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As I mentioned in some of my other posts about ice cream, I love the stuff so much I often eat it for breakfast. Yes, I know that’s unhealthy, but Sjogren’s Syndrome leaves my mouth so dry that sometimes it’s hard to eat “real” food. And it’s often unappealing.
So ice cream it is. And since I could go broke downing a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every day, I bought the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and decided to learn how to make ice cream on my own. I had a few failures, all of them due to altering recipes without keeping the fat content in mind.
But I learn from my mistakes, and my homemade coffee ice cream recipe is a winner. I’m going to show you the ingredient list from the recipe I used as a starting point, Double Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream, as published by Fine Cooking ( I didn’t use bourbon) as well as my substitutes so you can see how they compare. I’ll also walk you through the steps I used and point out any major differences from the original recipe.
How to make homemade coffee ice cream
The ingredients (theirs and mine)
|2 cups heavy cream||2 cups heavy cream|
|1 cup whole milk||I small (10 ml) bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream plus enough Starbucks bottled coffee (I used Mocha Frappuccino) to make one cup. You can fiddle with the alcohol/bottled coffee amounts according to your personal taste. Any chocolate/coffee cream liqueur would be good (Godiva comes to mind). And if you can’t find a mini bottle, make sure you buy something you’ll drink! (Or just leave the alcohol out and use 1 cup of bottled coffee.)|
|3/4 cup sugar||3/4 cup sugar|
|Pinch of salt||Pinch of salt (Remember…unless you’re on a restricted diet, almost everything is better with at least a pinch of salt. )|
|5 large egg yolks||6 large egg yolks (I usually up it by one. No good reason; I just do.)|
|1 vanilla bean plus 2 tsp vanilla extract||1 vanilla bean plus vanilla paste to taste (Warning! Wait to taste it until after the custard is cooked! I don’t want anybody catching salmonella from eating raw eggs!)|
|2-4 tbsp bourbon||2-4 tbsp of whatever cream liqueur you’re using|
|4 oz. Mascarpone cheese (Because I was worried that the fat content of the Bailey’s and Starbucks wouldn’t equal that of whole milk.)|
|Chocolate-covered espresso beans (because…of course!)|
My instructions are basically the same as Fine Cooking’s; I’ll let you know where they’re significantly different.
- In a medium saucepan, mix the 2 cups cream with the Bailey’s Starbucks mixture. (Fine Cooking says to save one cup of the cream for later to help cool the custard quickly, but my cream was already at room temperature, so I just used it all at once — as I have for all of my batches.)
- Add the sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape out as many of the tiny seeds as you can. Add both the seeds and the pod to the cream mixture. (Fine cooking’s instructions say to add it later in the process, but I always add it early. Sometimes I even add it to the carton of cream as soon as I get it home, because the longer it’s in there, the better it can infuse the cream with its flavor.)
- Cut some of the espresso beans (the amount is totally up to you, depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor to be) in half and add them to the cream so they can get busy infusing their flavor.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the mascarpone cheese and continue to cook until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the saucepan. (Fine Cooking says this should take 3-4 minutes. It took me considerably longer, but I was being cautious. I’m still getting used to a gas range, and my Le Creuset cookware — which my daughter calls “Le Crusties,” a nickname that shall endure into all eternity — transmits heat really well, so I was worried about burning it. It’s easier to take it slow than it is to start over after you’ve burned it!)
- Remove cream mixture from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks.
- Whisking constantly, add a ladle or two of the warm cream mixture to the eggs. Starting with just a small amount keeps the mixture from curdling.
- Add the egg mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula while scraping the sides and bottom of the pan. It’s done when the custard sticks to the spatula and/or the spatula leaves a visible path in its wake. (If you want to be precise, the temperature should be about 175°.)
Fair warning: This is where I go off the rails!
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming
Churning the ice cream
From this point forward, it really comes down to which ice cream maker you have. I have the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment, which can get really, really messy since you’re supposed to add the custard while it’s churning. I just bought this OXO flexible scoop, and I’m counting on it to make things a lot easier (and cleaner!) the next time I make ice cream at home.
And if you have little ones at home who are begging for a taste? It’s not going to hurt them. The purpose of churning the ice cream is twofold: Freeze it quickly, and beat air into it (the volume should be significantly greater after churning). So if you’ve got somebody who just can’t wait for a taste, this is a good time to say yes!
After the churn..
Most ice cream makers (especially if they’re not of the compressor variety) turn out ice cream that resembles “soft serve.” If that’s what you like, you’re ready to go! (I’ve been known to put store-bought ice cream in the microwave.) If you want something a little firmer, you’ve already got the perfect tool: your freezer. Just put your ice cream in a bowl with a lid and freeze it until it’s the consistency you want.
I hope you give this easy recipe for homemade coffee ice cream a try. If so, please post in the comments! Did you enjoy it? Did you change anything? If so, what?