14 October 2011


Unseasonably hot weather initially made me a little grumpy these last few days. But after realizing that the baking I wanted to do was out of the question, it also occurred to me that I could use the opportunity to make something I've been meaning to try all summer: kakigori. Kakigori is a Japanese-style dessert composed of shaved ice, flavored syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. I was intrigued by the seemingly simple combination of ingredients and decided to finally try a homemade, vegan version of it.

 I'm not keen on using store-bought syrups, so I decided to make one of my own. For an autumnal twist, I made a simple syrup with homemade vanilla sugar, pumpkin puree, and a small piece of cinnamon stick. The cinnamon flavor was very subtle--a good thing, because I didn't want the spice to overwhelm the flavor of the pumpkin itself. To make vegan sweetened condensed milk, I used this recipe, which worked wonderfully.
To assemble the kakigori, I piled shaved ice (easily made in a high-power, high-speed blender) into a glass dish. I then poured pumpkin syrup over the ice, followed by a light drizzle of vegan sweetened condensed milk, then topped everything off with a small scoop of homemade anko (sweet red bean paste). The dessert reminded me of Hawaiian-style shaved ice, which is also served with anko, but uses ice cream instead of sweetened condensed milk (both via Japanese influence, no doubt). The kakigori was definitely sweet, but can be a refreshing, icy treat when enjoyed in small doses.


  1. Great, refreshing idea. The pumpkin syrup and condensed milk must have tasted great together but the red bean paste is also brilliant! I love that stuff.

  2. jessica farrell10/14/11, 8:08 PM

    i always learn something new from you, Tiffany. i love it the most! never heard of kakigori and not i want to check it out. i agree, it's easy to overwhelm the flavor of pumpkin. this evening i made my friend and i some gluten-free pumpkin bread pudding. but the chocolate chips i used took away from the pumpkin flavor. bummer, but lesson learned. i don't care for store-bought syrups either and it's so much fun to create your own! i love everything about your kakigori. mmmmmmmmmmm!

  3. Oooh. This sounds like a perfect summer dessert.

  4. oh yes, kakigori! I've completely forgotten about this dessert (how could I?).
    pumpkin syrup sounds great and the color is really pretty.


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