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Tonka bean Ice Cream

Tonka bean Ice Cream

Tonka beans are actually seeds from the Central American Cumaru tree. Tonka beans contains the chemical coumarin that can cause liver problems if taken in high doses. Cinnamon and licorice also contains coumarin. The small amounts used in ice cream or desserts are perfectly safe though! Tonka beans are mainly used in desserts and perfumes.

This is the first time I ever used tonka beans and the smell and taste is powerful and fragrant. My best comparison would be to Amaretto, a sweet Italian almond liqueur . I’ve heard about them for a while now and wanted to try to use them in an ice cream.

Unfortunately I used too much! I used three large beans and the taste was very powerful and maybe not for everyone. But I think if you use just one or even one half bean you will get an interesting flavour.


I used a standard custard base. I used three tonka beans but that was too much so I’ve changed the recipe to use one tonka bean instead.

IngredientWeight (g)Amount (%)
Egg yolk80.08.16
Glucose syrup50.05.10
One Tonka bean


Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
Finely grate the tonka bean and add to the dry ingredients.
Add milk and cream to a pot.
Whisk in the dry ingredients.
Heat until almost boiling and set aside to rest and cool down a little.
Temper the egg yolks with the milk and cream and add back to pot.
Slowly heat to 83C (182F) stirring to avoid scorching and curdling.
Sieve the mix into a zip-lock bag and chill in ice water.
Age in fridge for at least 12 hours.
Run in ice cream machine.


Butter fat14.2 %
Total fat16.5 %
MSNF5.5 %
TSNF27.1 %
Total solids43.6 %
PAC total234.0
Freezing point-2.8 C, 27.0 F
Weight980.0 g
Final weight931.0 g
Evaporation49.0 g
Evaporation %5.0 %
Butter fat14.2 %
Other fat2.3 %
Total fat16.5 %
Sugar17.3 %
MSNF5.5 %
Other solids4.3 %
TSNF27.1 %
Total solids43.6 %
Water56.4 %
Stabilizers0.00 %
Stabilizers/Water0.00 %
Egg yolks8.6 %
Egg yolk lecithin0.8 %
PAC se234.0
PAC salt0.0
PAC alcohol0.0
PAC total234.0
PAC normalized414.8
FP SE-2.5 C, 27.4 F
FP MSNF-0.2 C, 31.6 F
FP Salt0.0 C, 32.0 F
FP Alcohol0.0 C, 32.0 F
Freezing point-2.8 C, 27.0 F
Frozen water @-14.0 C, 6.8 F75.5 %
Temp at 65%-9.4 C, 15.1 F
Temp at 70%-11.2 C, 11.8 F
Temp at 75%-13.7 C, 7.4 F

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