Well, I mentioned on Facebook towards the beginning of the year that I had perfected Coffee Ice Cream and promised a recipe would follow shortly thereafter. Days flew by. Then weeks. And now, nearly four months have passed, and I am finally getting around to spilling the beans. May is still ‘soon’ after January, right? I guess that’s what I get as a grad student. Now that the first year is said and done, I am looking forward to blogging a little more consistently and hope to find a way to keep up more regular postings once grad school starts up again at the end of August.
Anyhoo, back to the topic at hand – Coffee Ice Cream and perfecting the recipe…
Late last fall, Bryce whipped up some delicious coconut bars that used only half of a can of sweetened condensed milk. Pondering what we should do with the remaining half of a can got me thinking about ice cream, as is typically the case. What better use for sweetened condensed milk than an ingredient for my next ice cream making adventure? I thought it could serve multiple purposes – as milk, as sweetener, and as a thickening agent. Why I chose coffee ice cream for the trial run I could not tell you, but I was suddenly struck with a craving and went with it.
My previous attempt at making coffee ice cream turned out to be rather uninspiring. I had not yet tried the whole egg yolk tempering thing and therefore had no need to heat up the milk and cream mixture prior to freezing. As a result, the instant coffee only partially dissolved into the liquid and the undissolved granules ended up speckling the ice cream. Just not in a good way. Heating up the sweetened condensed milk, cream, milk, and instant coffee did wonders for the mixture. I also thought to myself, “Hey, Food Network chefs are always adding instant coffee to chocolate recipes, commenting that the coffee helps to make the chocolate flavor more intense. I wonder if the same is true in reverse?” So, on top of the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks, I added a teaspoon of cocoa powder to my new coffee ice cream mix. Even before freezing, I knew I had stumbled upon a great combination. I mean, I had to taste test throughout the cooking process, right? And the resulting ice cream proved even better than expected. It was thick, creamy, and smooth with the perfect balance of milkiness, sweetness, and coffeeness. That’s right, I just made up a new word. That’s how good the ice cream was, and the recipe will be my go-to whenever we’re craving a little coffee ice cream.
2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
1 c. whole milk
3 packets of instant decaffeinated coffee
1 tsp. cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Add the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, instant coffee, and cocoa powder to a medium-sized sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. While the cream/milk/coffee mixture is heating, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a mixer on medium speed for approximately two minutes (in a medium-sized mixing bowl). Once the mixture on the stove reaches a simmer, reduce the heat and get ready – it’s time to temper the eggs! In a slow, steady stream (to prevent scrambling), add the heated cream mixture to the egg yolks while running the electric mixer to blend all ingredients together. After incorporating the eggs into the cream mixture, return the ice cream base back to the sauce pan and heat until the custard thickens, stirring constantly. This step takes approximately 5-7 minutes. You will see and feel the ice cream thicken. For a foolproof way to check if the ice cream base is thick enough, dip a spoon into the liquid and run your finger along the backside of the spoon. If your finger leaves a clean trail, it’s done. If the liquid is thin and runny, cook for a while longer. Transfer finished ice cream base to a bowl, stir in the vanilla, and refrigerate overnight. Freeze the cooled ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Enjoy! (Pictured above with a Timtam cookie.)