Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Java Joy

As happy as chocolate makes me, that's how happy coffee makes my daughter. She did a brief stint as a barrista with a major coffee company, staying just long enough to get a really good coffee education. She now can talk knowledgeably about the subtle nuances of flavor, varietals, and the best pairings for different coffee beans. My own coffee knowledge extends to, "ooh, bitter." I don't drink coffee, so making coffee ice cream for her was a love thing.

She donated the beans, a rather expensive variety from her stash. As I threw the beans in to the saucepan to soak in the milk, she had second thoughts (too late!) about "wasting" those beans on ice cream. Maybe the expensive subtlities would be smothered by the ice cream. She shouldn't have worried. When she tasted it she said, "Oh, my gosh! That is the Best ice cream I have ever had!" (And considering the amount of quality ice cream I've been producing lately, that's saying quite a bit.)

And as with all wonderful foods, it was even better shared. The group she blessed with the ice cream gave it rave reviews, too. I, who don't even like coffee, thought it was pretty darn good, and would be even better with a little hot fudge sauce on top. My daughter also said that she could taste the flavor of the beans. So don't be afraid to go ahead and use really good beans. It will only enhance the flavor of the finished product.

Coffee Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1-1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1-1/2 cups (125 g) whole coffee beans
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp finely ground coffee

Warm the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup (125 ml) 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.

Rewarm the coffee-infused milk mixture. Pour the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) 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 constanltly. To prevent the bowl from skittering around the counter while you're pouring and stirring, place it on a rubber glove. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constanlty over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. A finger pulled across the spatula's surface will leave a trail that doesn't close up. 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 flavor as possible, then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and the finely ground coffee and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to directions.


Cheryl said...

Coffee ice cream is one of the worlds my magnificent creations. It is better than drinking it. This looks so good that I can't even think of a phrase that it is worthy of.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love coffee ice cream!! Maybe I like peppermint better but coffee, oh yes, I'm a believer.
I've often thought working in a really good coffee place would be the way to learn enough to make it really interesting. But I think I'd like to do a bakery (bread not cake) first then coffee.

Patricia Scarpin said...

There's no wasting, here, Lynn - I don't like coffee, but I can certainly appreciate it in ice cream form! :)

Anh said...

I love this. Yes, yes I do! I am a coffee addict, and I wish I could taste your lovely ice cream. If only....

Anonymous said...

This is the best ice cream I have ever eaten! You can inhale the flavor even before it reaches your lips. It is quite rich and creamy. Thank you for sharing!

Anne said...

I don't drink coffee but I like coffee flavoured ice cream...and yours look so tempting :)

Anonymous said...

Looks so good!

Brilynn said...

That looks so creamy and perfect!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of coffee, but I could quickly become a fan with this kind of creamy dessert! Gorgeous photos.

WokandSpoon said...

I don't drink coffee after 4pm as it makes me a hyperactive little squirrel! Wonder if the ice cream will have the same effect ;-)