Once you taste this ice-cream you will not believe that it is vegan. It is so creamy! The lucuma powder really gives it an amazing ice-cream flavour and texture, no wonder lucuma flavoured ice-cream is the most popular flavour in Peru, more popular than chocolate!
The lucuma fruit is native to Peru. It has a maple like flavour, and while it can be eaten raw it is mainly used in puree or powder form in desserts and drinks. It has even been labelled as a superfood! It can be used as a natural sweetener, is full of healthy carbohydrates, very high in fibre, and has been used for centuries in South America as a natural healing medicine for its antibiotic properties.
I loved the lucuma ice-creams so much while I was in Peru, I used to treat myself to one every Sunday night (I was on a budget), while I was working in a hostel over there. It came in the form of a Cornetto cone, swirled with dulce de leche and topped with chopped nuts, amazing! Half the fun was the act of buying the ice-cream too….think, 120kg Peruvian security gaurd/drug dealer, fast asleep in a plastic chair, with a ukulele resting on his ample stomach, not too happy to be awoken at 10pm on a Sunday night to unlock the ice-cream freezer. Haha
2 cups raw cashews, soaked
1 cup lucuma powder
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
2 cups cold water
3/4 cup cacao nibs
Place all ingredients, except cacao nibs, in a food processor and process until very smooth, about 10 mins. (to make it extra smooth and creamy, I transferred the mixture into another bowl and finished it off with a stick blender). Stir through the cacao nibs. Place in the freezer for about 5 hours or overnight.
Chocolate Fudge Sauce
17 Medjool dates, soaked for at least 2 hours, drained, liquid reserved, seeds removed
1 cup almond milk, or other nut milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 1/2 tsp cacao powder
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Use reserved date soaking liquid to bring to the desired consistency.
Take the ice-cream out of the freezer about half and hour before serving, to allow it to soften to a nice creamy consistency (depending on the air temperature). Serve topped with choc fudge sauce, chopped hazelnuts and fresh berries.