I liked coffee even when I was a little kid, and I like to blame that on the first taste of my mom's favorite ice cream flavor, Jamoca® Almond Fudge.
Coffee ice cream hits the double mark of caffeine buzz and sugar rush and has enough complexity that you can feel pretty good about your choices, especially if you make it yourself.
There are lots of ways to make ice cream- there are custard-based recipes with lots of eggs, or "Philadelphia style" without eggs. There's a no-churn method that uses sweetened condensed milk as the base (made famous by Nigella Lawson).
This recipe uses the method Jeni Britton Bauer developed, which utilizes milk proteins and cream cheese (yes! Cream cheese!) as the emulsifying agents in the base, rather than egg yolks. The starch stabilizes the base, and with the corn syrup, prevents any ice crystals from forming. (You will need some kind of ice cream maker to do this, and you should freeze the canister completely before you start spinning the base.)
Use the best dairy you can find, and your coffee is up to you- it works best with a medium to darker roast coffee if you want a straightforward "coffee" flavor, but a single origin would work- just steep it for a little bit longer. Make sure to grind your beans just before you steep them in the cream- just like when you're making espresso. And if the craving strikes, you can always make a sundae with some hot fudge and crushed almonds.
COFFEE ICE CREAM
adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
yield: about 1 quart
2 1/2 C whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons tapioca starch or cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese at room temperature
pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons coffee beans, coarsely ground
- In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons milk with the tapioca or corn starch to make a slurry. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and salt until smooth (it's okay if it's a little lumpy). Set aside.
- In a large saucepan or pot, combine the remaining milk, cream, brown sugar, and corn syrup, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let boil for exactly 4 minutes (the timing is important and so is the boiling). As the mixture boils, coarsely grind your coffee.
- Remove from the heat and add the coffee, stirring to combine. Let steep for 5 minutes (if using a single origin or lighter roast coffee, steep for 6 to 7 minutes).
- Strain the mixture through a fine meshed strainer lined with cheesecloth, then squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the grounds. You will have some coffee particles in your base, don't worry about them.
- Return the base to your saucepan, and whisk in the cornstarch slurry (be sure the slurry is fully incorporated before you add it). Bring back to a boil over medium high heat, and cook for about 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan with a silicone spatula until the base thickens slightly.
- Whisk the base into the bowl with the cream cheese (if there are any lumps the heat will melt them).
- You need to cool down the base until completely cold before churning. Either transfer the base into a gallon Ziploc freezer bag and chill in an ice bath, or you can cover the bowl and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- When the base is fully chilled, pour into your canister and spin until the ice cream begins to pull away from the sides of the spinner (about 25 - 30 minutes). Pack into a storage container and cover with an airtight lid, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.