

    The ice cream looks amazing. The recipe looks so nice and simple, which I love. This is definitely a great ice cream to eat while watching netflix any day :)

  • Reply Kathryn 3 July 2014 at 2:38 AM

    Ha, yeah been there, done that. I’m pretty sure I regress about 10 years whenever my OH is away for a few days and there are definitely more ice cream in bed situations than is probably healthy. There is so much truth in the old adage that absence makes the heart grown fonder – even if only because you realise how much you hate taking out the trash.

  • Reply Elenore 4 July 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Ah..your way with words.. or more like.. your way with words that describe your relationship. I’m so in love with all that you are, lady! pure genius! Also, watch as much tv in bed accompanied by ice cream and enjoy being alone (enjoy the hell out of it). If you two make those tall gorgeous babies together you’ll find yourself longing for a big ol’ flatscreen and a double chocolate ice cream batch.

    Also consider that’s an invitation to come over to Sweden.

    Sorry for my rambling but you’re awesome :)

  • Reply Jessica 5 July 2014 at 9:37 AM

    gorgeous ice cream shots, as always! what do you use to edit your pictures? they always look wonderful :)

  • Reply Megan Colbourne 10 July 2014 at 10:52 AM

    what ice cream maker do you recommend and where do you suggest buying it and where do you buy your ingredients?

    • Reply Ashlae 10 July 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Hi Megan –

      I use this 2QT Cuisinart ice cream maker and really love it. I buy all of my ingredients from Whole Foods or Natural Grocers. If you don’t have those stores in your area, any natural grocery store should have most of the ingredients I use, too.

  • Reply Natalie 10 July 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Hi Ashlae! What kind of ice cream maker do you use? I’ve been having horrible issues with ice cream freezing as. hard. as. a. rock. I think it might be my sub par kitchen aid mixer attachment ice cream maker (it doesn’t aerate for anything) and I’m in the market for a higher end one. Thanks!

    • Reply Ashlae 10 July 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Hi Natalie –

      I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker and linked it in the comment above. :) I’ve tried the KitchenAid stand mixer attachment and wasn’t a fan – I definitely recommend replacing it.

      • Reply Natalie 11 July 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Thank you, Ashlae! I can’t wait to upgrade- I have so many ideas for coconut milk based ice creams and the attachment mixer just ain’t cutting it :)

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  • Reply Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate 11 July 2014 at 10:18 PM

    It’s like you made this ice cream just for me! Salt and chocolate will forever be my favourite flavour combo.

  • Reply Thalia @ butter and brioche 13 July 2014 at 11:26 PM

    YUM! could definitely use a couple of scoops of this ice cream right about now, love it! thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Melanie 14 July 2014 at 10:15 AM

    I made this for a BBQ this past weekend and it was a big hit. When I first tasted it a couple days before the BBQ, I seriously considered not serving it so I could save it all for myself. A couple friends said it’s the best non-dairy ice cream they’ve ever had. This is my new go-to ice cream recipe. Thank you!

  • Reply Melissa @ Treats With a Twist 14 July 2014 at 11:40 AM

    I totally feel you. My husband travels for 2 weeks or so almost every month, and its awful. Sometimes I drive 5 hours to go lay around my parents house while he’s gone. And I do the store bought granola cave while he’s gone too.

  • Reply Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño 14 July 2014 at 2:19 PM

    This ice cream! With medjool dates nonetheless, can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Mary 15 July 2014 at 6:29 PM

    I’m really interested in making this but I have no icecream maker! I have a very small apartment so getting one just isn’t practical. I do have a Vitamix, and an electric beater. Is there a way I can make this without an icecream maker?

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  • Reply Monique 5 August 2014 at 3:31 PM

    No SUGAR! Well, heck, I am in on this recipe. Thank you…

  • Reply Deborah 22 August 2014 at 4:54 AM

    Hi what brand of ice cream maker did you use to get this masterpiece?!

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  • Reply Aleksandra 31 January 2015 at 12:16 PM

    yum <3

  • Reply Natalia 6 March 2015 at 2:39 AM

    OMG! Love the photography! In love with this ice cream!

  • Reply emily 5 April 2015 at 3:22 PM

    Ashlae — I made this once and ate the entire container (standing up) in my kitchen. Totally amazing. Last night I made the base again — this time without the chocolate (I’m making mint chip). The mixture has been sitting about 24 hours in the fridge but isn’t setting the way the chocolate mixture did (it was mousse-like; this almost looks like a broken aioli, though it tastes just fine). I’m wondering a) if I could’ve blended it too long in the Vitamix and b) whether it’ll matter once it’s in the ice cream machine? Let me know if you have any ideas/tips/thoughts!


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  • Reply Rose 25 January 2016 at 3:54 PM

    Hi Ashlae,

    Is it necessary to have an ice cream maker to make this one? Or will your blender –> ice cube tray –> blender method work for this as well?

    • Reply Ashlae 26 January 2016 at 5:47 AM

      Hi Rose –

      It’ll work but it’s not nearly as creamy. Still delicious, though. :)

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  • Reply Kat 11 August 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Hi. I can’t seem to figure out how to work my ice cream maker, so I was wondering if you have a vegan ice cream recipe that requires no ice cream maker. I love all your recipes especially those blueberry almond ones. My friends all loved them! Thanks!

  • Reply Aimee 29 June 2017 at 4:11 PM

    While I love my other half, I do love having more than half the bed to myself….also not having someone there to judge me for eating ice cream in bed…

    Pictures are gorgeous, as usual :)

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