Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages on the face of the planet. Many people will not even think of working without having their morning cup or two of coffee. Yet, more people are seeking the diverse uses of the coffee bean. One of the most popular forms of coffee consumption is ice cream.
Coffee flavoured ice cream has grown in popularity over the last 10 years with many name brand ice cream companies incorporating coffee into their already wildly popular ice cream flavours. In addition to coffee ice cream being available in the standard tubs it is also marketed in ice cream bars, cakes, and even added to one of our most popular ice cream treats, shakes.
How It’s Made
Ice cream is a relatively simple concoction of flavours that people try to over complicate with imaginative steps that have to be taken in order to produce the correct texture. Arik Waiss founder of Doppio Coffee (London based Coffee Wholesale company) says ‘truthfully, all ice cream has pretty much the same basic beginning ingredients. The different flavours come from additives. These additives may be in the beginning or at the end but all ice cream recipes call for milk, sugar, eggs (in some form) and heavy cream or sweetened condensed milk for texture purposes.’
In the case of coffee ice cream, coffee beans are added to the milk or cream at the start of the cooking process in order to produce a rich coffee flavour.
The standard coffee recipe calls for.
1 ½ Cups Whole Milk
¾ Cup Sugar
1 ½ Cups Whole Coffee Beans
Pinch of Salt
5 Egg Yolks
¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ Teaspoon Finely Ground Coffee
- The First step is to heat the sugar, milk, coffee beans, ½ of the cream, and salt in a pan until the mixture is steaming but not boiling. Too high of heat can cause the milk to scorch leaving your coffee ice cream bitter and inedible. Take the pan off the heat when hot and cover. Let the mixture steep for one hour. It is important not to rush this step because the rich flavour of the coffee will develop at this stage.
- After the hour has passed, reheat the coffee mixture until hot once again. Then, in another bowl, mix egg yolks.
- The next part can be a little tricky. It is known as tempering. Egg yolks have a tendency to curdle when heated too quickly so you want to add the hot coffee liquid to the egg yolks very slowly and whisk continuously. This will bring up the temperature of the egg yolks at an even rate so curdling is less likely. Place everything back into the pan and heat the mixture on moderate heat until it thickens quite a bit. Thickening can take time, but you will know that the mixture is ready when it coats the spoon without instantly running off.
- Once thickened, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the beans. You can get rid of the beans, no one eats coffee with huge coffee beans in the mix, but this is the point where you are going to want to add in the vanilla and the ground coffee. The addition of the extra coffee will add texture to the mixture. You can also add the remaining cream at this point.
- The final step is chilling the mixture. This can be done in a number of ways, but the primary goal is to produce rich ice cream without huge ice crystals. The smoothest ice cream is produced when the mixture is properly churned. The churning process allows for air to be added. Slow churning produces very small ice crystals and allows for the right amount of air to be added to the mixture. Too much air and the mixture is not very flavourful and not smooth.
Modern churning machines do a great job of adding the right amount of air and churning at the right speed, but many people do not have their own ice cream machine. There is another method that will produce smooth ice cream, but it will involve more time.
Basically, all you have to do is add the air before freezing. Simply mix the final mixture on high until the colour is light and the mixture becomes frothy and thick. At this point the mixture can be frozen in a shallow container. Freezing in a shallow container allows for the mixture to freeze faster further reducing the risk of large ice crystals in the final ice cream product.
Ice cream is one of our favourite snacks, but it can often be very expensive to buy in the store. This method will allow you to have top quality, homemade ice cream at a fraction of the cost. You will also enjoy experimenting with other additives to make your coffee ice cream unique to your own taste.