Friday, May 27, 2011

Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans

This coffee ice cream would make a great mud pie with an oreo cookie crust, a fudge topping, and some chocolate covered espresso beans on top... I SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT! Next time :)

I have made coffee ice cream several times; usually I just use jarred instant coffee granules, but this time I used those 'Starbucks Via' instant coffee packages. It seems like everyone has those now, so I thought I'd  create the recipe using ingredients that you'll likely have already. I also gave it a few extra touches that came out GREAT, and I will do every time now! Those extra special additions were: fresh coffee grounds, and chocolate covered espresso beans.  Mmmmm....

I use my same vanilla ice cream recipe as the base for this coffee ice cream: 

  • 3 cups Half & Half
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 1/8 cups Sugar
  • 8 egg Yolks
  • 5 packets 'Via' Instant Coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Coffee Grounds
  • 1 cup Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans

First, I combine the half & half and the cream in a large pot and bring that to a simmer over medium heat. Let it thicken for about 15 minutes.

While the half & half and cream are simmering, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar....
...until it becomes a smooth, pastel-yellow mixture.

Slowly temper the egg mixture by adding 1 cup of the hot cream at a time- stirring together well in between each added cup. 
Otherwise, the eggs will cook/scramble if you add in all the hot cream at once.

Once the egg mixture is all tempered and combined, add it all back into the pot on the stove and bring it to a simmer again over medium-low heat. Stir constantly.

As it simmers, it will thicken. Eventually, you should be able to leave a finger streak in the thick custard that will coat the spoon...

after about 10 minutes:

After about 20 minutes:

Then add in both the instant coffee and the fresh coffee grounds. (I made coffee in a french press, then poured myself a cup of coffee and the scooped a tablespoon of the grounds out of the french press)

The instant coffee gives that great, rich, coffee flavor, 
and the grounds give a little flavor and a fun coffee-speckled look!

After about 30 minutes. Done.:

Pour it into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool overnight.

When it is all cooled, go ahead and churn it in your pre-frozen ice cream machine:

As the ice cream churns, it will become thicker and thicker, and it will grow in volume. But before it gets too thick, add in your roughly-chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans: 

After just about 30 minutes or so, the ice cream will already be a 'slightly-more-firm than soft-serve' consistency. You can enjoy it now...

...or you can pack it into a freezable container and let it firm up even more in the freezer until it becomes like a classic 'haagen dazs' ice cream.

The chocolate-covered espresso beans were SO GOOD in this ice cream!
Some other fun additions, if you can't find chocolate-covered espresso beans, would be:
toffee bits, chocolate chips, fudge ripple & almonds, oreo cookie pieces,'s the limit!

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