Because I had such a frustrating time finding the “ultimate” coffee ice cream recipe in cookbooks and online, I decided to share the pastiche of my findings in one neat recipe. Following the cues for premium ice cream in my machine’s booklet, which is usually a more custardy, denser variety that uses egg yolks and/or whole eggs, I added a touch of fresh (strong) brewed coffee, and an optional scatter of dark chocolate chunks.
Simple, right? But I was surprised by the number of recipes I’d found that called for “instant coffee granules,” — sorry, Emeril, but Sanka doesn’t play into my vision of the perfect coffee ice cream. After some searching, I did finally find a recipe that used fresh coffee (not syrup, granules, etc.) here, though I found the directions a bit wanting.
Does anyone remember the flavor sensation of the late 90s, when Starbucks partnered with Dreyer’s ice cream to create Java Chip? It seemed to take hold of supermarket ice cream aisles for a few summers… and then disappeared. I’m not sure what became of Starbucks ice cream as a whole; perhaps the corporation is more focused on producing music and breakfast now. But I do remember how dark, real-coffee ice cream tastes. And looking at the ingredients from the back of its carton, my premium coffee ice cream recipe has pretty much the same ingredients as theirs, including actual coffee, and minus the preservatives. (And instead of Starbucks coffee, I brew mine with beans from my favorite local coffeehouse, Gorilla.)
Surely, instead of brewing and chilling “the strongest coffee you’ve ever made in your life,” I could have gone down the street and gotten a double espresso and brought it back to my lair. But that would make the whole make-your-own-ice-cream procedure that much degraded in my mind — that is, unless you’ve got your own espresso maker. (I wouldn’t expect anyone crazy enough to have both an espresso maker and an ice cream maker in their own kitchen… wait, maybe I do need both.) So I make do with the strongest 1/2 cup of coffee I’d ever attempt, which is to say, probably as strong as what truly strong coffee-drinkers have for breakfast (I’m not that hardcore). And I have no complaints — espresso or not, it was really good. With some broken-up chunks of Jacques Torres 60% dark chocolate, it’s as good, or better, than any canister of yesteryear. Make that better.
Fresh Coffee Premium Ice Cream
(makes about 32 oz or 1 quart ice cream)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup the strongest coffee you’ve ever made in your life
Optional: dark chocolate chunks
Combine eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl and blend thoroughly with a whisk or electric beater for about 5 minutes. Heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan; do not let boil, just “scorch” it until it is near-boiling hot. Turn off heat. Very slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, beating rapidly with a whisk. Once it is all beaten in, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk mixture while beating. Heat mixture under medium low, stirring constantly, for a few more minutes or until the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when dipped in. Turn off heat.
Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the liquid. Chill overnight or until completely cool. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow machine’s directions for how long it should churn. Add the 1/2 cup of the strongest coffee you’ve ever brewed (chilled thoroughly beforehand) halfway through churning. If using chocolate chunks, pour into the mixture during the last minute of churning. Recommended: freeze for 2 hours before serving. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
(for 1 quart, or about 8 1/2-cup servings)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (at $2.99/pint): $2.50
1 1/2 cups whole milk (at $3.29/half gallon): $0.61
2 whole eggs (at $3.00/doz): $0.50
3 egg yolks (half of 3 eggs at $3.00/doz?): $0.38
3/4 cup sugar: $0.20
1/2 cup strong coffee using about 5 Tb ground beans: $0.75
Eight brownie points: the health calculator is hurting today. I’ve been piling on way too many brownies lately, I may need to give it a rest. I’m searching… dark chocolate has antioxidants? Milk, lots of all-natural calcium-rich milk! And lots of cholesterol from the cream and egg yolks. Something had to give.