Bourbon Salted Chocolate-Pecan Cluster Nice Cream
Yield: 4+ servings
This one is for my grandparents, who loved their bourbon, and their sweets. If you don’t love a boozy kiss in a dessert, simply leave out the bourbon.
  • ½ cup (50 g) raw pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Two pinches cayenne pepper
  • Two pinches ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 3 cups (720 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch/flour
  • One 3-ounce (85 g) dark chocolate bar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together the pecans, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup ¼ teaspoon of the salt, cinnamon, cayenne, and cardamom until the pecans are coated. Scatter on the baking sheet and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove from the baking sheet and cool in the fridge.
  2. Press the vanilla bean pod so it lies flat on a cutting board. Carefully slice down its entire length with a sharp knife and open. Use the back of your knife to scrape out the caviar-like seeds and toss into a large pot. Heat the pot to medium-high and whisk together the coconut milk, the remaining 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup, oil, bourbon, arrowroot, and ¼ teaspoon salt until velvety smooth and starting to simmer. Remove from the heat and chill for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge, until thoroughly cool.
  3. Melt the chocolate bar over a double boiler and toss the pecans in the chocolate until coated. Cool in the fridge; chop into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Process the chilled milk mixture in an ice cream maker until firm but stirrable. Transfer to a freezable container and fold in the pecan clusters until evenly distributed but maintain swirls and chunks. Freeze for 1 to 3 hours, until firm. Thaw to scoopable consistency and serve.
Credit line: Recipe from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate © Heather Crosby, 2017. Photographs copyright © Heather Crosby, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. Photo by Heather Crosby.
Recipe by Chic Vegan at