I think I’ve made ice cream 5 or 6 times since we got the ice cream maker and I talked about it here.
I’ve continued to use the NY Times recipe for vanilla ice cream and it is flawless. I did make one small tweak, which is adding some Haitian vanilla. I tried it when I was in Haiti (duh) and regretted not bringing any home with me. Luckily Ethan’s grandparents are frequent visitors and gave me a bottle for Christmas and I’ve been putting it in eeeeeverything. Most notably I use it in these cookies and constantly get compliments on how amazing they are.
I’m already concerned about what I’ll do when it runs out. It looks like you can get it on Amazon but I’m not sure I trust the authenticity. I guess this means I have to go back!
Someone was getting a little fed up with my plain vanilla infatuation, though, and suggested I try to make an ice cream that was more fun. So I went straight for coffee. I used this David Lebovitz recipe, with very minor tweaks. Here we go!
First, this is another KitchenAid attachment you’ll need to buy. If you already have a KitchenAid, I highly recommend this in lieu of a separate ice cream maker. It works really well and is super easy to clean and use. Essentially it’s just a bowl that you freeze ahead of time, with the beater piece that does the churning. You have to freeze the bowl for at least 15 hours so if you’re like me, you’ll just store it in the freezer so that you’re ready to make ice cream any day any time.
We start by heating 1 1/2 cups of whole milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 3/4 cups of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla (Haitian if you have it), and 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans in a saucepan, just until the mixture is warm and steamy. Not boiling.
The original recipe says to let this steep for an hour. I have the patience of a 3 year old so I only let it go for about 25-30 minutes before moving on and the ice cream was like BOOM coffee flavor in your face, so I would say that was plenty.
On a side note, I spilled coffee beans all over the floor (some would say I’m accident prone?) The GS heard the commotion and yelled that he would grab the… something. I assumed he said “broom” or “dust pan” or “vacuum.” Nope. Came in with the LEAF BLOWER and started attempting to blow the coffee beans into one pile. This is what our marriage looks like, in a nutshell. And clearly I’m not the only one excited over new toys.
Anyway, during that 25 minute wait period, assuming you’re not using a leaf blower inappropriately, separate your eggs. Five yolks go in a bowl, 5 whites go in the fridge for me to eat at a later time.
Pour 1 cup of heavy cream into a bowl, and place it inside another bowl filled with ice. Place a fine mesh strainer over that one. Here’s the setup.
Whisk the yolks together, then slowly pour in the milk/cream/beans mixture, continuing to whisk. Once the yolks are incorporated, pour everything back in the saucepan and put it back on the stove. You want to stir it pretty frequently and keep an eye on it. We’re looking for it to coat the back of a spoon like this. You can run your finger through and it holds.
Having done this several times I can tell you it’s better to undercook than over cook. If you let it go too long it starts to get grainy, so if you’re remotely close to passing the wooden spoon test, turn off the heat.
Pour the custard mixture through the strainer into the cream and stir to combine. I actually poured it back and forth a few times to make sure I sucked all the coffee flavor out of the beans. Then the mixture (sans beans) goes into the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours.
While this was happening, I made my wafer cookies! I used this recipe which was super easy and I will definitely use it again if I’m ever doing a chocolate cookie crust. It all comes together in a food processor: 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar, pinch of Kosher salt, and 1/8 tsp baking soda. Pulse it together. Then add 7 tablespoons softened butter in chunks and pulse until it looks like wet sand.
While it’s running, stream in 1 1/2 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla (do I even need to tell you I used Haitian?) until the dough comes together in a ball. Form it into a log and wrap it in plastic to chill for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the cookies and bake for 10-12 minutes. Move onto a wire rack to cool.
Hopefully sometime around now your custard has gone into the ice cream maker to become ice cream (this takes about 20 minutes). You’ll dollop some of that caffeine cloud onto a cooled cookie and sandwich it with a second. Then we re-freeze until serving. This helps to solidify everything and keep the ice cream from squeezing out the sides when you take a bite.
When the ice cream first finishes churning it is like the soft serve of your wildest dreams. So if you’re going to serve it solo to guests (or yourself) I recommend churning right before you want to eat it.
I was originally going to just make the ice cream but when I was telling my dinner party guests our menu at the pool that day, Aaron said “That sounds good but what are we having WITH the coffee ice cream?”
I would complain that they are all spoiled but they voted this my best dessert of all time, so we can say his suggestion was inspired.