Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Coffee Ice Cream

I was left with some fresh coffee beans that I wasn't really going to use up because I don't drink coffee. I think I am the only fine arts student who isn't a caffeine fiend. I know people who take their coffee so seriously they even bring french presses to the studio!

In any case, I just don't like to drink coffee. Strangely enough though, I don't mind coffee flavoured desserts as long as they are fairly mild. Coffee goes well with chocolate,vanilla and even spices such as cinnamon and those flavours mellow the bitterness of the coffee somewhat when combined in dessert recipes.

I made this coffee ice cream to use up those coffee beans. The whole beans are infused with milk and cream for an hour, then mixed into a custard as for any ice cream and then given a small dose of vanilla to round out the flavour.

This ice cream tastes vaguely like Tim Horton's Ice Caps (go Canada!) only creamier and with a slightly stronger coffee taste.

I ran out of eggs so while the original recipe uses 5 yolks I only used 4. I think that was enough because the ice cream is very rich as it is. My apartment smelled like a Starbucks, while I let the beans infuse. Even unchurned, the custard tasted like a very sweet and rich latte.

I made cinnamon chocolate cigarette cookies (pictured) to go with the ice cream because I thought the flavour and light cookie would be a good contrast to the rich coffee ice cream, but more on that later. For now just enjoy ogling the caffeinated creamy goodness that is coffee ice cream.

Coffee Ice Cream


Time: about 1-1/2 hours plus churning in the ice cream maker

Makes about 1 quart of coffee ice cream

  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups whole coffee beans
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon instant coffee (optional)

    1. Warm the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and ½ cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
    2. Rewarm the infused-coffee milk mixture. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
    3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavour as possible, then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground or instant coffee and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Leibowitz (which I don't own yet but is definitely on my wish list!)

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