Coffee Ice Cream
I’m going to start this post with a confession: I am a coffee addict. I’ve been drinking the stuff since I was 15 years old, thinking that by doing so I’d look all cool and mysterious. When I was in college I was living off mochas and café au laits. Though I don’t take my coffee black, I do appreciate a good dark french roast. There’s almost nothing better in the world than a beautiful Sunday morning sitting on my back porch with a good cup of joe watching the kitties wander around and attempt to eat the herbs.
As much as I love coffee I can’t say that I ever have a craving for coffee flavored desserts, especially ice creams. When I’ve tried grocery store versions I find they’re either too sweet, don’t have enough coffee flavor, or both problems at the same time. Since I had the technology (and the craving), I decided I’d give making my own coffee ice cream a shot. (No pun intended)
I started by using Hugh Acheson’s vanilla ice cream recipe as a base and repurposed it to create my own creamy coffee treat. The recipe appealed to me because of its steeping process. I think steeping the coffee beans in the milk mixture makes all the difference in flavor. The little kick of espresso powder is nice, but really it’s all about those beans. There’s no need to buy anything fancy for this recipe, I just used our regular every morning coffee beans and was very pleased with the results.
I was lucky enough to have some wonderful duck eggs on hand from my friends at Darko Farm. Duck egg yolks are quite a bit larger than their chicken counterparts so you don’t need to use as many eggs for this recipe. I think they actually made the dessert creamier and more luscious. If you’re able to get duck eggs, I totally recommend them here.
The ice cream making process is a bit time consuming. There are several inactive steps that take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. I found that this was a good recipe to make one afternoon whilst I was doing some deep spring cleaning. Whipping egg yolks and cooking custard were nice stress-free activities between the miserable dusting and mopping sessions.
When I tasted the ice cream it made me think of my morning cup of coffee, which was exactly what I hoped for. I really like this recipe, as does Chris. We both put a little chocolate syrup on our dessert servings that evening which leads me to believe that some chocolate chips or covered espresso beans would go really well folded into the ice cream. I think it will be a regular afternoon treat while I sit outside on the porch and keep the kitties away from our daises.
Coffee Ice Cream
(Makes a little over 1 pint)
1 2/3 Cup Whole Milk
½ Cup Heavy Cream
1/3 Cup white sugar
1/3 cup whole coffee beans
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
A pinch of salt
2-3 egg yolks, depending on size
In a medium mixing bowl combine milk, cream half the sugar, salt and espresso powder. Once combined well add the coffee beans and pour mixture into a medium saucepan. Heat the saucepan on medium heat for 6-8 minutes, until the mixture starts to steam. Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan, and steep the milk mixture for at least 30 minutes.
In another medium bowl whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until fluffy and pale yellow. Slowly temper the yolks by mixing in the steeped milk. Do this gradually or you’ll have scrambled eggs. Once tempered (when at least 2/3 of the milk mixture is mixed with the yolks) pour in all the milk mixture and whisk to combine. Strain out the coffee beans and place the egg and milk mixture back in the medium saucepan on the stove. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the spatula, approximately 10 – 12 minutes.
Once thickened, place the ice cream mixture in the fridge to cool down, this should be at least 3 hours. Once the mixture is cooled, add it to your ice cream make and follow directions. Once the ice cream maker is done, put the ice cream in the freezer for an hour. Then enjoy!