Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Low Carb Garam Masala and Cinnamon Cauliflower Ice Cream

This wild new flavor combination was created by the Salt & Straw. Here’s how they describe it on their website:
Whoa. Who’s that smolderingly sexy vegetable sitting all alone at the bar? Unlikely as it seems, this flavor has fast become one of our all-time favorites, and a righting of the ship of the sometimes dowdy reputation of cauliflower. In this incarnation, it is devastatingly provocative, funky, and spicy, and it makes you feel personally emboldened. We roast the cauliflower to a dark golden amber color, bringing out the sweetness, then we add a custom blend of cinnamony garam masala, and then we just let the sparks fly.
I have no idea how the folks at the Salt & Straw make this ice cream, so I’m going to wing it the best that I can. I like the idea of roasting the cauliflower since that ought to bring out a lot of flavor. I’m making an unseasoned cauliflower mash, but with almond milk added to make it a less viscous purée. I’ll use my Low Carb 11.5% Fat Philadelphia-style Ice Cream Base and substitute the purée for three-quarters of the almond milk. The recipe is going to be a little loosey-goosy since there’s no standard size for a head of cauliflower. (I ended up with about 460 g of roasted cauliflower in the food processor.) Cauliflower is known as a low carb staple, but a whole head of it does have a surprising amount of sugar.

I’ve had excellent luck with Watkins Garam Masala. I use it to make sugar-free spiced pecans all the time. I’m guessing Salt & Straw uses more cinnamon than what’s usually in a typical garam masala, hence the name of this ice cream. I use two tablespoons of spice due to the whey protein in the ice cream base.

Salt & Straw posted this on Instagram:

Butter, cinnamon and masala roasted cauliflower.

I assume they seasoned the cauliflower rather than add the spices directly to the mix. Pictures of the ice cream on the website seems to confirm this hypothesis. I can’t claim that my recipe tastes like the original, but I really like what I made! It’s boldly sweet with a spicy kick.


Roasted cauliflower purée

(recipe makes more than what’s needed to make a quart of ice cream)

1 head cauliflower
Olive oil (a fruity blend like Cabeço das Nogueiras or Arbequina) or melted butter
1 cup (242 g) unsweetened almond milk or equivalent

Ice cream

1½ cups (363 g) roasted cauliflower purée
½ cup (121 g) unsweetened almond milk or equivalent
2 tablespoons Truvia
Big pinch salt
1 level scoop (36 g) unflavored whey protein isolate
1 level scoop (28 g) unflavored micellar casein
28 drops EZ-Sweetz
3 tablespoons (57 g) vegetable glycerin
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or ½ teaspoon Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup (238 g) heavy cream


  1. Roasted cauliflower purée: Preheat oven to 400 °F. Cut cauliflower into florets and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter and toss so that the florets are lightly coated.

    Cauliflower coated in oil or butter.

  2. Spread the florets on a silicone covered baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly brown.

    Roasted cauliflower.

  3. Put roasted cauliflower into a food processor and run it on high using the s-blade until completely puréed.

    Puréed roasted cauliflower.

    Add almond milk and purée again using the food processor. It should have the consistency of very loose mashed cauliflower.

    Puréed roasted cauliflower with almond milk.

  4. Add 1½ cups (363 g) of the cauliflower purée to the the 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Store the rest for another batch in the refrigerator.
  5. Ice Cream: Add all the ingredients except the heavy cream to the 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Beat with an electric mixer at maximum speed for approximately one minute.
  6. Add the heavy cream and stir with a silicone spatula gently. Do not use an electric mixer while the heavy cream is cold.
  7. Transfer mix to a small pot (preferably non-stick) and heat on medium to medium-high while constantly stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot using a heat resistant silicone spatula. Monitor the temperature. When it reaches 161 °F, lower the heat, start a cooking timer, and keep stirring for five more minutes. Do not allow the temperature get much hotter or cooler. Remove pot from the heat source temporarily while stirring, if needed.
  8. Transfer mix back to the 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup and beat with an electric mixer at maximum speed for approximately five minutes.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight.
  10. Remove from the refrigerator. The mix will be thick and slightly gelatinous. Stir by hand with a silicone spatula or whisk before transferring to the ice cream maker. The mix should be homogeneous.

Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.

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