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Recently a friend of mine posted about tonka beans and their unusual aroma and taste. My interest was piqued being an avid baker and spice fan. Since my friend works for a spice company she was able to provide me with a sample of these unusual beans.

Their aroma is a hard one to describe seeming at times to be a combination of vanilla and almond and somehow strangely familiar.

I decided to try them in our family’s favorite homemade ice-cream, which because it isn’t stirred while freezing is better known as a parfait.

Today we sampled our ice-cream and I was very pleased by the pleasant flavor the tonka beans gave to the ice-cream which seems a whole new world to the traditional vanilla ice-cream.


500 g. whipping cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Flavors according to choice this time I used 1/2 of a finely grated tonka bean. Other times I use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, or nuts and chocolate, or cocoa, or my own jams made for fruity varieties – the possibilities are endless!


Whip cream and condensed milk together until soft peeks form, whip or stir in extracts or grated tonka bean. Do not whip any longer – you do not need stiff peaks for this recipe. Stir in any desired additions: nuts, fruit, chocolate, etc.

Pour into freezer safe container with a lid and freeze until firm, apx. 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from freezer apx. 10 min prior to serving to make it more scoopable!


PS: If you live in Latvia or in the nearby surrounding countries I recommend checking out the spice store my friend has. They have some spices, salts and peppers you can’t get anywhere else I have seen!

Manas Garšas Website