Coconut Turtle Ice Cream


Coconut Turtle Ice Cream

Growing up I always asked my mom to make ridiculous, random cakes for my birthday. In return for that, this year my mom asked me to make her a chocolate turtle ice cream and to put coconut in it. I took her request, but my mom says it best: “You’re like a wedding dress designer. You take what people ask you to do and reinterpret it.” My spin on this request is to make the ice cream coconut flavored. I’ll then add her favorite chocolate turtle candy, from scratch caramel sauce, chopped Ghirardelli chocolate, and some pecans to deliver her birthday treat.

Ice cream is a complex microstructure. If one were to zoom in on the structure, it would be apparent that ice cream is ice and air that is embedded in an unfrozen sugar solution. In its frozen state, ice cream is 50% air, 30% ice, 15% sugar matrix, and 5% fat. The air is incorporated into the ice cream via stirring/whipping the custard while it is freezing. This leads to a final product that has twice the volume of the initial custard.

The ice aspect of ice cream is the most vital because ice cream by definition is a frozen dessert. As the liquid in ice cream freezes, the nonfrozen matrix becomes more concentrated. The reason ice cream does not completely freeze is because the more molecules/the more saturated a solution is the lower the melting point becomes. The ice formation creates a matrix so concentrated that normal freezer conditions are not cold enough to turn the matrix to ice.

The unfrozen matrix is where the flavor of ice cream is located. The sugars and the flavoring compounds are integrated into the matrix to give the ice cream flavor. This matrix is super-concentrated, but the air and ice phases dilutes the mixture on the taste buds because the matrix is a much smaller percentage of the total weight of the ice cream.

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1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cup of whole milk
6 whole eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup of caramel (divided)
Optional- 2 oz chocolate, 4 chocolate turtle pieces, 2 oz pecans (or desired amount)


  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, scald coconut milk, whole milk, ¼ cup of caramel, salt, and vanilla. Whisk the eggs and sugar. Temper the milk mixture into the eggs. Then bring the custard to 170 degrees F on the stove top. Strain the custard into a medium sized bowl then allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Then move the bowl to the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Follow the directions on your ice cream freezer to make the ice cream. Then freeze at least 1 hour. Fold the remaining caramel sauce into the ice cream along with the optional ingredients. Then freeze for 3 hours at least.