In a city full of ice cream fanatics, vegan ice cream brand FoMu (pronounced “faux moo”) has managed to cultivate a dedicated following since first opening in Allston in 2012. Now, founder Deena Jalal has invited customers to try their hand at making FoMu’s coconut milk-based ice cream with her first cookbook, “Incredible Vegan Ice Cream,” which goes on sale Tuesday.
The cookbook includes 60 recipes divided into six categories, with a short description for each flavor that describes its origin story. Jalal told Boston.com that while she had often considered writing a cookbook, it wasn’t until Page Street Publishing approached her at the end of 2017 that everything really fell into place.
“I was eight months pregnant at the time,” Jalal said. “I started writing in the middle of a busy summer with a new baby. I was like, What was I thinking? But I was all in, and I found that I really enjoyed the process. I think putting a narrative behind something I’d been working at for eight years was really fun.”
Recognizable FoMu favorites like chocolate s’more and rockier road can be found in the book’s From Your Childhood section, while classic desserts — including the seasonal blueberry shortbread, which will be re-released in FoMu stores this week — are highlighted in From the Bakery. From Your Cup features flavors like chocolate stout and oatmeal rum raisin, and At the Market is dedicated to flavors that focus on market-driven ingredients such as candied sweet potato, pumpkin caramel, and brown sugar corn. International inspirations like FoMu’s cult classic rosewater saffron are included in Around the Globe, while Over the Top includes recipes for flavors with baked additions like chai-candied pecans and spiced pepitas.
While curating the flavors featured in the book, Jalal said that she wanted to include something for everyone — not only the popular flavors from FoMu’s regular rotation, like chocolate pudding, but retired flavors that developed a niche following when they were first released: cardamom pistachio, mango habanero, or Thai chili peanut. Many of the innovative flavors are inspired by Jalal’s travels or seasonal desserts she loves.
“Sure, we could make an apple ice cream or a caramel apple ice cream,” she said. “But one of my favorite desserts in the fall is an apple cider donut, so it’s about bringing all the elements that are great about that dessert experience and trying to fit it in an ice cream. I think a lot of the culinary-driven [flavors] are invented by taking a composed dessert and deconstructing it, and then constructing it again in the form of an ice cream flavor.”
There are currently FoMu locations in Allston, Jamaica Plain, South End, and, as of March, the Fenway. Jalal said that she’d love to bring the FoMu experience to as many people as possible, but in a way that is thoughtful.
“We’d love to open more stores where it geographically makes sense, where there are populations of open-minded or plant based-inspired people,” she said. “That doesn’t necessarily have to be in Boston, but we’re taking the slow and steady track.”
While “Incredible Vegan Ice Cream” officially goes on sale Tuesday, FoMu’s South End location will host a book release party on Monday night from 5 to 8 p.m. Jalal will sign cookbooks, and there will be a raffle, Champagne, and, of course, plenty of ice cream. On Tuesday, the cookbook will be available at select independent bookstores around the city (including Trident Booksellers, which will host a Q&A with Jalal on June 24) as well as retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Each recipe requires an ice cream maker; if you have one, consider delving into vegan ice cream with FoMu’s cold brew recipe below, excerpted from “Incredible Vegan Ice Cream.”
Reprinted with permission from Incredible Vegan Ice Cream by Deena Jalal, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.
Makes 1 quart (272 g)
Coffee ice cream is one of those flavors I normally would glaze right over. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my coffee, but I’d never tasted a coffee ice cream I was jazzed about — until this recipe.This recipe uses your favorite real, cold-brewed coffee, concentrated to infuse extra flavor and reduce iciness. So use coffee you would drink — it’s the star of the show. If you’re not a coffee ice cream fan, this recipe might just change your mind.
1 ⁄3 cup (60 g) medium–ground coffee beans
2½ cups (600 ml) all–natural canned coconut milk
¼ cup (50 g) organic unrefined cane sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) agave
1 tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
In a bowl, combine the coffee grounds and coconut milk. Cover this mixture and place it in the refrigerator to steep overnight, at least 12 hours or more. Once it’s steeped, use a fine–mesh strainer to remove the grounds from the coconut milk. If you find that your coconut milk has separated and there is a layer of cream on top, stir it and let the milk warm enough to homogenize before straining it. Discard the grounds.
Use a high–speed or immersion blender to mix the coconut milk coffee, sugar, agave, vanilla, and salt.
Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most machines take 10 to 15 minutes depending on the temperature of the mix, and when it’s finished it should look like soft serve. Once it’s churned, transfer the ice cream to a large freezer–safe container, smooth the top, and cover it tightly. Freeze the finished ice cream for at least 5 to 6 hours, or until it is firm.
Store this ice cream in the freezer in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
Note: For a coffee–holic’s dream, top your favorite iced or hot coffee or espresso with a scoop of Cold Brew ice cream. The sweetness and richness are perfect complements.